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Wilderness & Wonders of Tasmania & New Zealand

A voyage from Melbourne to Auckland aboard the MS Caledonian Sky

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  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Stanley

The world’s smallest continent has it all. Extraordinary wildlife, unique flora, forests which appear to go on forever, rolling pastureland, vineyards, plantations, mountains, rivers, and dramatic coastal scenery. Nowhere is this more true than on the island of Tasmania which, because of its isolated position, has retained a refreshingly ‘untouched’ feel both in its landscape and heritage.

The old cliché of ‘more British than the British’ sits easily with Tasmania, where the predominant settlers were Anglo-Saxon in origin. Due to its small population and isolation, the island has been by-passed by any massive economic development and the result for the visitor is sheer bliss. Unlike most of Australia, where the old has been torn down and replaced with new, Tasmania has a wealth of historic homes and buildings. During our seven days exploring the island we will spend time on Maria Island, a special place with historical ruins and remarkable wildlife. Created with convict labour, we will also discover Port Arthur with its impressive architecture and delightful gardens. To experience the Tasmanian Wilderness which is recognised by UNESCO, there will be opportunities to join guided walks with our naturalists through the Freycinet National Park and the Tarkine Wilderness, a 447,000 hectare area which includes Australia’s largest patch of temperate rainforest as well as sand dunes, mountain ranges, moorland, wild rivers, caves and coastal heathland.

After crossing the Tasman Sea, we begin our exploration of New Zealand which will include three islands off the usual cruise route, Ulva Island, Stewart Island and White Island. In addition we will explore New Zealand’s capital of Wellington, Dunedin’s 19th century buildings and botanical gardens, the Art Deco town of Napier and the famous thermal springs at Rotorua. Our voyage aboard the all-suite MS Caledonian Sky has been perfectly timed for the spring when temperatures will be comfortable for touring with the added advantage that flowers should be in bloom. The itinerary is brimming with highlights and includes a good balance of history, culture, flora, fauna and architecture. With the added advantage of our Zodiac landing craft we will be able to land in otherwise inaccessible places making the most of the region’s extraordinary natural attractions and our knowledge will be enhanced by the expert onboard team.

 

Over the river with CroisiEurope River Cruises

Useful Links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • What To Expect…

    Each day in Tasmania will hold something new but to give you an idea of what to expect, below is an extract from the ship’s log from the last time the MS Caledonian Sky visited Tasmania:

    Maria Island National Park, Tasmania: After another quiet night at anchor, we woke up to beautiful pink skies off the coast of Maria Island, separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the Mercury Passage. We were all welcomed at the island’s visitor centre for a short history and orientation briefing by the Head Ranger before setting off in our separate directions. First to depart were our long walkers who set off on an ambitious hike to the Fossil Cliffs and the summit of Bishop and Clerk. After leaving the settlement of Darlington we walked through the grasslands, past the old cemetery and airstrip, past Cape Boullanger and on to the Fossil Quarry and Fossil Cliffs.

    Here Susan explained a little more about the geology of the area and continued with those of us who preferred to complete the circuit back to Darlington, while the keen hikers continued on with Craig and Kit to the summit. It was a long hard climb through open forest and woodland however as we went we encountered several birds species, skinks and even a bandicoot. Finally after hiking approximately six kilometres to an elevation of approximately 620 metres we reached the summit for fabulous views out over the bay before making a much quicker descent back to Darlington, arriving for a very well deserved drink back at the bar in time for the ship to sail.

    Next ashore were our medium walkers who set off with Tony, Louis and Judith on the Reservoir Circuit Walk through open woodland, tall eucalypt woodland and on to the convict-built reservoir. The highlights of our walk however had to be the sightings of two wallabies just off the path about a third of the way through the circuit. They sat mesmerised by us for a couple minutes and long enough for us to take a few photos before they leapt off into the bush. After approximately one and a half hours we returned to Darlington where we had time to explore the historical buildings of the penal colony. Our final group took a historical stroll with Ingrid and local Rangers James and Rachel around the key areas of the penal settlement.

