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Arriving in Dunedin Jan 26th, 2020. I understand that the cruise port for large ships is about 8ml from town at Port Chalmers. Does Oceania provide shuttles into town?

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We were in Dunedin on Feb. 21 of this year (aboard  the Regatta).  As per that day's "Currents", "Today in Dunedin guests may use complimentary shuttle buses provided by the local port authority to reach the Visitor's Centre in the city center..... "  

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Thanks, I had read somewhere there was a fee associated with the port authority shuttle .  Our Regatta cruise starts in Auckland- Sydney, any suggestions on tours.

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Your itinerary is almost identical to ours.  The only difference is we left Melbourne at 3 am in the morning and docked at Geelong at 8 am, leaving Geelong at 6 pm.  Your cruise stays in Melbourne instead of crossing the bay to Geelong.

 

We had our TA arrange land tours for us in Australia and Auckland prior to the cruise.  During the cruise we relied on Oceania tours.   Our private/semi-private tours and transfers were all arranged by Goway Travel using local tour guides.

 

Just a note on the crossing from New Zealand to Tasmania - during our cruise there was a big storm that blew through the Tasman Sea that delayed us leaving New Zealand and played havoc with our sailing for 2 or 3 days.  We experienced very rough seas (rougher than I'd ever experienced before) and had to bypass our planned stop in Burnie.  I had never gotten seasick before but I did on this cruise (although it may have been partly due to a weakened immune system resulting from a bout of bacterial bronchitis that I had at the beginning of the cruise).

 

Overall it was a wonderful cruise (despite my travails).  If you've never been to New Zealand before you'll love it - both the country and the people. 

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Thanks. First time to NZ. Hope we have better luck weather wise. We have missed a port or two in every one of our cruises except while in the Mediterranean. We have not had seasickness in the past but one never knows.

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As background and to consider another option, there might be a good potential to do rather just  the convention port stop at Dunedin.  Getting off of the ship, taking a shuttle to the main town, etc., is OK.  BUT, as detailed below in my live blog when we sailed with another line, they offered the overnight excursion for Queenstown.  WOW!!  That was awesome in seeing the "Crazy Capital" of the world with its great scenery and wild options, including for where bungee jumping was invented, doing a sheep ranch, sailing on a dramatic lake, etc.  Plus, a gold rush town, winery, sampling the interior of New Zealand's super South Island and much more.  Need more background?  Does Oceania offer that option?

 

Yes, that Tasman Sea can be a "Rock and Roll" location with rough sea conditions, etc.  That's part of what we experienced.  But, survived!!

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 220,681 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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We did a combined private tour there with a Roll Call Group. Went out from the harbor in a smallish boat and got to see all the different species of albatrosses! Incredible birds fishing and resting in the water around us. The wing span on the Southern was more than the width of the boat!  Then off across country on a lively drive , and down the coast to a spot with lots of baby seals and a large penguin colony! The tour company picked us up at the ship, no shuttle required. Check your Roll Call or just google Dunedin for ideas. It was a delightful visit. We had never seen live albatross and they were amazing!

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When we stopped in Dunedin on the 2017 RTW, we opted to rent a car, which was delivered to Port Chalmers (same as Port Otago).  We used the car for a scenic drive at our own pace, but it would also be a good way to drive around the Otago Peninsula with stops at The Albatross Center and the Penguin Reserve (which we did during a six-week NZ land trip back in 2015).  Something to consider ... if you are comfortable driving on the other side of the road.  My write up our day is at the link below.

 

http://2totravelrtw180.blogspot.com/2017/03/day-52-dunedin-south-island-new-zealand.html

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+1 on seeing some of the things outside of Dunedin though the town is nice.  Out on the adjacent Otago peninsula, among other things there is a bird observation center with good information about all the birds.  We were there in late April and could observe albatrosses feeding their babies.  They are indeed very interesting to watch.  There is also a place for observing penguins down the road but the water option may be a better way to observe the penguins.  There is a very interesting museum at the railway station in town.  Enjoy New Zealand!

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Very interesting Railway Station there. I guess we don't have a wide angle lens. 

DSC01479.JPG

DSC01491.JPG

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The railway station also contains a wonderful gallery staffed by volunteers and filled with works by local artists and artisans -- all for sale at reasonable prices.  A couple of items cried out to us for sanctuary in the U.S. which was readily granted.  

