Celebrity Cruises has released a range of brand new Australia and New Zealand “Discovery Collection” shore excursions, designed for small groups of cruise guests to enjoy curated experiences through the eyes of a local.
Crafted with the advice of local experts, each Discovery Collection excursion must fit three criteria in order to be selected for the program; they must be iconic, exclusive and locally-inspired. The experiences range from tours of must-see locales for travellers new to a destination, to off-the-beaten-path adventures for seasoned wanderers, who may be revisiting a port for a second or third time. With a maximum of 24 guests in each tour, guests have more time at each location, individual interaction with their hosts, and a more up close and personal travel experience.
Launching in February 2018 with a range of Mediterranean excursions like an Italian Pasta Experience and Barcelona’s Secret Basilica – Concert at the Bell Tower, the programme has been a worldwide success, taking out a Gold for Expedition Shore Excursions at the esteemed 2018 US Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.
Susan Bonner, Vice President and Managing Director, Celebrity Cruises Australia and New Zealand says, “The Discovery Collection has been a real passion project for us; we began with select destination and culinary-focused experiences in the Western Mediterranean at the beginning of 2018, and have now successfully rolled out over fifty of these award-winning excursions on Celebrity cruises all over the world.”
“Since moving to Australia and cruising to New Zealand on Celebrity Solstice, I have personally been very passionate about enhancing the Discovery Collection down under. We think the range of tours the team have come up with are incredible, and capture the essence of each destination. We can’t wait for our guests to experience them on our Celebrity Solstice Australia and New Zealand cruises this summer.”
New Australia and New Zealand Discovery Collection shore excursions include:
• Bay of Islands: Cloak of Mother Earth
Join Bay of Islands’ “earth mother” Stella for a tour like no-other in a majestic Kauri rainforest, before a series of tasty visits with some of area’s finest food producers, including Olivado, an olive and avocado farm in Kerikeri; The Honey Shop, New Zealand’s largest hive boasting exotic honey varieties, like Pohutukawa and Manuka; and an iconic local vineyard, where you can sniff and sip some of NZ’s best varietals.
• Picton: Cloudy Bay and Brancott
Savour a day in the company of winemakers and the liquid gold they produce on an exclusive tour of two of Marlborough’s iconic wineries, Cloudy Bay and Brancott Estates Winery. At Brancott, you’ll be treated to a three-course meal paired with a choice of their premium wines.
• Dunedin: Oamaru and Moeraki Boulders
Experience Mother Nature, Victorian architecture, and fanciful futuristic art all during an in-depth adventure of Oamaru. Visit the Blue Penguin Colony, the Steampunk Train – a one-of-a-kind experience that could have been plucked from a H. G. Wells or Jules Verne novel – enjoy lunch at an iconic local venue, then head off to get up close to the Moeraki Boulders.
• Melbourne: Exclusive Yarra Valley Highlights
Get the taste buds flowing at internationally renowned Domaine Chandon, where your hosts ‘bring on the bubbles’ with award-winning vintages, then journey to Yering Estate for craft wines in a stunning setting, linger over a two-course lunch at Rochford Wines and round off the experience with a sweet visit to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery for complimentary tastings.
Excursions are available on Australia and New Zealand Celebrity Solstice sailings in 2018, 2019 and 2020, including a 12-Night New Zealand voyage, departing Sydney on 31 January 2018, calling to Melbourne, Milford, and Doubtful Sounds, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Bay of Islands, Tauranga and finishing in Auckland.
For more information head to www.celebritycruises.com/shore-excursions/shore-ex/discovery-collection.
SOURCE: Celebrity Cruises