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New Zealand Shore Excursions- Saphire 12/23


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Hi: Will be on the Saphire for the Holiday cruise. Want to pre-book New Zealand port excursions privately. Has anybody got any ideas. We went through Australia 2 years ago and had great luck with various, fantastic independant companies. Any ideas? Fellow Holiday Cruisers? Would greatly appreciate any assitance. Many Thanks!

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Welcome to Cruise Critic canyonvu, my partner and I are also on this cruise and we have a roll call going so come and check it out and feel free to join in. Just click here for the link.


As for excursions we have some listed on our roll call thread but don't know what interests you so it's a bit hard to make recommendations at this point. Princess should have a list of their excursions out by mid Oct. to give you an idea of what is available in each port too although in Dunedin I think they have pretty much tied up most of the tours for themselves.


Hope to chat with you soon,



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Hi Canyonvu-


We leave from Auckland on January 30 on the Sapphire Princess and are very excited about this cruise. Hopefully you'll post feedback when you return. We are thinking about taking A tour with Elm Wildlife Tours in Dundedin. However, the private tour is expensive. Do you have any suggestions. We hate to feel like sardines and don't like tour buses.

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  • 3 months later...

Just a note for anyones information, Despite what the ships newspaper may say before you get into a port, all of the New Zealand ports have good and reliable taxi services, which in most cases offer more competitively priced tour packages than other tours offered onboard. (Taxis prices' are per vehicle not per person and are alot more personel and flexable)

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Yes, Taxis are a good alternative to the sometimes expensive on board excursion offerings. All NZ taxis are properly licensed and shold have good knowledgable local drivers. Taxis working direct of the port wharf can be booked for a tour package [not a metered fare ride] so you can discuus where you want to go, how long for and what cost [agree this up front and make sure it is in NZ$ not US$. If its just a short trip to where you want to go, rather tan pay for waiting time. Just book a Taxi to the destination [an NZ taxi can not refuse a fare without valid excues [if he believes you are intoxicated, or unable to pay etc] and pay the usual metered rate. Then when you have finished your visit get the staff there to call you another cab back. Taxis are either normal sedans [4 passengers] or mini-busus [8 passengers] and are charged at the same rate. If you need a wheel chair lift then taxis so equipped can be supplied as well. If you can not find a taxi on the wharf by the ship then just walk out to the nearest payphone or information site and call one by phone. However, if you want more of a guided tour and not just transport, look for the Private Tour Operators usually available at or near each cruise ship port. You can find these also by contacting the local visitor information centre. If you want to know their detials let me know as i have an email list of all NZ offices.

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