 

From there, it was a few blocks' stroll up to the Hard To Find secondhand bookshop at 20 Dowling Street -- simply the most amazing place in our experience, anywhere.  Up a narrow flight of stairs (there's a chairlift) to a world of reading and comfortable places to sit while perusing books we never dreamt existed.  

 

We could imagine worse places to live..... 

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My information is now 11 years old but when we were in Dunedin we had a wonderful tour private with Arthur Tours, using by special request John as our guide.  I have no idea if the company still exists or if John is still guiding, but we had a wonderful day.  Both the agency and the guide had been highly recommend by someone on CC at the time.

 

We started out at the railroad station but had a very full day, including a visit to the penguins and if I recall correctly (maybe I am not!) some Maori spots.

 

Mura

 

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I did look up Arthur Tours and they are now Iconic tours. Did not see tour guides names, but will certainly follow up to see what they have to offer.

 

Thanks for the information.

Gigi

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Our guide, John, was an older gentleman -- not terribly old, no, but as I recall I'd say at least in his 50s.  So he could be retired by now, but if he is available I highly recommend him.  Management at the time had no problem in granting our request for him to be our guide.

 

Good luck!

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I went with iconic. It was a young man in his 30s that owns the company. It was a very good tour. 

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I have not been to Dunedin but am going later this year.  I'm interested in the Ecosanctuary a little ways from Dunedin, plus the Albatross Center mentioned by others, plus renting a car from Pegasus.  They are apparently in the terminal in Port Chalmers or will bring the car to the port for you.  I'm not planning to spend much time in Dunedin, but do want to see and photograph the beautiful railway station!   (Great pictures, ORV!)

 

Oceania IS offering some very interesting excursions in the Otago Peninsula area.  I always look at those to get ideas, then plan my own adventures. 

 

It's great if Oceania offers a complimentary shuttle.  The port told me that normally the port DOES offer a shuttle to Dunedin, but that often it costs $20 unless a particular cruise line arranges something else!  

 

I'll look at the blogs mentioned above.  Thanks for the info, and LaBellaDonna, enjoy your cruise.  I think we're on the one before yours.  We're in Dunedin Jan. 14 and end our cruise in Auckland Jan. 20.

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h2so4, did you use Pegasus or another rental?  I know there are other rental companies around Port Otago/Chalmers, but haven't gotten far enough along to find out which ones will deliver a car to the port.  Do you remember which company you used?

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Posted (edited)

We are also booked on this sailing and are not at all impressed with 'expensive' excursions Oceania is offering at any of the Ports of call. Oceania prices are in USD and you can find private tours that are the same as or nearly identical to and are payable in NZD.  [ NZD$1 = USD$0.65 ]


We going to book this tour for NZD$100 that 'pinotlover' may have been referring to :

 

http://www.wildlife.co.nz/Cruise-Ship-Tours/Wildlife-Cruise-and-Scenic-Bus-Tour-Option-1

 

The 'Taieri Gorge Railway Experience' is an example of an expensive excursion Oceania is offering in Dunedin for $419 USD. You can book the same for NZD$149 here:

 

https://www.shoretripsandtours.com/Product/Taieri Gorge Express and City Highlights.php#!


For $269 Oceania is offering an all land based 'Dunedin Peninsula - Wildlife & Larnach Castle' excursion. You can book a similar tour which includes boat wildlife viewing for NZD$140 here:

 

http://www.wildlife.co.nz/Cruise-Ship-Tours/Wildlife-Cruise-Scenic-Bus-Tour-Larnach-Castle-Option-2

Edited by ICT lineman

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3 hours ago, roothy123 said:

h2so4, did you use Pegasus or another rental?  I know there are other rental companies around Port Otago/Chalmers, but haven't gotten far enough along to find out which ones will deliver a car to the port.  Do you remember which company you used?

we used Pegasus ... great to work with and brought the vehicle to the port

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I don't book many ship excursions either due to cost, which is usually inflated due to cost of motorcoach/driver rental, tips, guarantees on number of passengers, etc.  But some people don't like to research non-ship excursions, don't want to take the risk of missing the ship (though that seldom happens!), don't want to have to exchange money, don't care about price, etc. etc.  But I'm glad the cruise lines offer excursions, even if I don't take many of them.  On one cruise, I searched high and low for a non-ship excursion in a Canadian port we'd be visiting.  I never found a single one, couldn't find a rental car or cab company, and there was not much in the town we'd be visiting.  Therefore, I was glad to have the opportunity to purchase an excursion from the cruise line.  It wasn't terribly expensive, and I had a great time, so I was happy! 

