The Marlborough Sounds
Blessed with myriad crystal-clear, waterways, sheltered by towering, bush-clad hills, the Sounds’ countless bays, islands and beaches are all within easy reach of one of the New World’s most renowned wine regions. No wonder Marlborough is considered one of New Zealand’s finest cruising regions.
Sail in the historic wake of Captain James Cook, who in the 1770s explored and charted these blue waters. Endeavour Inlet, off the famous Queen Charlotte Sound is named after his ship. At the head of the sound is the pretty town of Picton, a haven for yachtsmen with its large marina, and embarkation point for the ferries that ply Cook Strait between the North and South islands.
For walkers, the Queen Charlotte Track offers days of spectacular trekking through lush coastal forest. Explore as little or as much as you like, knowing at day’s end your luxury yacht awaits. Relax and soothe any aches away in a hot bath and sauna before drinks and dinner.
Just minutes overland from Picton is the city of Blenheim, set amidst an exciting array of vineyards and wineries, each with its own distinctive style and character. Sample from the cellar door award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, among other varieties. Enjoy some of New Zealand’s best gourmet dining alfresco amongst the vines.
Cruise to the top of Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds, an area steeped in Maori history. Visit the historic town of Havelock, once a gold mining centre, today famous as the green-lipped mussel capital of the world. Watch the dolphins playing in the bow-waves and seals basking in the sun, as you sail through French Pass and circumnavigate Marlborough’s largest island, D’Urville.
Everything about cruising Marlborough aboard the Galerna is a delight for the senses. On sea or land, whether you’re into relaxing, exploring, indulging or invigoration, every day brings a new adventure.
Golden Bay & Able Tasman Park
Stretching from the sweeping sand dunes of Farewell Spit to picturesque Abel Tasman National Park, Golden Bay, on the north-western tip of the South Island, features some of New Zealand’s finest beaches and native forests.
It’s not only the sand that’s golden here – the area is envied for its relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern living. The living’s easy, but one certainly never goes without. Golden Bay features two national parks, caves, scenic wonders, the world-famous Pupu Springs with the purest water on Earth, wildlife and adventure experiences; and the townships are home to wineries, cafes, fine cuisine and a vibrant arts and crafts scene.
The jewel in the crown is Abel Tasman National Park, named for the Dutch explorer who nearly 400 years ago was the first European to sight New Zealand. The park is 50,000 acres of coastal paradise, famed for its golden beaches, tranquil lagoons, crystal-clear water and forested hills stretching beyond.
The area offers a myriad of relaxing recreational opportunities, from game fishing, snorkeling, diving, bush walks, water skiing, and world-class sea kayaking, to just relaxing on your own private beach miles from anyone.
The Abel Tasman Coastal Track, with its endless coves and bays, is one of New Zealand’s great walks, taking 3-5 days to walk its full length. It is home to breathtaking beech forest and harakeke (native flax), and a rich bird life including the kereru (native wood pigeon), bellbird, tui and pukeko. Another famous Golden Bay walk, amongst many, is the Heaphy Track, traversing westwards through vast alpine tussock-land to lush nikau palm forests alongside the pounding West Coast surf.
Golden Bay is the perfect place for a rejuvenating week away, combining all it has to offer with your life of luxury aboard Galerna.
Fiordland National Park has World Heritage status and is New Zealand’s largest and most stunning wilderness area, situated in the deep south-western reaches of the South Island. With its towering mountains, deep valleys, and long narrow fiords carved by great glaciers over millennia, Fiordland remains almost untouched by the human encroachment affecting most wilderness areas.
The multitude of deep-water fiords, from popular Milford Sound to the remote Doubtful Sound, offer unsurpassed cruising amongst vertiginous cliffs, their sheer rock faces rising from the sea like giant stone icebergs, some looming more than 4000 feet above sea level. The area’s abundant rainfall creates an ever-changing landscape of untamed waterfalls tumbling into virgin podocarp and beech forest.
Such a pristine environment is home to all manner of wildlife, including rare crested penguins, paradise and blue ducks, kiwis, herons, morepork (native owl), native pigeons, native parrots such as the kaka and kea, and rarest of them all, the endangered kakapo. Fiordland is like no other place on earth – birdsong abounds and the dawn chorus, once heard, is never forgotten.
The area also has some of New Zealand’s finest walking tracks, including the Milford, Routeburn and Keplar tracks. Or visitors can marvel at the majestic scenery from the air, choosing from scenic flights in helicopters or fixed wing aircraft including floatplanes.
Galerna is the only luxury yacht to have a concession to operate charters in this amazing area. With its Scandinavian heritage, Galerna is right at home sailing these awe-inspiring fiords, forever guarded by their sentinels of towering granite. It is truly the quintessential New Zealand luxury cruising experience.
The West Coast Grande Tour
The West Coast Grand Tour package has been designed for discerning travelers who wish to experience true variety in the very best New Zealand’s South Island has to offer. Flexible travel packages combine up to two weeks luxury cruising aboard Galerna with a week in between enjoying fully-guided land travel in a luxury mini coach (self-drive is also available).
After sailing the delights of Golden Bay and Abel Tasman National Park, set off by road down the ruggedly picturesque West Coast, journeying far south to the famous World Heritage Fiordland National Park.
The West Coast is famous for its wild scenic wonders: Punakaiki’s wave-sculpted limestone, known as Pancake Rocks; two remarkable glaciers – Franz Josef and Fox – which snake from snowy alpine heights down into verdant green rainforests; and in Hokitika, exquisite Maori carvings in sacred pounamu (New Zealand jade).
Along the way, venture into the heart of the South Island’s backbone, the mighty Southern Alps. Your professional Kiwi guide will tailor all activities to your enjoyment and organise everything with respective operators. You will discover such gems as Lake Moeraki and Lake Wanaka; and greatest of all, fabulous Queenstown, adventure capital of the world.
Situated on the breathtakingly beautiful shores of Lake Wakatipu, beneath the aptly named Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown is New Zealand’s premier winter resort. Year round, whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, jet-boating, white water-rafting, bungy-jumping, paragliding, parachuting, mountain-biking, horse trekking, salmon and trout fishing, scenic flights, historic steamboat sailings, world-class golf, visiting high country sheep stations, or a myriad other experiences, you will never ever forget the natural high that is Queenstown.
Your West Coast Grand Tour package is seamless, from when your plane touches down in New Zealand, to when you leave, with all costs inclusive. Everything about it is designed around your wishes, with itineraries and accommodation tailor-made after thorough pre-travel consultation. On land, as at sea, your total luxury and comfort are assured.