New Zealand By Sea January 13-26, 2019

Dear W&L Alumni, Parents, and Friends,

With its tidy English gardens and untamed wilderness, white-suited lawn bowlers and tattooed Maori elders, austere glacial fiords and boiling volcanic mud pots, New Zealand is a spectacular country of striking contrasts. Isolated from other land masses by the swells of the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean, it is a world unto itself.

I invite you to join us as we tour these lush green islands, from the city of Auckland on the North Island to world-famous Milford Sound on the South Island, aboard the Caledonian Sky, an ideal vessel for exploring New Zealand’s islands, fiords, and craggy coastline. In Rotorua, we’ll explore the heartland of Maori culture, and in Wellington, visit the stunning Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, which brings to life the history of the native people of New Zealand. We’ll also visit the Canterbury Museum’s Hall of Antarctic Discovery in Christchurch and learn about “Operation Deep Freeze.” We’ll travel by motorcoach to the Otago Peninsula for a visit to the Royal Albatross Centre to see the only mainland breeding colony of these majestic birds. We’ll land by Zodiac craft on Stewart Island to hear the strange “dingdong” call of the bellbird, and marvel at the sheer granite walls and tumbling waterfalls of Doubtful and Milford Sounds in Fiordland, a region so remote and wild that it remains largely unchanged since the days of Captain Cook.

We are fortunate to explore this remarkable country in the company of an excellent team of lecturers and travelers from Washington and Lee, Harvard, Cornell, and Smith, as well as expert local naturalists and cultural guides. An optional pre-tour extension in the Bay of Islands, and two optional post-tour extensions, one in Queenstown and the other in Sydney, Australia, are also available.


Robert Fure, Director The W&L Traveller

Traveling With You

Laurent Boetsch

Laurent Boetsch is Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages at Washington and Lee University and President Emeritus of the European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin (now Bard-Berlin). In addition to his faculty responsibilities at W&L, he served as Director of International Education, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College, and, before his recent retirement after forty years in Lexington, Interim President. He currently serves as Executive Director of the European Consortium of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have enjoyed hosting several Alumni Travel Programs and look forward to sharing a new adventure in New Zealand.

Traveling With You

Erez Manela

Erez Manela is a professor of history at Harvard University, director of graduate programs at Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and co-chair of the Harvard International and Global History Seminar (HIGHS). On this trip, which coincides with the centennial of the opening of the peace conference that ended World War I (January 1919), he will touch upon New Zealand's participation in the war, its role in the peace negotiations, and the subsequent legacies of these events for the region.


January 13–15
Home • Auckland, New Zealand Depart home on an overnight flight to Auckland, the “City of Sails,” on New Zealand’s North Island. Lose one day crossing the International Date Line. This evening meet fellow travelers at a welcome reception. PULLMAN HOTEL (R)
Wednesday, January 16 Auckland (Embark) Enjoy an overview motorcoach tour of the city and a visit to the Auckland Museum to learn about New Zealand’s indigenous Maori and Polynesian cultures from experienced docents. Following lunch, embark the Caledonian Sky and enjoy a welcome dinner this evening. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Thursday, January 17 Rotorua Disembark in Tauranga and travel by motor coach to Rotorua, the heartland of Maori culture. Attend a private gathering with Maori elders at a special pōwhiri (welcome) ceremony including the traditional Maori haka dance. Observe the hot mud pools for which the Wai-O-Tapu thermal region is known, and enjoy a traditional hāngi (“earth oven”) lunch. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Friday, January 18 At Sea En route to Wellington, enjoy ample time to relax, the continuation of the educational program, and a tour of the ship’s bridge. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Saturday, January 19 Wellington Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city, with colorful Victorian houses and a lovely harbor. Walk through the city’s lush botanical garden and stop at Old St. Paul’s Church, a Wellington landmark that exemplifies 19th-century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. Visit the spectacular waterfront museum Te Papa Tongarewa (Maori for “Repository of Things Precious”) to learn about Maori myths and traditions, as well as their exceptional skills in navigating the Pacific to arrive on these islands. Enjoy an evening at leisure for independent exploration and optional dining in the city. Caledonian Sky (B,L,)
Sunday, January 20 Marlborough Sounds Cruise across Cook Strait between the North and South Islands and enter a world of pristine natural beauty. Anchor at Ship Cove, where Captain Cook arrived aboard the HMS endeavour in 1770. Explore islands and inlets by Zodiac and, during short walks in the bush, keep an eye out for some of the wildlife Cook described in his reports, as well as rare birds such as the South Island saddleback, the bellbird, and the New Zealand robin. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Monday, January 21 Lyttelton • Christchurch Disembark in the harbor at Lyttelton and drive to Christchurch, headquarters for “Operation Deep Freeze” and supply point for U.S. bases in the Antarctic. Explore the unique Canterbury Museum and its Hall of Antarctic Discovery, which preserves and exhibits fascinating historic artifacts from the exploits of Antarctic explorers. Then view an ethereal cathedral constructed of cardboard tubes and a shopping mall fashioned from shipping containers, both part of Central Christchurch’s innovative response to the damage of the 2011 earthquake. Round out the day with a visit to the Ohinetahi Garden, considered one of New Zealand’s finest. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Tuesday, January 22 Dunedin From Dunedin, widely regarded as the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian heritage city in the southern hemisphere, drive to Taiaroa Head on the tip of the Otago Peninsula. This is the only mainland location in the world where it is possible to see northern royal albatrosses, the largest seabirds in the world, in their natural habitat. Special viewing areas have been constructed for observing these birds without disturbing their natural activities. Before returning to the ship, visit the Otago Museum’s Southern Land, Southern People gallery, with its informative exhibits on the landforms, lost fauna and flora, and challenging climate of southern New Zealand. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Wednesday, January 23 Stewart Island Anchor in Paterson Inlet to visit Stewart and Ulva islands. Stewart Island (Rakiura) is the southernmost inhabited outpost of New Zealand. With a population under 500, this quiet, seldom-visited wilderness oasis is an ornithologist’s delight. Ulva Island is a sanctuary for both birds and plants, including species that are rare or extinct on the mainland. Naturalist guides lead bush walks for possible sightings of weka, kākā, albatrosses, the flightless Stewart Island kiwi, silvereyes, and fantails. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Thursday, January 24 Doubtful & Dusky Sounds When the glaciers covering Fiordland retreated 14,000 years ago, they left behind an extraordinarily serrated coastline, plunging fiords, and deep branching lakes, further enhanced by mist-shrouded mountains, cascading waterfalls, and vast beech forests. Explore this unspoiled waterway, well known for its wildlife, including fur seals and a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. This evening celebrate your adventure at a festive farewell dinner aboard the ship. Caledonian Sky (B,L,D)
Friday, January 25 Milford Sound (Disembark) • Queenstown Before leaving Fiordland National Park, cruise close to iconic Mitre Peak and the towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls of spectacular Milford Sound. Then disembark and drive to Queenstown for an orientation coach tour and free time to explore the city on your own. NOVOTEL QUEENSTOWN LAkESIDE (B,L,D)
Saturday, January 26 Queenstown • Home After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home, regaining the day lost on the inbound journey. (B)

