What better way to experience Auckland, the "City of Sails," than by sailing around its harbor on a yacht and then touring a museum devoted to New Zealand's maritime history.
After walking a short distance from ship, you'll board a traditionally-built ketch-rigged sailing scow for a carefree cruise around Waitemata Harbor while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. The name Waitemata derives from a Maori phrase describing how the water shines like obsidian volcanic glass, which is naturally found here as the coastline was shaped by volcanic action.
Auckland is New Zealand's most populous city with more sailboats per capita than any other place in the world, so you're sure to see plenty of magnificent vessels. The sights are spectacular as the urban landscape blankets the hills right to the edge of the sparkling water. Don't miss the Sky Tower in the distance. Being the country's tallest manmade structure, it soars 1,072 feet into the air.
After sailing for approximately an hour and a half, you'll disembark and walk the short distance to the Voyager Maritime Museum for a self guided tour. Through its innovative exhibitions and displays, the museum celebrates the area's maritime heritage. You might watch a short film about the first settlers to sail to New Zealand, see a 1840s steerage cabin that rocks to simulate what it was like to travel by sea at the time, and marvel at the artwork in the maritime gallery that includes detailed scrimshaw and wooden figureheads. Afterwards, you will have the option of returning to the pier with your guide, or staying behind to do some further exploring on your own.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of easy to moderate walking/standing over mostly flat surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Persons prone to motion sickness may wish to take preventative measures. Weather appropriate, casual clothing that should include a wind/waterproof jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.