The twin cities of Napier and Hastings, located within the region of Hawke's Bay on the East Coast of New Zealand's North Island, are unique. The area is blessed with a Californian-Mediterranean climate, boasting one of the highest sunshine averages in the country. The area is also dotted with colorful vineyards and orchards, with some of the most fertile farmland you will see. Within the region are more than twenty of New Zealand's finest vineyards.
The following Shore Excursions are available for this port on this cruise, and may be reserved beginning 240 days before the cruise begins for guests receiving Concierge amenities, and 180 days before the cruise begins for all other guests. Guests receiving Concierge amenities will receive a 5% discount off of the prices shown below for Regent Choice tours.
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Departing by coach from the pier, you will travel to historic Ahuriri, affectionately known as The Port where Napier began. In 1931, the towns of Hastings and Napier were severely rocked by an earthquake; it was this same earthquake that led to a unique rebuilding at the same time the Art Deco concept was flourishing in the U.S. and Europe. As a result, Napier is endowed with a splendid heritage of Art Deco buildings.
A brief photo stop will first be made at the National Tobacco Company Building, and from there it's on to Marewa, Napier's Art Deco suburb where you'll have an opportunity to view many of the unique private homes and gardens that comprise this charming neighborhood.
From here, you will travel back along Marine Parade with its stately Norfolk Pine trees to the Art Deco Shop. Following an informative 20-minute film presentation, your local guide will lead you on a leisurely half-mile stroll through Napier's Art Deco Quarter where you will see up close its eclectic mix of 1920s and 1930s buildings in the Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical and, above all, Art Deco styles. Interior visits to the old AMP Building and the ASB Bank are also included in this guided walk.
The guided portion of your tour will conclude back at the Art Deco Shop and from there your coach will transfer you back to the ship.
Please note: This tour consists of approximately 1 hour of walking and may not be considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended. The order of sites may vary. This tour does not operate with a separate guide, but rather with a driver/guide.
Boarding your motor coach at the pier, you will first proceed to Clifton for an enjoyable visit to Wool World which is set on a large sheep station that has remained in the same family for generations. Here, you will find an entertaining farm display that includes demonstrations of shearing and sheep dog trials. There is also a woolshed museum with interesting displays of family history and memorabilia. The shop offers high quality woolens for purchase and you may wish to take advantage of this opportunity to acquire some authentic New Zealand wool items. Following your time at Wool World, you will be treated to Devonshire tea at one of the charming local cafés.
Your tour next travels to the summit of Te Mata Peak where you will find unrivalled panoramic views over the Tuki Tuki River Valley and onwards to the cities of Napier and Hastings. A unique feature of this area is that it is up to three degrees Celsius warmer during the day in summer and autumn, compared with most other areas in Hawkes Bay. The evenings are also warmer because of thermal conductivity in the stony soils.
Re-boarding your coach, a relaxing drive through the scenic countryside will bring you back to the pier in Napier.
Please note: The ascent of Te Mata Peak is not recommended for those with a fear of heights or who suffer vertigo, as the road up the Peak is quite steep and narrow and some guests may be disquieted by this. Guests who prefer not to make the ascent may remain at The Peak House Restaurant and rejoin the coach on its return. The order of sites may vary. This tour does not operate with a separate guide, but rather with a driver/guide.
Your tour begins at the pier where you will board a safari vehicle at the ship's side. From here, sit back and enjoy a scenic drive along the coast as you make your way to Te Awanga and Cape Kidnappers Station.
Arriving at Cape Kidnappers Station, a privately owned country farm, you will be driven over the rich farmland to within a few feet of the gannet sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers. As you traverse river beds, broad rolling pastures, steep gullies and breathtaking inclines, your guide will provide you with commentary about the area and life on this 4,500 acre farm which stocks over 8,000 sheep and breeding cattle, as well as encompassing an 18-hole international golf course.