Optional Pre-Cruise Extension

Bay of Islands: January 10–15

Fly into Auckland for three days in the Bay of Islands, a cluster of 140 subtropical islands adjacent to the North Island. Highlights include the 19th-century whaling port of Russell, a popular base for whalers to pick up supplies, make ship repairs, and enjoy a little shore time; and the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds (above), where the founding document of New Zealand as a nation was signed by the British Crown and Maori chiefs in 1840; and a Maori cultural program and hangi dinner.

Optional Post-Cruise Extensions

Queenstown: January 26–27

Travel by motorcoach to historic Arrowtown, established in 1862 during the height of the Otago gold rush. Observe the many well-preserved cottages and shops, as well as the restored Chinese settlement at the edge of Lake Arrow, and enjoy the Lakes District Museum’s authentic exhibits on early life in the Wakatipu District. In the evening, take a steamboat cruise across scenic Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Sheep Station for dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead and demonstrations by the station’s experienced sheep shearers.

Sydney, Australia: January 27–30

Fly to Sydney, Australia, for three nights in this cosmopolitan city. Activities include a private tour of the iconic Sydney Opera House; a walking tour of the Rocks District (above), Sydney’s historic center that has been sensitively revitalized; a viewing of the aboriginal art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales; and a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, plus time for independent exploration. Note: Accommodations in Queenstown or Sydney on the night of January 26 are not included.

Caledonian Sky

The Caledonian Sky, formerly the Hebridean Spirit, is a 114-passenger premier expedition ship refurbished in 2012. All cabins have an ocean view, en suite bathroom with walk-in shower and/or bathtub, spacious wardrobe or walk-in closet, safe, minibar, individually controlled heat/air conditioner, flat-screen television, and sitting area with sofa. Twenty-three of the suites feature private balconies. The ship’s amenities include a dining room, two lounges with bar service, small library and gym, sun deck with comfortable lounge chairs, hairdresser, laundry service, and gift shop. An elevator services all passenger cabin decks. The Caledonian Sky’s chefs prepare quality international meals, predominantly Western-style, served in a single open seating. A friendly crew provides exceptional, personalized service, with more than a 1:2 crew-to-passenger ratio. The ship features advanced satellite navigation and communication equipment, roll stabilizers, and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft.

Program Rates

DeckDescriptionPrice After 3/30/18Price Through 3/30/18
Castle A (STANDARD FORWARD) • 244 sq.ft. with two portholes, shower $8,990 $7,990
Castle B (STANDARD) • 244 sq. ft. with two, three, or four portholes, shower $10,490 $9,490
Caledonian C SUPERIOR) • 232 sq. ft. with large window, bathtub, shower (except #329, #330, and #331, shower only) $11,990 $10,990
Promenade D (PREMIUM) • 217 sq.ft. with large window, shower (#431 and #432 with bathtub and shower) $12,490 $11,490
Bridge E (DELUxE BALCONY) • 215 sq. ft. plus 45 sq. ft. private balcony, sliding glass door, walk-in wardrobe, bathtub, shower $12,990 $11,990
Promenade F (PREMIUM BALCONY) • 217 sq. ft. plus 60 sq. ft. private balcony, sliding glass door, walk-in wardrobe, shower $13,990 $12,990
Promenade G (OWNER’S BALCONY) • 243 sq. ft. plus 60 sq. ft. private balcony, sliding glass door, two portholes, walk-in wardrobe, shower $14,990 $13,990
Castle B Single (STANDARD) • 244 sq. ft. with two, three, or four portholes, shower $16,790 $14,790
Caledonian C Single (SUPERIOR) • 232 sq. ft. with large window, bathtub, shower (except #329, #330, and #331, shower only) $18,990 $16,990

Program Rates Include

  • Full program of briefings, lectures, and presentations by study leaders and local guides
  • All accommodations and meals as specified in the itinerary
  • All excursions, including entrance fees, as specified in the itinerary
  • Scheduled transfers on group arrival and departure days
  • Baggage handling
  • Gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, and ship’s crew for all group activities
  • Port fees and embarkation taxes
  • House wine, beer, and soft drinks at lunch and dinner on board the Caledonian Sky and at group meals off the ship
  • Welcome and farewell wine receptions
  • Bottled water on excursions
  • Complete packet of pre-departure information
  • Professional tour manager throughout

A Note About Costs

Tour costs are based upon current fuel prices, currency values, taxes, tariffs, and a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. If there are significant changes, details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

General Information

What to Expect

You will experience varying weather conditions during this trip, with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit. Rough seas are always a possibility, and intermittent rain showers are common year-round. The pace of this program is moderately active, with up to two miles of walking often over uneven terrain, or where stairs are unavailable or do not have handrails. Participants will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for some shore excursions (staff and crew members will be on hand to assist). Participants must be in good health and able to keep up with the group without assistance from tour staff.

Program Rates Do Not Include

  • U.S. domestic and international airfare
  • Passport and visa fees
  • Medical expenses and immunizations
  • Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance
  • Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
  • Excess-baggage charges
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; dishes and beverages not part of the included meals
  • Alcohol or soft drinks except where indicated as included
  • Private transfers or transfers not on program arrival and departure days
  • Personal items such as room service; email, telephone, and fax charges; and other items of a personal nature

Group Size

This program is limited to 94 participants, including travelers from Washington and Lee, Harvard, Smith, and Cornell.

Travel Insurance

Trip-cancellation insurance is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident as well as damaged or lost luggage. A brochure will be sent with confirmation materials.

Terms & Conditions

Reservations & Payment

To reserve space, return the completed reservation form with your $1,000 per person deposit to: The W&L Traveller, Office of Special Programs, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 24450; or fax the form to W&L Traveller at (540) 458-8478. We accept personal checks, payable to Criterion Travel, as well as VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. For more information or to reserve your place, you may also call (540) 458-8723. Reservations will be processed in order of receipt. Final payment deadline is September 15, 2018.

Cancellations & Refunds

Upon payment of a $1,000 deposit per person, all reservations are subject to the cancellation provisions set forth below and by which the passenger agrees to be bound. Cancellations shall not be effective until they are received in writing and confirmed by The W&L Traveller office. Deposits are fully refundable if written notice of cancellation is received up to six months prior to departure. Inside of six months prior to departure, up until final payment, deposits are refundable less a $250 per person administration fee. Cancellations after final payment deadline of September 15, 2018: all payments are 100% nonrefundable, regardless of booking date. For this reason we strongly urge participants to purchase trip cancellation insurance. If the program is cancelled by The W&L Traveller or the tour operator, you will receive a full refund, without further obligation on our part.

No refunds will be made for any part of this program on which you choose not to participate. Neither The W&L Traveller nor Criterion Travel, the tour operator, accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in conjunction with this tour.


The W&L Traveller, Washington and Lee University, and Criterion Travel, its officers and their employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, successors, agents, and assigns (hereafter referred to as “the Organizers”) act only as agents for the passenger with respect to the travel services on this program, including but not limited to transportation, ship arrangements, food services, etc. The Organizers are not responsible for any injury, loss, accident, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to person or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, negligence, acts of God or force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, animals, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart on time. If delayed past tour dates due to weather, flight schedules, or other uncontrollable factors, you will be responsible for your own hotel, transfers, and meals costs. Baggage is entirely at owner’s risk. The right is reserved to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this program at any time. Passenger certifies not to have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other passengers. We reserve the right to change the itinerary, trip features, or accommodations at any time and for any reason, with or without notice, as deemed necessary by program staff. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure, in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. No refund will be made for any unused portion of the program. The Organizers do not accept liability for any airline carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket connected with the tour. Upon payment of their deposit, tour participants indicate acceptance of the above Terms and Conditions.

California Seller of Travel Program CST #2088800-40