Carnival Cruise Line, which normally takes Australian travellers from Sydney and Melbourne and the South Pacific islands, has deviated from its plan and scheduled a one-time cruise between Australia and New Zealand for the upcoming end-of-year school holidays.

Sailing only once this season on the 2,680-passenger Carnival Legend, the 10-night cruise will depart from Sydney on 07 January 2017, intersecting the country and making three stops in Wellington, Akaroa and Port Chalmers before spending a day on a scenic cruise through the Fiordland National Park on its way back to Sydney – all maiden calls for the ship. The cruise will also include five days at sea – two on the way there and three back.

Shore excursions on the bill will include a Lord of the Rings experience in Wellington, dolphin swimming in Akaroa and off-road driving in Dunedin – among many others.

“New Zealand is a fantastic family destination with plenty of outdoor action on offer for kids and parents alike, whether they want to get up close with the local wildlife or try a great adventure activity like sea kayaking around the Otago Peninsula while in Dunedin,” a Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson said.

Fares on the unique 2017 cruise start from $1,890 per person twin share, however if you miss this opportunity, another has been lined up for the following year, departing Sydney on 28 January 2018, onboard sister-ship Carnival Spirit.