Cape Kidnappers itself is a dramatic promontory at the southern end of the sweep of Hawke's Bay and is the largest and most accessible mainland nesting place of gannets in the world. The 15,000 gannets who make their home here are members of the Booby family, with distinctive black eye markings and a pale gold crown. This is an excellent opportunity to view the gannets in their natural habitat, swooping and diving as they bring back fish from the sea, or in pairs preening and performing the dance of the gannets recognition ritual. While you are here, enjoy a spectacular view of the rugged coastline from Hawke's Bay all the way north to Mahia Peninsula, from the brink of a cliff that rises 328 feet above the beach. For your enjoyment, an afternoon tea will also be served.
Re-boarding your vehicle, you'll once more cross the countryside as you retrace your path back to Napier. Approaching the city, your route will take you along the Marine Parade, seeing the stately Norfolk Pines and traveling past such sites as the bronze statue of Pania of the Reef, the Tom Parker Fountain, Floral Clock, Soundshell and Marineland. At the conclusion of your tour, your safari vehicle will return you to the pier.
Please note: The sites on this tour are not wheelchair accessible and therefore, it is not available to wheelchair guests. Comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen are recommended. The order of sites may vary. This tour does not operate with a separate guide, but rather with a driver/guide.
See the highlights of downtown Napier aboard the Hawkes Bay Express, a delightful and truly unique sightseeing train that travels through the streets instead of on traditional rails.
Hop aboard the Hawkes Bay Express right at the pier and begin your journey through Napier, one of the most attractive cities in New Zealand. Your modern road train is styled like an old-fashioned steam train and inside you'll find a romantic, old-time atmosphere. Sit back and relax in the wide, comfortable seats and watch vibrant Napier come alive through the train's large windows.
After the devastating earthquake and fire of 1931, Napier was completely rebuilt in the then-modern style of Art Deco. As a happy result, Napier boasts the world's largest concentration of Art Deco buildings, the majority of which have been restored to their original glory. Riding through the streets, you'll pass many of Napier's most iconic buildings, decorated with relief stucco ornaments in geometric patterns, sleek shapes and even Maori symbols. Of the 164 buildings constructed in Napier in the Art Deco style, 140 of them remain and they are truly inspiring.
The Hawkes Bay Express also visits Napier's beautiful Bluff Hill, where the early settlers lived, and the old port village of Ahuriri. After just over an hour, your tour will end back at the pier.
Please note: There is limted walking on this tour. Guests must negotiate a small step to enter and exit the train. 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. Casual, weather appropriate clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The train is not air-conditioned, but the windows do open.
Drive through downtown Napier, observing the marquee attractions of New Zealand's "Art Deco City," followed by a stop at the National Aquarium.
Depart from the pier and begin a leisurely drive through Napier, one of the most attractive cities in New Zealand. After the devastating earthquake and fire of 1931, Napier was completely rebuilt in the then-modern style of Art Deco. As a happy result, Napier boasts the world's largest concentration of Art Deco buildings, many of which you'll pass.
You'll also have a fine view of the Spirit of Napier statue that commemorates the 1931 earthquake, beautiful Sunken Gardens Park, and other places of interest along Marine Parade, the coastal highway. This picturesque road follows the gentle curve of the beach-blessed bay, where surfers and boaters often gather just offshore.
After an hour or so of touring Napier from the comfort of your coach, you'll stop at the National Aquarium, an attraction exhibiting every imaginable species of marine life, including odd creatures that local fishermen have donated. There are displays of giant squid, living coral reefs, and tanks filled with seahorses, eels and fish indigenous to New Zealand.
Other tanks are filled with unusual species from the Amazon such as the endangered Pacu, a fish that aggressively feeds on fruits and berries that fall into the river. The National Aquarium even houses a variety of land animals, including kiwis and lizards such as the world's oldest tuatara hatched in captivity. After touring the Aquarium on your own, you'll re-join your coach and transfer directly back to the pier.
Please note: Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests' discretion during the stop at the Aquarium. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Venture into the magnificent countryside surrounding Napier for a unique perspective of New Zealand rural life, made possible by visiting a boutique winery and a private home.
