" left the final port of the New Zealand cruise so we'll say goodbye to New Zealand today, when we will visit the famous New Zealand fjords during the first three days at sea. Fjords are valleys, hollowed by enormous pressure from glaciers over several successive ice ages. As the glaciers melted and the sea level rose, these valleys became flooded. About 10 million years ago, the intense pressure in the earth's crust led to the formation of rounded hills and V-shaped valleys. 2 million years ago, the mountains were covered with glaciers, ridges, sharp peaks, and valleys took the form of the letter U. 12-20 thousand years ago, the Ice Age ended and the ice began to melt, leaving the rivers, tributaries and hanging valleys above the main valley. And finally, 6.000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, the sea level rose and reached the current mark. As a result, the valleys were flooded and today's fjords were formed.
A fjord is a narrow and winding passageway that has been deeply cut into the land, with rocky banks. The length of the fjord is often much greater than its width. The shores of the fjord, in most cases, are surrounded by up to 3200 feet (1000 meter) high cliffs. Due to the landscapes beauty - cliffs billowing out of the sea, mountains covered with dense vegetation, snow-capped peaks - fjords are popular among tourists all over the world.
There are 4 well known fjord regions in the world, located on the west coasts of Norway, Chile, South Island in New Zealand and North America from Puget Sound (Washington) to Alaska. There are also fjords on the shores of Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, the Labrador Peninsula, the Arabian Peninsula, Maine (USA), Russia, and some Arctic islands. Two years ago we made a very interesting journey along the Norwegian coast on one of the Hurtigruten company's ships, during which we visited almost all of the largest and most famous Norwegian fjords. Today I'm going to continue to study the fjord districts of the world during the biggest part of the day "Diamond Princess" will sail along the New Zealand fjords, entering three:
, on the territory where all the most famous fjords of New Zealand can be found.
While there was a delay in yesterday's schedule, at 9 am, as it was planned, "Diamond Princess" arrived at the first fjord, Dusky Sound. We left the wide expanses of the ocean and sailed toward a network of narrow, winding and rocky coves connected by equally intricate, narrow and whimsical straits.
The ship sailed farther into the fjord.
Dusky Sound is not only one of the most difficult fjords on the south-western part of the country in terms of its terrain, it is also considered the largest in New Zealand. It is 24 miles (40 km) long and maximum width is 5 miles (8 km). To the north of its confluence with the sea, there is the large island of Resolution. It walls off the fjord from the Tasman Sea in the northwest. Several large islands are located in the fjord. Among them are Anchor, Long Island, and Cooper. In the upper Dusky Sound, the fjord's shores are rocky and because of the large amount of precipitation, there are a lot of waterfalls in the region falling from a great height into the fjord during the rainy seasons. Seals and dolphins can be seen in Dusky Sound, whales sometimes come here as well. Several small rivers flow into the fjord, the largest of which is the Seaforth River. Acheron Passage connects Dusky Sound with the Breaksea Sound fjord, located to the north. Below is the route of our ship - sailing from Dusky Sound to the Acheron Passage and through the Breaksea Sound it returns to the sea.
We are moving along the Acheron Passage that connects two fjords:
There are a lot of people on the deck and the fellow of the Fiordland National Park is telling us the story of the fjords. People are taking pictures not only from the deck, but also from the pilothouse:
The fauna in the fjords is rich and varied - the ship is accompanied by a flock of dolphins:
After crossing the Acheron Passage, "Princess" enters the Breaksea Sound.
Here's a slip-off coast.
The narrowness of Dusky Sound, Acheron Passage and Breaksea Sound is left behind - we are heading back to sea:
This stone reminds my of the iconic Sydney Opera House: