Holland America Line's Volendam also regularly spends our summers cruising between Australia and New Zealand.
The private yacht, Seawolf, was built in 1956 in the Netherlands as a harbour tug.
Friends of mine, Judy and John Bone, also aboard for the Christmas cruise, were invited onto the bridge by the Captain for the Auckland departure. John is the President of the World Ship Society - Victoria branch.
9th. January - Arrival in Melbourne
Various pics from around the ship
The 'Adults Only' pool at the stern of the ship.
View from the basketball court inside the funnel casing.
Two of the wonderful bar staff, Elaine from Brazil and Nedtaya from the Philippines.
A gingerbread village displayed in the Atrium.
Carols in the Atrium on Christmas morning.
This snowfall was designed by the ship's production staff. The 'snow' is actually made from a compound similar to soap.
I was pleased to be invited to a luncheon with the senior officers for the 40 most travelled Princess Cruises passengers aboard.
At my permanent table with my excellent Senior Waiter Sandra, from Thailand and the also excellent Maitre d'Hotel Jose from Portugal.The dining room service I received was superb.
20th. December and 3rd. January - Wellington, New Zealand
The view over Wellington Harbour from the verandah of one of my friend's beautiful home.
The mast from the ill-fated inter-island ferry Wahine which foundered in Wellington harbour in cyclonic conditions in 1968. The mast is sited on the eastern side of the harbour near where many people perished or washed up ashore.
I love the quaint English terminology used in many parts of New Zealand.
21st. December and 2nd. January - Napier, New Zealand
In 1931, Napier was destroyed by an earthquake. Consequently much of the rebuilding was in art deco style and in recent years many of these buildings have been restored and the city has gained popularity as a tourist destination because of this.
Locals, in character, on the wharf for the ship's departure.
22nd. December and 1st. January -Tauranga, New Zealand
18th. December and 5th. January - Port Chalmers (for Dunedin), New Zealand
On our 18th. December call, Celebrity Cruise Line's cruise ship Celebrity Century was already alongside.
A containership on the other berth during our 5th. January call.
19th. December and 4th. January - Akaroa, New Zealand
Going ashore in a ship's tender
Lyttelton Harbour pilot Captain John Rendle. John is an old mate of mine from my Blue Star Line days when we sailed together in m.v. Canterbury Star in 1975. John was 2nd. Officer while I was a Deck Cadet. John and his partner Gail drove over to Akaroa from Lyttelton to join me for lunch ashore.
Coincidentally, the day after my friends Peter and Alison Stacey were aboard for lunch, Peter appeared on the ship's outdoor screen in an episode of Ships to New Zealand. Captain Peter Stacey, Wellington Harbour pilot is seen above (right) while piloting Holland America Line's Prinsendam, several years ago.