We’ve reached the first of three fiords in New Zealand… Milford Sound…Photos!

Milford Sound, New Zealand, although cloudy and rainy was an extraordinary place to see including the rainbow.

The anticipation we’re feeling over reaching the beautiful country of New Zealand is indescribable. With many Kiwi passengers and experienced travelers in our midst aboard this ship extolling the virtues of this country, we’re reeling with excitement.

This morning’s flurry of activity with everyone racing to the decks by 7:30 am to witness our entry into the first of three New Zealand fiords we’ll visit today, Milford Sound, loaded up with cameras, iPads, and cell phones in hand on a cool, windy day.

The sun peeked out for a moment, enhancing the scenery.

Milford Sound is described as follows:

“Milford Sound (Māori: Piopiotahi) is a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand‘s South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world’s top travel destination in an international survey (the 2008 Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards by TripAdvisor) and is acclaimed as New Zealand’s most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World.”

There are numerous waterfalls in the sounds.

As the day continues, we’ll travel through two more major fiords, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound, for which we’ll share new photos tomorrow.  As has been typical this past year in our travels, it was cloudy and raining for most of the 90 minutes we sailed through this breathtaking area.

Inclement weather or not, we’re grateful to see these amazing sites, especially when we caught a glimpse of a rainbow and a large pod of Bottlenose dolphins. As often, my photo-taking skills aren’t quite perfected enough to get the quality shots of active marine life although I continue to try. In part, I think I get so excited seeing wildlife, I can barely hold the camera!

We wore long sleeve safari shirts with jeans, the warmest we’ve dressed since we were in Vancouver in September 2014.

And here we are again, after breakfast, back out to the open sea, situated in the Café al Bacio, sipping on hot beverages, content as we can be. We find sitting in this “Starbucks” type café an excellent spot to work on our site and meet new people.

Last night’s dinner with two English couples was as entertaining and fun as always. One of the couples actually lives in the village of Highclere where the popular TV series, Downton Abbey is filmed in the exquisite castle which we visited in August 2014. How fun it was to hear about their lives in the countryside in England!

At each meal, we meet new people, occasionally encountering a couple from a past meal reveling in the good time we had last time around, embracing the new meal together with enthusiasm. 

The time is flying as we’re now only one week from disembarking in Auckland, New Zealand to make our way via rental car to our new home for the next three months. 

Lots of clouds and a ray of sunlight.

We imagine that when most passengers are facing a cruise at the halfway point there’s a certain sense of disappointment anticipating that soon it will all end. We’re grateful that we don’t bear any significant disappointment in it coming to an end when the next leg of our journey will be equally as interesting and meaningful. 

We can’t help but feel a bit of disappointment that we won’t be able to chat with new people at every meal, easily enjoying the friendly companionship. Then, again, we’ve made new friends aboard the ship with whom we’ll surely stay in touch.

Posting has been difficult during this cruise due to our inability to upload more than a few photos each day. The Internet staff has explained that using the wifi mainly works for Facebook and a few email messages. We’re pleased to have been able to do as much as we have as we continue to make every effort to upload more photos each day.

What a view!

I suppose part of the difficulty is taking the time to complete a single post when people frequently stop by to chat. To avoid being rude, I stop looking at my laptop while we chat. Picking it back up 20 minutes later often results in my losing my momentum and flow. 

So, if it’s been scattered, we apologize and will get back on track once we’re living in NZ as we begin an entirely new adventure after settling into our new house on the alpaca farm and start exploring both the north and south islands. 

We’ll return tomorrow with more photos of the two other “sounds” we sail to today. Back at you later. Happy day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, January 12, 2015:

Ironically, one year ago today, we booked another cruise on this same ship we’re on now, the Celebrity Solstice, for March 1, 2017. For more details on that upcoming cruise in 14 months, please click here. (Unable to enlarge photo).