SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW
A cruise to the South Island is nothing short of a sensory overload
’Surely we are in Norway,” a passenger exclaims as our cruise ship glides between towering cliffs carved by glaciers during the Ice Age. The breathtaking vision of fjords at New Zealand’s majestic Milford Sound is not the only surprise.
It’s the height of summer and the temperature is 4C, but it feels closer to freezing due to the bracing breeze. A European visitor is standing tanned and relaxed in khaki shorts, loafers with no socks and a short-sleeved shirt. His wife is wearing even less.
I’m not sure how they are able to speak without chattering teeth. I’m almost hypothermic, despite being cocooned in a ludicrously expensive jacket borrowed from my elder son, who said it was critical to him surviving a school camp at Mt Barney near the NSW-Queensland border.
The European iceman and his ice queen reach for a steaming beverage offered by a crew member. It’s real hot chocolate, seemingly reduced from the richest chocolate bar on the planet and forged into sugar lava.
We are experiencing a sensory overload aboard the boutique ship Azamara Journey during its maiden season to Australia and New Zealand.
All hands are on deck to see the Sound, which technically is not a sound – a wide inlet from the sea – but a deep, narrow waterway framed by soaring almost vertical cliffs.
As our impervious-to-cold northern hemisphere friend pointed out, this makes it a fjord.
The scene is so beautiful, Rudyard Kipling referred to Milford Sound as