Contact: (800) 626-0126; amawaterways.com
cape town A true escape to lands far away comes in the form of Oceania Cruises’ Safaris, Sands & Splendors. Departing from Cape Town and traveling to East London, Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa, it also visits Mozambique, the French Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore. Yes, it’s a long cruise—35 days aboard the Nautica—but an enchanting one for a leisurely honeymoon.
Clients can sign up for the 3-night, pre-cruise Cape Town & Winelands Experience, priced at $1,199, to explore the exciting harbor city of Cape Town. They’ll take a cable car up to Table Mountain and see the colorful houses of Bo-Kaap; during their free time, they might want to shop or take the ferry to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was once imprisoned. They’ll also travel to Stellenbosch to admire its Cape Dutch-style architecture and oak trees, then visit one of the area’s wine estates. On the third day, clients will explore South Africa’s beautiful south westerly tip on the way to Cape Point Nature Reserve and its rugged cliffs looking out to sea. After lunch, they’ll visit the African penguin at Boulders Beach.
Clients can also choose to spend a few nights at a game reserve along the Bushmans River or visit Victoria Falls. Oceania is offering free airfare from select cities and 2-for-1 cruise fares through the end of August, which means rates would start at $9,799 per guest. Safaris, Sands & Splendors departs on Dec. 22.
Contact: (800) 531-5619; oceaniacruises.com
new zealand The serene beauty and unique wildlife of this South Pacific destination quickly find their way into clients’ hearts with the 15-day Exploring New Zealand’s North & South Islands from Smithsonian Journeys. A Dec. 27 departure includes visits to Milford Sound, part of Fiordland National Park and a World Heritage site; White Island, an active marine volcano; the town of Gisborne, where they’ll visit with a Maori community; and the city of Auckland. Clients will get a daily eyeful of majestic vistas and intriguing animal life: the rare Fjordland crested penguin in Doubtful Sound, fur seals along the Otago Peninsula, orcas and sperm whales off Kaikoura and perhaps a swim with Hector’s dolphins, the smallest of their kind, off the shores of Akaroa. The itinerary also includes a visit to Stewart Island, with a population of 380 people, easily explored with Smithsonian Journeys’ naturalists.
Cruising aboard the 35-cabin Oceanic Discoverer, all passengers enjoy outdoors-facing windows, a sun deck with a hot tub and an “open bridge” concept that allows them to meet the ship’s captain and officers and enhance their knowledge of navigation. They can also sign up for a 4-night tour extension that visits Aoraki Mt. Cook, the highest point in New Zealand, as well as Christchurch and Queenstown. With this extension they’ll also enjoy a jet boat trip along the Dart River, where some of the most picturesque scenes in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy were filmed. The cruise starts at $12,590; the extension is $2,590 pp dbl.
Contact: (877) 338-8687; smithsonianjourneys.org