Depart from the pier and begin driving inland into the fertile Puketapu region just west of Napier. Your guide will be local resident Hamish Prins, who has spent his entire life in the area. While en-route, he will entertain you with stories about the continued development of Puketapu, especially the most recent evolution from sheep farming to organic orchards.
Boutique wineries have also sprung up, and you'll stop by one of the area's most esteemed for a sampling of its distinct vintages. Pinot Noir, Syrah and Vin Gris are now commonly produced in the Puketapu region, and that success has drawn other wineries to the valley. Some of the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines on New Zealand's North Island are also found in this region.
In time, you'll stop at Hamish Prins' private residence, Horsford Downs, where he lives with his wife, Diane. Both of them are happy to answer your questions about everything from life in rural New Zealand to how they have adapted to the changing economy. Enjoy some light refreshments in the park-like setting and then perhaps take some time to wander about the gardens and orchards that surround the home.
Your return route to the pier travels via Taradale, a wine-growing community that boasts spectacular views of the fertile Heretaunga Plains and the dramatic Hawke's Bay coastline.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of easy to moderate walking/standing. There will be some uneven terrain to negotiate. Tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair and are able to make their own way on and off transportation. Guests must be self-sufficient or if assistance is required, they should travel with a companion who can provide this. Weather appropriate layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Leaving Napier by coach, you will travel through the picturesque countryside to the Gimblett Gravels, an area which has become quite famous for its production of high quality wines. The very special soils and unique climatic conditions - together with the expertise of local winemakers - are key elements to producing ultra-premium wines in the Gimblett Gravels district, which represents 32 wineries and wine growers. A distinctive feature of this area is that it is up to three degrees Celsius warmer during the day in summer and autumn, compared with most other areas in Hawkes Bay. The evenings are also warmer because of the thermal conductivity in the stony soils.
Your tour includes a visit to Mission which is Hawkes Bay's most iconic vineyard and New Zealand's oldest wine producer, started in 1838 by a group of French missionaries. The vineyard's beautiful old seminary building is set on the hills above Napier and has been faithfully restored. It is home to the Cellar Door where you walk through time and history in a setting that complements both the old and new. The Mission vineyard consistently produces some of the country's most sought-after wines which you will have the opportunity to sample. An additional stop will be made at one of three other local vineyards where you will be treated to some further wine tasting.
Please note: The order of sites may vary. This tour does not operate with a separate guide, but rather with a driver/guide. The Mission Winery may be subsituted with another winery of similar quality and ranking.
Terms & Conditions:
Free Unlimited Shore Excursions are for full fare guests only, capacity controlled and subject to availability. Requested excursions may not be available at time of booking. Supplement will apply on Regent Choice excursions (indicated by the above) and excludes Private Arrangements and all Adventures Ashore programs. Concierge benefits do not apply to Executive Collection private cars or other private arrangements. In order to ensure quality guides and sufficient transportation, we must provide the tour operator with passenger counts at least 36 hours in advance. Therefore no refunds will be given within 36 hours of tour departure for cancellations or no-shows. Please pay special attention to scheduling and tour lengths when booking your shore excursions. In many cases, it is not possible to participate in more than one tour per day in a given port. Tour Departure times are subject to change so please reference your actual tour ticket for the correct departure time. Tours operate rain or shine. Minor children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a an adult parent or guardian on all shore excursions. Tours require minimum participation levels to operate so please sign up as early as possible. Tours may be cancelled if minimum participation levels are not met. Prices, Itineraries and General Information shore excursion prices are subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases or currency fluctuations. Please consult the Destination Services Desk onboard for information. During local or national holidays, access to certain facilities (such as museums or archaeological sites) may be limited or denied. In such instances, adjustments will be made to minimize inconvenience to guests. Some tours have limited availability. Tours are generally available for reserving 180 days prior to the beginning of a cruise. Please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to require guests to complete a liability waiver for select shore excursions. For more information, please visit the Destination Services Desk onboard.