Wellington At Ease
Wellington At Ease
Wellington is the capital city and third most populated urban area of New Zealand, after Auckland and Christchurch. It is at the southwestern tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range, and it is home to approximately 400,000 residents. The city was named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo. The Duke's title comes from the town of Wellington in the English county of Somerset. It is New Zealand's political center, housing Parliament, the head offices of all Government Ministries and Departments and the bulk of the foreign diplomatic missions in New Zealand.
On this Wellington tour, you will travel south within the Wellington central city. Your tour will first take you through the city as your guide points out landmarks and sites and their relevant history. You will see the famous Beehive and Parliament buildings, and Old Saint Paul's Cathedral. The cathedral is an example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture adapted to colonial conditions and materials. It is constructed entirely from New Zealand native timbers, with stunning stained glass windows. The interior has been likened to the upturned hull of an Elizabethan galleon, with exposed curving trusses and kauri roof sarking. The flags displayed in the nave include the ensigns of the Royal Navy, the New Zealand Merchant Navy, and the United States Marine Corps Second Division, which was stationed in Wellington during World War II.
You will also make a short stop at Lady Norwood Rose Garden. Nestled in the heart of Wellington's Botanic Garden, this rose garden has more than 100 formal beds featuring over 3,000 roses. Among them is a heritage fountain presented by Lady Norwood, in whose honor the garden is named. The roses are a mixture of traditional and modern varieties in fabulous colors. They bloom spectacularly in the summertime, emitting a fragrance that fills the surrounding air. The glorious atmosphere of this garden makes it a must see while in Wellington for great photo opportunities.
On this excursion you will also have the option to take a ride down on Wellingtons iconic cable car at your own expense, for a nominal cost of approximately $3.50 US. The ride down takes approximately 5 minutes. Guests not wishing to ride the cable car will be driven down to the bottom to join the rest of the group before continuing on. Next, you will have a drive around rugged scenic bays.
Lastly, you will also be treated to 360-degree views of Wellington and the harbor from the lookout at Mount Victoria. Mount Victoria was used twice as a location in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Please Note: At the end of the excursion, you will be given the option to be dropped off on Lambton Quay instead of your cruise ship for some free time on your own. If you choose this option, you will have to make your own way back to your cruise ship, an approximate 20 minute walk.
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About Shore Excursions Group
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.
We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.
Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.