    After our respective medium walkers and historical strollers had completed the walks we had further time to explore the shore line and its wildlife which included rare Australian pied oyster catchers, the endangered little hooded plover and Tasmanian native hens. An even more unexpected sighting however was a female elephant seal who was mid-way through her seasonal catastrophic moult. This is a particularly stressful and uncomfortable time for seals so we gave her a respectful distance but it was wonderful to see her on the beach. Zodiac shuttles ran back to the Caledonian Sky from 11:00 and a few of us heading back early were offered the opportunity to take a detour past the sandstone outcrop of the Painted Cliffs. Here buttery yellow and orange patterns are created on the cliffs facing out to sea by groundwater which has percolated through the sandstone leaving traces of iron oxides. With everyone all aboard at 13:30, we started our sail north up the coast of Tasmania in the early afternoon sunshine. Late afternoon however we were in for a fantastic surprise and for some the highlight of our voyage so far when we were approaching Ile des Phoques, or Seal Island in French.

    The reason for the name soon became abundantly clear. We were encouraged to come out on deck and as we did we saw huge numbers of seals playing in the water around the island as well as others hauled out on the rocks. The team lowered the Zodiacs for us to take a closer look. What a wonderful surprise! For the next hour we circumnavigated the island getting extremely close to the playful seals and their haul out areas, as well as exploring the many caves around the island. In addition to the Australian fur seals, the largest of the fur seal species, we also saw small colonies of shags as well as sea eagles sitting high on the cliffs of the island.

    A perfect ending to a fabulous day of activities!

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Caledonian Sky

Caledonian Sky

The MS Caledonian Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Hong Kong or Singapore.

Fly by scheduled flight.

Day 2 - Hong Kong or Singapore.

Arrive this afternoon and transfer to a five star hotel for an overnight stay. Remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 3 - Hong Kong or Singapore to Melbourne, Australia.

Enjoy a relaxing morning before meeting in the early afternoon for a city tour. Continue to the airport for our scheduled overnight flight to Melbourne.

Day 4 - Melbourne.

Arrive this morning and transfer to our central hotel for an overnight stay. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city independently or relax after our journey and enjoy the hotel facilities.

Day 5 - Melbourne.

After breakfast in the hotel join a full day tour of the Great Ocean Road. On this glorious coastal drive we will visit Bells Beach, spot koalas in the wild, enjoy a guided tour of the Otways Rainforest and marvel at the amazing rock formations of the Port Campbell National Park, including the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Along the way we see pristine beaches and rugged rocky outcrops of the Great Ocean Road. We will arrive at the MS Caledonian Sky later in the afternoon where we will enjoy Welcome Drinks and Dinner before sailing tonight.

Day 6 - King Island, Tasmania.

Located in the Bass Strait which separates Tasmania with Victoria lies King Island, a peaceful paradise with rugged coastlines, beautiful beaches and wonderful nature walks. King Island’s largest town is Currie, with 700 residents, set on a scenic harbour with amazing views of the vast Southern Ocean. Currie has a history of shipwreck salvage, agriculture and fishing, with a sleepy seaside village atmosphere. On our tour we will see the Currie Lighthouse which was built in the 1870s to help prevent shipwrecks in a dangerous stretch of water known as the ‘Eye of the Needle’ and still stands guard over the ocean today. For nature lovers, Seal Rocks State Reserve has stunning cliffs and calcified forests to explore whilst Lavinia Nature Reserve has wetland bird habitats. Meanwhile food lovers will enjoy the King Island Dairy which produces a wide range of award winning specialty cheeses.

Day 7 - Stanley.

We arrive on the main island of Tasmania at the north western port of Stanley. This is a town of well-preserved colonial buildings sheltering in the shadow of “the Nut”, an imposing volcanic plug which rises 150 metres above the town. We will learn more about the region’s history this morning on a town tour including Highfield House, where European settlers first established themselves in Tasmania. Built in 1834 as a residence for Edward Curr, chief agent for the British Van Diemen’s Land Company, the estate is a rare example of residential architecture and graceful design from the Regency period. Our tour will end at the Nut, an old volcanic land formation created from dried magma. It has steep sides with a flat top and we can either take the steep walking path or a more leisurely chairlift ride to the top to enjoy the views. Alternatively drive to the Tarkine Wilderness a 447,000 hectare area which includes Australia’s largest patch of temperate rainforest as well as sand dunes, mountain ranges, moorland, wild rivers, caves and coastal heathland. Wildlife here includes wombats, platypus, bandicoot, giant crayfish and Tasmanian devil as well as rare birds such as the orange bellied parrot and grey goshawk. Guided walks will take us through the eucalyptus and giant myrtles as we learn more about this important wilderness area.

