Today was our 3 consecutive port in a row and the first and only tender operation on this cruise. So for the third day on the trot it was an early start so we could get breakfast before the masses and then be one of the first ashore.
The sail into the channel where we dropped anchor was absolutely stunning and is up there with the best of them. Our loayaty club status saw us on the 3rd tender across and the trip took just 20 minutes. No local boats were used and Celebrity made use of 6 of their life boats to provide the shore to ship transfer.
Once we were ashore we quickly located our private tour company (ES Tours) who today were running 3 vans all doing the same itinerary which was a tour around the Banks Peninsula then on to Christchurch for lunch and a drive around the sites which finding out about the 2011 earthquake which took 185 lives and devastated the city. What we hadn’t realised was that today was the 6th anniversary of the quake and there was a special ceremony going on in Christchurch to unveil a new memorial. The old temporary memorial which is still there at the moment is 185 white chairs and today they all had a flower attached to mark the anniversary.
The views over the natural harbour were absolutely stunning and we stopped at several locations along the way for some amazing photo opportunities. I will try and upload as many as I can in the short time available today.