As Celebrity Cruises opens deployment for 2016-2017, we’ve added new ports to our already robust roster of destinations. Every week, we’ll preview one of these exciting new cities and provide you with the best things to do and see. This week, we look to Picton, New Zealand, which makes its debut on our 2016 Australia and New Zealand itineraries.
With its secluded bays, charming marinas and crystal clear water, Picton is one of New Zealand’s most picturesque fishing villages. Tucked neatly at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound bordering the beautiful Marlborough Sounds—a collection of sunken river valleys now filled by the Pacific Ocean—the coastal city has the country’s best climate and is popular with both locals and international travelers.
Equal parts quaint, seaside village and bustling seaport, surrounded by award-winning restaurants, delightful local art galleries, water sports, and beautiful nature trails, Picton has a number of engaging attractions, including the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, the EcoWorld Aquarium and Ships Cove. But Picton is primarily all about the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Visitors can take boat or kayak trips all around the region, while eating fresh seafood and spotting animals like dolphins, seals, penguins, and more.
For more on Picton, our partners at Travel + Leisure gave us some insider tips to share exclusively with you.
No visit to the country’s prime wine-growing region is complete without a tour of the Marlborough’s alluvial loams. Get up close and personal with the native bush by catching a boat across the Marlborough Sounds that will drop you at Resolution Bay, the start of a two-hour walk along the Queen Charlotte Track. You’re rewarded with lunch and Sauvignon Blancs (local, of course), at the waterside Furneaux Lodge.
Picton’s most popular dining spot, Café Cortado, rather unexpectedly has a South American-inspired menu. Take a seat at a beachfront table and order tapas with just-caught, sake-infused salmon or Chilean fish soup accompanied by glasses of Shelter Bay Chardonnay.