Day 8 - Launceston.

One of Australia’s oldest cities, Launceston is situated at the meeting of the North and South Esk rivers, where the Tamar River begins its journey to Bass Strait, and has one of the bestpreserved early cityscapes in Australia with its elegant colonial and Victorian architecture and century-old parks. On a full day tour we have the morning to enjoy some sightseeing around the city taking in the architecture of the historical buildings and the gardens that lace the streets. We will then take to the water. The Tamar River once served the city of Launceston as a major shipping and transport ‘highway’ and remains central to the lifestyle of more than a quarter of Tasmania’s population. Steeped in romance and studded with tales of bushrangers, we will enjoy a cruise along the river and through the magnificent Cataract Gorge and learn about the fascinating collection of history, fauna and people of this region. We will return to the ship via one of the vineyards of the Tamar Valley which is renowned as one of the premium wine growing regions of Tasmania and where we will enjoy a tasting.

Day 9 - Bicheno & Freycinet National Park.

The fishing village of Bicheno will be our base for the day and is known for its safe beaches and interesting coastal walks which include its famous Rocking Rock and spectacular blowholes. This morning we will explore the Freycinet National Park. The majestic beauty of Freycinet’s granite mountains and white, sandy beaches have also long been admired by naturalists, artists and writers and the area was reserved as a national park in 1916. From Great Oyster Bay we will see the stunning red and pink granite peaks known as The Hazards and later take a short trek to the lookout for views over the iconic, picture postcard, Wineglass Bay. This evening, after dark, we will make our way to the local beach and watch hundreds of fairy penguins as they come ashore in Bicheno crossing the beach to their burrows.

Day 10 - Maria Island.

Be on deck first thing this morning as we cruise by the Iles de Phoques, a small island which is home to huge numbers of Australian fur seals that haul onto the rocks whilst we may also see sea eagles on the cliffs. We will continue to Maria Island National Park which is perhaps best known as the site of Tasmania’s second penal settlement which opened in 1821. By the early 1830s it was decided that the site was too expensive to be viable so the convicts were returned to the penitentiaries of the mainland and the whalers, sealers, farmers and smugglers moved in. Today the only reminder is the remains of the penal settlement in Darlington, however Maria Island is also home to diverse flora and fauna including reintroduced animals such as forester kangaroos, Bennetts wallabies, Tasmanian native hens and Cape Barren geese that had been wiped out during the European occupation. The very things that made the island a convict settlement, now make it an ideal refuge for plant and animal species that are under threat elsewhere. The island’s ranger and our onboard team will lead a number of walks on the island whilst, if weather permits we may be able to use Zodiacs to see the sandstone “Painted Cliffs”.

Day 11 - Port Arthur & Hobart.

Named after Van Diemen’s Land Lieutenant Governor, George Arthur, Port Arthur started as a timber station in 1830, but it is best known for being a penal colony. From 1833, until 1853, it was the destination for the hardest of convicted British and Irish criminals, those who were secondary offenders having re-offended after their arrival in Australia. Our full day tour will include the penitentiary which housed 480 convicts. We will view the dockyard and also have time to explore the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding the complex. After our visit we will take the scenic drive to Hobart where the ship will have sailed to meet us. Our journey will take us via Eaglehawk Neck, the thin strip of land that connects the Tasman and Forestier Peninsula and was once guarded by the “dog line” which prevented convicts escaping from Port Arthur to the main island. Also see the striking geological formations at the Tasman’s Arch, Tessellated Pavement and Devils Kitchen. This evening you may wish to take an after dinner stroll in Hobart’s Salamanca Place to enjoy the bustling waterfront area.

Day 12 - Hobart.

Tasmania’s capital was founded in 1804 as a penal colony but today Hobart is a cosmopolitan city. We have a day to explore the city and surrounding areas on a choice of tours. Maybe learn more about the history of the city built by the early convicts. See the cathedral, the old gaol and treasury and end in the wharves Salamanca built for the whaling industry. Alternatively take a journey to the summit of Mount Wellington measuring 4,000 feet with wonderful views over the city returning via the Royal Botanical Gardens built along the Derwent River. Created in 1818 they are home to an extensive collection of native flora. Maybe enjoy a taste of the local beers at the Cascade Brewery situated in the foothills of Mount Wellington. Built in 1824 by an ex-convict Peter Degraves the use of local water and Tasmanian barley has created an award winning beer. Further afield is the Mount Field National Park, a World Heritage Site, where we can take guided walks in the diverse range of vegetation, ranging from tall swamp gum forests and massive tree ferns at the base of the mountain, through rainforest to alpine vegetation at the higher elevations as well as waterfalls. Return to the MS Caledonian Sky as we clear customs formalities and depart Australia this evening.

Days 13 to 15 - At Sea.

We have three days to cross the Tasman Sea which divides Australia from New Zealand. Our lecture programme continues in the lounge whilst you may prefer to relax in the library or find a spot on deck to watch for wildlife. We will arrive into the New Zealand port of Bluff on the evening of day 15 and clear immigration and customs formalities.

Day 16 - Ulva & Stewart Island, New Zealand.

Early in the morning we arrive at New Zealand’s third island which is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place, the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will enjoy a morning on the small Ulva Island where we will use Zodiacs to go ashore for a choice of walks with our local guides. We will explore the dense vegetation and keep an eye out for the amazing birdlife. This afternoon we land at Oban on Stewart Island and have the chance to wander amongst the shops and see the museum or join a drive along some of the 15 miles of sealed road to some of the beauty spots including Observation Rock with views over Iona and Ulva Island and the beaches lining the east coast.

Day 17 - Dunedin.

Arrive this morning in Dunedin and enjoy a guided tour including the gracious 19th century buildings and the beautiful botanical gardens, the oldest in New Zealand containing over 6800 plant species. Alternatively, choose to drive to the Otago Peninsula to visit Penguin Place where we learn about the breeding and conservation programme of the rare Yellow-eyed penguins as well as the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. This afternoon is free for independent exploration or maybe choose to join the optional excursion on the Taieri Gorge Railway through the rugged and spectacular scenery of inland Otago.

Day 18 - Akaroa.

Akaroa meaning, ‘Long Harbour’, in Maori, was founded by French whaling Captain Jean Langlois on his ship Cachelot in 1838. He returned in 1840 with 60 settlers on the Comte de Paris to create a French colony. We will arrive over breakfast and this morning have a choice of excursions including a dolphin watching trip using local boats to explore the scenic coastline and search for the rare Hector’s dolphin or a guided historic walk in Akaroa and through the native bush of the Garden of Tane. We also hope to offer a chance to visit a working farm in the countryside outside the town. We will hear about the history of the farm, have demonstrations of sheep shearing and see the working dogs in action as well as enjoying tea in the farm grounds. Or if you prefer you can simply wander in the town and enjoy the local atmosphere. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at sea as we sail to the North Island.

Day 19 - Wellington.

Arrive this morning in the nation’s capital as we explore the city from our central berth. A morning tour will include St Paul’s Cathedral, the parliament buildings, a stroll through the Botanical Gardens and spend time in the excellent Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand with its impressive interactive displays and marvellous Maori collection. Return to the ship for lunch and spend an afternoon at sea.

Day 20 - Napier.

We spend the day in Napier and join a tour of the town which will include its charming Art Deco buildings. Totally rebuilt after the 1931 Hawkes Bay earthquake, it has enormous style. Nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission, and above all Art Deco, the style of the 20th century. Napier’s Art Deco is unique, with Maori motifs and the buildings of Louis Hay, admirer of the great Frank Lloyd Wright. Walk along Marine Parade, see the Botanical Gardens and take in the view from Bluff Hill Lookout. We will also take the chance to enjoy a tasting of some of Hawkes Bay’s famous wines. This afternoon is free to explore further independently or maybe join the excursion to the gannetry at Cape Kidnappers where you are able to get amazingly close to the birds. The 13 hectare reserve includes the Saddle and Black Reef gannet colonies.

Day 21 - White Island.

This morning our lecture programme continues as we sail arriving just after lunch at White Island. Weather permitting there will be an excursion to explore the active volcano on White Island, identifiable by the plume of steam continually spouting from its crater. The sights are surreal: the main crater with towering walls, steaming vents, and hissing fumaroles, glittering yellow sulphur crystals, bubbling mud pools and a spectacular steaming lake. This call is well off the usual cruise routes and we will use the Zodiacs to reach the island and then take a guided walk to the crater.

