New Zealand Cruises

Written by Sarah Provost
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New Zealand cruises have enjoyed a huge boom in popularity in recent years. It's only natural - what better way to visit Middle Earth? The impact of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Kiwi tourism has been enormous. Once people gasped at that lush landscape on the screen, they wanted to see it for themselves.

New Zealand is a long, long way from almost anywhere, so most travelers prefer to fly in and then take one of many New Zealand cruises to various destinations on the North and South Islands. And what a wide variety of destinations and activities there are! Auckland, for instance, is the world capital of yacht sailing, with all the glamour and sophistication that implies. Or you might want to visit a sheep station and share a billy of tea while watching the shearing. New Zealand is a golfer's paradise, and also boasts four major ski areas.

New Zealand Cruises Take You to the Exotic and the Familiar

Although New Zealand is so far away that summer starts in December, it's still easy traveling. Everyone speaks English, and the two major strains of European settlers are English and Scottish. But only steps away from the tea table, you can find places to learn about Maori culture, one of the most exotic and fascinating cultures in the civilized world. Listen to a Maori storyteller give you the aboriginal view of the world, and you'll never look at anything the same way again.

Perhaps more than anything, though, it's the natural wonder that surrounds you which brings people to New Zealand. New Zealand cruises can take you from fjords to volcanoes, from glaciers to rainforests to sparkling beaches. And because New Zealand is so far from other landmasses, its wildlife and vegetation have evolved in their own particular manner. The human habitation of the last thousand years has brought some of these unique species to the brink of extinction, but now almost 30 percent of New Zealand land is within conservation areas, where treasures such as the kea parrot can be protected.

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