Our next day is a sea day. After breakfast the Captain announces we will be approach White Island in the Bay of Plenty by mid-morning. White Island is NZ most active volcanic island. As we approach the Island a commentary commences describing attempts to mine the island for sulphur that ending disastrously in 1914, when all 10 miners on the Island were killed. The Vollendam circles the island a couple of times before we continue north.
As we circle White Island we see helicopters circling and landing. Tourist jumping out for a quick photo the off again. Steam can be seen rising from the crater during all this activity.
In the early afternoon we enter the Bay of Islands. It’s lovely weather, the sea is calm and the sun is shining. It’s still cool but nearly everyone is on deck as the Vollendam cruises a course through and around several Islands in the bay. Some islands are apparently inhabited most are not, other than sea birds of course. We spot a pod of dolphin who following and lead the Vollendam across the bay.
The Vollendam cruises through Auckland Harbour in the morning, docking before breakfast. As we proceed up the Harbour it’s similarity to Sydney is obvious to us. We plan a leisurely day wandering Auckland and maybe a little shopping.
As usual we commenced our hunt for a decent coffee, something the Vollendam just doesn’t have at this stage. While the food and customer service provided by Holland America has proven first class, the american style brewed coffee just doesn’t do it for us. Anyway we find a coffee shop nearby to get our fix before spending the rest of the morning wandering, window shopping and getting the feel for the place.
As afternoon descends we are back on board, the Vollendam has pushed away and turning to make its way out of the Harbour. We now look forward to two sea days as we head back to Sydney. From this our first cruise a couple of comments.
- We found we enjoyed the small ports and towns more than the cities.
- New Zealander’s are very friendly and helpful.
- The Vollendam’s crew were so friendly and helpful.
- We spent less money than we planned, mind you we’re pretty careful.
- We like cruising !