Day 22 - Tauranga for Rotorua.

From our berth in Tauranga we drive inland to the famous thermal springs at Rotorua. Discover Wai- O-Tapu, meaning Sacred Waters, an active geothermal area with colourful hot springs, steaming ground and boiling mud pools. Marvel at the incredible palette of vibrant hues displayed in the pools, lakes and craters, and enjoy the melodic sounds of birds singing in the native forest. From here we visit a local Maori Marae where we will enjoy a traditional Maori welcome and lunch before returning to the ship in the late afternoon.

Day 23 - Auckland to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 24 - London.

Arrive this morning.

For this cruise, there is a choice of flying to Melbourne via Hong Kong or Singapore, please indicate your preference when making your booking.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER - SAVE £500 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
25 October 2018 to 17 November 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Castle Deck Standard Suite £12195 £11695
Caledonian Deck Superior Suite £12395 £11895
Promenade Deck Premium Suite £12895 £12395
Bridge Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite £13495 £12995
Promenade Deck Premium Balcony Suite £13995 £13495
Promenade Deck Owner's Corner Suite £14995 £14495
Castle Deck Standard for sole use £15295 £14795
Caledonian Deck Superior for sole use £15395 £14895

Tour Reference Code: SCCSK251018

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, overnight hotel accommodation in Hong Kong or Singapore and Melbourne on a bed and breakfast basis, 18 nights aboard MS Caledonian Sky on a full board basis with house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, Noble Caledonia expedition team, shore excursions, gratuities, group transfers, permits, port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visas, optional Shore excursions .

Cruise Only Option: For guests that wish to arrange their own flights, we are offering a discount of £1940 per person for the non-use of the round trip flights to Melbourne and from Auckland and the pre-cruise hotel and excursion arrangements. Your holiday will therefore start on 29 October in Melbourne and end on 16 November in Auckland.

 

Ship to Shore: This voyage is a combination of both expedition style cruising and small ship destination cruising. Whilst we will be alongside in some ports, on many days we will be at anchor and the vessel’s Zodiacs will be utilised to transport passengers ashore and for Zodiac cruising to explore the more remote regions we will be visiting. The use of the Zodiacs will be key to the operation of the itinerary as shown. If you have any queries pertaining to the use of Zodiacs or the level of fitness required for this voyage please do not hesitate to ask one of our experienced travel consultants.
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Caledonian Sky

The MS Caledonian Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • MS Caledonian Sky
  • MS Caledonian Sky
    MS Caledonian Sky
  • Castle Deck - Standard Suite
  • Caledonian Deck - Superior Suite
  • Promenade Deck - Premium Suite
  • Bridge Deck - Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Promenade Deck - Premium Balcony Suites
  • Promenade Deck - Owner's Corner Balcony Suite
  • Bar
  • Dining Room
    Dining Room
  • Bar Lounge
  • Panorama Lounge
    Panorama Lounge
  • Gym
  • Sun Deck
  • Canapes
  • Drinks on deck
  • Zodiacs
  • Your Suite

    On board there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites, 23 of which have private balconies located on the Promenade or Bridge Decks. Each cabin exudes great character and grandeur with wood panelling and brass features found throughout. The large suites are arranged over four decks and all have outside facing views. All suites feature a sitting area complete with coffee table, armchairs and flat screen televisions (DVD players and DVDs can be borrowed from reception for use in your suite). The beds in each cabin offer exceptionally comfortable mattresses and pillows and can be configured as large double beds or twins. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, a heated towel rail, shaver outlet and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or corner bath tub. Dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

    Further facilities in the suites include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, cabin to cabin telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, bottled water replenished daily, as well as extra blankets and pillows. Ship announcements made from the Bridge and Reception area are also broadcasted in your suite. A laundry service is also available on board.

  • Your Space

    The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Caledonian Sky include a large lounge featuring comfortable seating. Daily briefings given by the onboard team and talks from Guest Speakers take place in the main lounge which is fitted with multiple screens. For your convenience it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite. Also featured in the Lounge is a a 24-hour tea and coffee station along with an elegant bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day.

