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Flying High Over New Zealand on Five New Helicopter Shore Excursions

The latest additions to Holland America Line’s shore excursion lineup is giving guests the chance to explore New Zealand from a totally new angle. On your next cruise Down Under to Australia and New Zealand, guests can experience some of the most picturesque sights in the world on five breathtaking new helicopter tours.

If the stunning bird’s-eye view isn’t enough, guests can couple the tour with an exhilarating ride on a jet boat, 18 holes at a professional golf course or even a trek on the craters of an active volcano. Whichever you choose, the tour is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand
Explore Akaroa by sky and sea with the Scenic Helicopter Flight & Jet Boat Adventure. The tour begins with a minivan transfer from the pier to the helicopter. Fly out from Akaroa, following the rugged coastline of Banks Peninsula and the surrounding bays, Taylor’s Mistake and Godley Heads. Get a bird’s-eye view of the bustling port of Lyttelton and then fly over the Port Hills and across Christchurch to the Waimakariri River, where the jet boat driver is waiting to give you an exhilarating ride. After this thrilling adventure, get back on the helicopter and return to Akaroa.

At Akaroa, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning vistas by sky and sea.

At Akaroa, guests have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning vistas by sky and sea.

For those who want to hit the links in Akaroa, choose to arrive at Christchurch’s stunning course in style! With the Clearwater Golf Club by Helicopter tour, you’ll be whisked away in your helicopter for the day, taking in the beautiful views above Banks Peninsula and Akaroa and Lyttelton harbors. Then it’s time to play 18 holes on the par 60 (Executive Course) — a stunning setting that has hosted international professional golf events in every year since its opening in 2002, including the New Zealand PGA Championship, the first New Zealand Women’s Open and the BMW New Zealand open.

The view itself, of the Clearwater Golf Course from above, is a highlight of this tour. Playing the course is also the experience of a lifetime.

The view of the Clearwater Golf Course from above is a highlight of this tour. Playing the course also is the experience of a lifetime.

The Akaroa Scenic Helicopter Flight is the third helicopter tour offered at this stunning port. The tour begins with a short transfer from the pier to the helicopter. Get a high-flying view of our cruise ship and the Banks Peninsula. Guests also experience the views of magnificent cliffs, dramatic bays, rolling countryside and the most amazing scenery that this extinct volcanic crater has to offer.

Tauranga (Rotorua), New Zealand
At Tauranga, tour participants have the chance to enjoy a breathtaking aerial journey to New Zealand’s only active maritime volcano with the White Island by Helicopter shore excursion. From the ship transfer to nearby Tauranga Airport, where you board an R-44 helicopter. Fly over the Pacific Ocean to stunning White Island where the pilot will set you down on the floor of the crater. Guests have an hour-long walk on the volcano with a guide, enjoying the scenery along the way. As you venture across the crater floor you will cross many small streams to stand on the edge of the crater-lake. After, it’s time to reboard the helicopter for the scenic flight back to Tauranga.

Once your helicopter touches down, you'll get to explore the crater by foot.

Once the helicopter touches down, you’ll get to explore the crater by foot.

Napier, New Zealand
See Napier from a completely different perspective with the Helicopter Flight Over Napier tour that lets you see all the highlights of this Art Deco capital. Transfer to the heliport at the port and climb aboard a Robinson 44 helicopter.

A helicopter tour gives a unique view over Napier.

A helicopter tour gives a unique view over Napier.

Rise over the spectacular west shore beachfront and enjoy a swooping visit over the early settlement area of Bluff Hill. The expansive vista of orchards and vineyards at Hawke’s Bay will take your breath away. Follow the Tutaekuri River to the coast and take a final look at Napier’s Marine Parade waterfront before heading back to the port.

If you’re taking a cruise that visits these ports, the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you get the helicopter tour of your choice.

What do you find most exciting about taking a helicopter tour? Tell us in the comments below.

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