Saturday 9 January 2016

Silversea in New Zealand: Dashing to Dusky


The Mature Traveller, Michael Osborne, is on board Silver Discoverer in the south of New Zealand.

The weather gods are not happy, a huge front is very quickly approaching from the west. Ten metre waves and strong winds. We had headed south from Stewart Island to The Snares (Tini Heke) where we marveled at the endemic birds, the Snares Penguin, Snipe and Tomtit and up to three million Sooty Shearwaters.

At the regular afternoon briefing for the next day's activities we were informed of the approaching weather and the worse news that we may not be able to get to Macquarie Island .....

Silversea Expeditions do make sure that their passengers safetytheir most most important concern and they explained that to ensure our comfort and safety that we were now heading back north to to Fiordland National Park and the calm waters of Dusky Sound.

Dusky Sound is a very large fiord, being 40km in length  and 8km wide. Traditionally used by the Maori for hunting and first recorded by Europeans in 1770 by Captain James Cook,  who returned here in 1773 to record the passing of Venus eclipse.

After a calm nights sleep we awoke to a sun shine filled  morning and exilerating Zodiac rides to see the pristine bays and coves with their inquisitive  penguins and seals.

Afternoon rain squalls allows us the chance to explore the ship. Being an expedition vessel you will not find the complete luxury of other Silversea cruise liners. Instead Silver Discoverer has been designed to provide passengers with very comfortable surroundings that are also practical for remote destinations.

The Staterooms are spacious and beautifully appointed. The a la carte main dining room on deck three offers a brilliant choice of meals which are complimented by an exceptional selection of wines from around the world. A full breakfast and an impressive lunch being presented in the Discoverer Lounge on deck five.

We have just been informed that as the weather has not improved, out in the Tasman Sea, that are now going to make  a dash further north to Doubtful Sound and safe anchorage in Bradshaw Sound.

Looking forward to calm seas and blue skies. Until our next report, Michael Osborne

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