    In addition to the main Lounge on the Caledonian Deck, there is the Lounge on the Panorama Deck which has a bar, library and internet area and further spacious seating arrangements, ideal for watching the world go by as you cruise to your next destination. The travel library is the perfect place to relax with a good book. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with complimentary internet access can also be found in the library along with newspapers and magazines which are placed there depending on local availability. The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Castle Deck. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck which is complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade and often occasions such as sail away parties and barbeques are held here.

  • Your Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board the MS Caledonian Sky whilst cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such a vessel. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

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     Click on image above to view a sample menu.

  • Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    MS Caledonian Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. As is the joy of small ship cruising, during your voyage, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey (subject to weather or security conditions). There is a navigation channel on the television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck. 

  • Inclusions

    Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included this in your holiday price. In addition we tip all our guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you. We also include excursions and drinks with meals onboard.

  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Cabin Plans

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  • Deck plans
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What To Expect…

Each day in Tasmania will hold something new but to give you an idea of what to expect, below is an extract from the ship’s log from the last time the MS Caledonian Sky visited Tasmania:

Maria Island National Park, Tasmania: After another quiet night at anchor, we woke up to beautiful pink skies off the coast of Maria Island, separated from the Tasmanian mainland by the Mercury Passage. We were all welcomed at the island’s visitor centre for a short history and orientation briefing by the Head Ranger before setting off in our separate directions. First to depart were our long walkers who set off on an ambitious hike to the Fossil Cliffs and the summit of Bishop and Clerk. After leaving the settlement of Darlington we walked through the grasslands, past the old cemetery and airstrip, past Cape Boullanger and on to the Fossil Quarry and Fossil Cliffs.

Here Susan explained a little more about the geology of the area and continued with those of us who preferred to complete the circuit back to Darlington, while the keen hikers continued on with Craig and Kit to the summit. It was a long hard climb through open forest and woodland however as we went we encountered several birds species, skinks and even a bandicoot. Finally after hiking approximately six kilometres to an elevation of approximately 620 metres we reached the summit for fabulous views out over the bay before making a much quicker descent back to Darlington, arriving for a very well deserved drink back at the bar in time for the ship to sail.

Next ashore were our medium walkers who set off with Tony, Louis and Judith on the Reservoir Circuit Walk through open woodland, tall eucalypt woodland and on to the convict-built reservoir. The highlights of our walk however had to be the sightings of two wallabies just off the path about a third of the way through the circuit. They sat mesmerised by us for a couple minutes and long enough for us to take a few photos before they leapt off into the bush. After approximately one and a half hours we returned to Darlington where we had time to explore the historical buildings of the penal colony. Our final group took a historical stroll with Ingrid and local Rangers James and Rachel around the key areas of the penal settlement.

After our respective medium walkers and historical strollers had completed the walks we had further time to explore the shore line and its wildlife which included rare Australian pied oyster catchers, the endangered little hooded plover and Tasmanian native hens. An even more unexpected sighting however was a female elephant seal who was mid-way through her seasonal catastrophic moult. This is a particularly stressful and uncomfortable time for seals so we gave her a respectful distance but it was wonderful to see her on the beach. Zodiac shuttles ran back to the Caledonian Sky from 11:00 and a few of us heading back early were offered the opportunity to take a detour past the sandstone outcrop of the Painted Cliffs. Here buttery yellow and orange patterns are created on the cliffs facing out to sea by groundwater which has percolated through the sandstone leaving traces of iron oxides. With everyone all aboard at 13:30, we started our sail north up the coast of Tasmania in the early afternoon sunshine. Late afternoon however we were in for a fantastic surprise and for some the highlight of our voyage so far when we were approaching Ile des Phoques, or Seal Island in French.

The reason for the name soon became abundantly clear. We were encouraged to come out on deck and as we did we saw huge numbers of seals playing in the water around the island as well as others hauled out on the rocks. The team lowered the Zodiacs for us to take a closer look. What a wonderful surprise! For the next hour we circumnavigated the island getting extremely close to the playful seals and their haul out areas, as well as exploring the many caves around the island. In addition to the Australian fur seals, the largest of the fur seal species, we also saw small colonies of shags as well as sea eagles sitting high on the cliffs of the island.

A perfect ending to a fabulous day of activities!

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