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For the person(s) who did the boat tour and saw albatross, did you see just a few or a lot?  And for the person who went to the Royal Albatross Center, can you venture a guess as to about how far you were from the birds, or at least how well you could see them?  Did you need binoculars, a large telephoto lens, or what?  And were there a lot of birds? I've been thinking of renting a car and driving up to the Center, as it sounds more interesting than seeing an occasional albatross on a boat trip, but maybe both options would be adequate.  The boat trip is certainly easier and cheaper but I just can't quite figure out what I would likely see with both options. 

 

By the way, I took a screenshot of a cruise ship passing the cliff at Taiaroa Head where the birds nest.  If I can find it, I'll post it in a few minutes.  In the mean time, here's a webcam at the Royal Albatross Center.  I suppose it won't have an albatross visible due to the time of year, and depending upon what time you view it, it may be totally dark.  But I watched it in January and it was pretty interesting and fun. 

https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/birds/birds-a-z/albatrosses/royal-albatross-toroa/royal-cam/     OR

 

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We were on a land trip in Dunedin and stayed there four days with a rental car.  The day out on the peninsula was the most interesting.  We saw the castle and then went out to the Royal Albatross Center.  There are little viewing areas and you can see the birds fairly well without binoculars.  It was a matter of when some came to feed their babies.  We later went to a penguin observation place but it was wet and the penguins were very shy that day-our small group had to run quietly around to observe a few.  A rental car from the port would be a good idea but remember there is one main road that can be busy early and late.  Check on the albatross center for hours before you go-I think we went to the castle to kill time until it opened.  The one tour thing we did in Dunedin that was less interesting was the train ride.  The station and the fish and chips shop near it were better.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, tvmovielover said:

We were on a land trip in Dunedin and stayed there four days with a rental car.   The one tour thing we did in Dunedin that was less interesting was the train ride.  The station and the fish and chips shop near it were better.

Thanks for your information.  It's funny, while researching Dunedin I found a video that showed the ride on the Seasider train and I thought, wow, that looks beautiful in a couple places but not very exciting in others.  Then I realized the actual trip was a bit long, and a lot of the journey had apparently not been filmed, or was edited out.  Also, the person filming it was apparently riding with the engineer, up top, and probably had a better view of things than I would have down at the bottom.  So I decided a trip on the train was not for me.  I don't know if you took this train ride or the other, more well-known one, Taieri Gorge, but I'm definitely leaning against any train rides, even if they're available with the weird hours we're scheduled to be in Dunedin. 

 

We're scheduled to be in port 11 AM to 8 PM, so I'm finding a few things will be difficult to do.  But at least if we're renting a car, that will open up some different possibilities.  

Edited by roothy123

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I think we took the Taleri Gorge train trip.  We did enjoy the Kiwis we met on board and talked to.  They gave us good tips for the North Island.  If time allows, the bird places are open in the afternoon.  There are also tours of the peninsula that are private and not that expensive then somebody else takes care of transportation and getting you back to port (we did not go to the port so not sure if it is closer to town or the peninsula.  All of you enjoy the cruise stop there.

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20 hours ago, roothy123 said:

For the person(s) who did the boat tour and saw albatross, did you see just a few or a lot?  And for the person who went to the Royal Albatross Center, can you venture a guess as to about how far you were from the birds, or at least how well you could see them?  Did you need binoculars, a large telephoto lens, or what?  And were there a lot of birds? I've been thinking of renting a car and driving up to the Center, as it sounds more interesting than seeing an occasional albatross on a boat trip, but maybe both options would be adequate.  The boat trip is certainly easier and cheaper but I just can't quite figure out what I would likely see with both options. 

 

When we went to the Albatross Center, we went on a guided tour to the observation center.  I think we paid extra for this and it was a short hike from the visitor center.  We were taken to an observation area -- enclosed with viewing from behind glass.  How close the birds are in this area will depend on which nests are occupied at the time.  We saw several that were in reasonable proximity, but binoculars made it a better experience. Before and after the guided tour, we wandered around the grounds near the visitor center.  There were albatross galore flying in the sky and by the cliffs ... again, proximity changed depending on the birds' flight paths.  We were there in February ... time of year will also make a difference to how many birds you see.

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