Once a year, at the start of the overnight season, Real Journeys dedicates the first cruise as a fundraiser for a charitable or not-for-profit community organisation.  Real Journeys provides the vessels, crew, delicious dinner, breakfast and water activities - all at no cost.  All the organisation has to do is sell the tickets to its members - it keeps 100% of the proceeds.  In the last couple of years Cruise-for-a-Cause has raised $60,000.

This year the Cruise-for-a-Cause to Doubtful Sound has been awarded to Forest & Bird to assist with predator control.  The Cancer Society in the Southland and Otago Region receives the Milford Sound Cruise-for-a-Cause to help train more volunteers.  More info

Previous successful recipients of the Real Journeys Cruise-for-a-Cause fundraising initiative were:

  • Forest & Bird (2016)
  • Wakatipu High School Foundation (2016)
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust (2015): More info
  • Queenstown Lakes Family Centre (2015): More info.

Why use Cruise-for-a-Cause to raise funds

  • Sell in your sleep: The overnight cruises are internationally recognised, award-winning, iconic Fiordland experiences that are easy to sell.
  • Keep it all: All proceeds from your fundraising efforts are yours.
  • Bring your supporters together: Share this amazing experience and socialise with your supporters.
  • We can help: We know a fundraiser like this can sound daunting. So if you'd like us to, we can help collect the money for you, make reservations and give you advice on how to sell/price them.
  • Raise boatloads: Based on our retail prices your organisation/cause could raise a significant amount of money
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise – up to $24,000.
  • Milford Sound Overnight Cruise – up to $17,000.

How Cruise-for-a-Cause works

Community based not-for-profit/charitable organisations are invited to apply for either the Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise or Milford Sound Overnight Cruise to use as a fundraiser.

To be successful, applicants must be able to show how this fundraiser will make a difference to their organisation and, most importantly, that they have the organisational ability to market the trips through their own channels.

Once selected, you will then be required to attend a briefing to discuss your marketing plan, (which must be approved by Real Journeys) and set an agreed price for the tickets. 

Your job now is to publicise your fundraiser, get on your databases and sell your cruise as quickly as possible.  You must sell all your tickets 6 weeks prior to the sailing date.

Real Journeys will make the actual bookings, collect payments, provide confirmations for the bookings and allocate the rooms.

Real Journeys may do some publicity around the event and will also publicise the amount that was raised by your organisation. We may also help raise awareness of your charity and the cruises through our marketing and social media channels, however the marketing of the fundraiser is the organisation's sole responsibility.

Once you have sold all your tickets you can relax, and Real Journeys will do the rest.  Just turn up at our Visitor Centres in Milford Sound or Manapouri (for Doubtful Sound) and prepare to enjoy the largest most untouched wilderness in New Zealand with a group of your favourite people!

About the vessels & the trips

Fiordland Navigator, Doubtful Sound

The Fiordland Navigator, the overnight vessel has 18 twin/double cabins with ensuite bathrooms and 9 quad-share bunk-style compartments with shared bathrooms.  Visit our Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises page.

The Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise-for-a-Cause starts from Manapouri on Saturday 2 September 2017 at 12noon and returns the following day at 11.45am.

Milford Mariner, Milford Sound

The Milford Mariner has 28 private twin/double cabins with ensuite bathrooms and 2 ensuite family rooms with four bunk beds.  Visit our Milford Sound Overnight Cruises page. 

The Milford Sound Overnight Cruise-for-a-Cause starts at Milford on Saturday 16 September 2017 at 3.30pm and returns at 9.15am the next day.

The process

  • Complete and submit your application form by Tuesday 18 April 2017 - APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED FOR THIS YEAR.
  • Successful applicants will be notified of the cruise they have been allocated by 1 May 2017.  If it is too close to call, an interview may also be required.  

Questions? Contact us:

For more information or to know more, contact our marketing team by email on

Application form

Applications close Tuesday 18 April 2017 - APPLICATIONS HAVE NOW CLOSED FOR THIS YEAR.

Cruise-for-a-Cause Terms & Conditions

1.     Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for this fantastic opportunity you must be a NZ-based not-for-profit/charitable organisation or worthy NZ cause.

2.     Selling/promotion

a.  The selected organisations must promote the Cruise-for-a-Cause directly to their members and friends.  The selected organisations cannot advertise their special cruise in any way that competes with Real Journeys new season’s overnight cruises.

b.  Real Journeys will collect all payments for passengers travelling on the Cruise-for-a-Cause and provide merchant services.  All payments made for the cruise directly to Real Journeys will be provided to the organisation within 15 working days of the cruise departure.

c.  If the organisation raises any additional funds on the cruise, (e.g. via a silent auction) it agrees to notify Real Journeys of the total amount raised for publicity purposes.

d.  Successful applicants agree to cooperate with Real Journeys management and marketing team in the publicity and promotion of their cruise.  Any promotion must carry the Cruise-for-a-Cause logo and meet our standards.

e.  Successful applicants must provide one person to be a point of contact for any enquiries about their cruise.

f.  Real Journeys reserves the right to hold one cabin on each overnight cruise for media and/or staff to assist with publicity about the event.

g.  The organisations may give away or use one cabin to assist with publicity about the event.

h.  The organisations agree to write about their experience, fill out a questionnaire and provide photographs within 24 hours of the cruise.   These may be used for a media release and on social media. 

i.  All those taking part in the cruise will be required to agree to their images (photographed or filmed) being used for the publicity and promotion of the Cruise-for-a-Cause. 

j.  Please note, transport to/from the cruise is not included.

3.     Judging criteria

The criteria on which entries will be judged are:

a. The ‘good cause’ or what the funds will be used for, and the proven ability of the organisation to reach its particular goal as a result of the Cruise-for-a-Cause funds raised.  (Please note the funds are not intended for routine operational purposes).

b. The extent to which the organisation shows its ‘cause’ will enhance the lives or activities in the areas of conservation, education, children/youth services, health or rescue.

c. The marketing plan – how the organisation intends to maximise the opportunity to raise as much as it can.

d. Evidence that the organisation is able to market the event and make it a successful fundraiser.

4.     Decision

Real Journeys leadership team will review all applications, and in their absolute discretion, will decide on the two organisations that will be awarded the Cruise-for-a-Cause and the destination they will be offered.  Once the successful applicants have been notified, there will be a media release and the decision will be posted on the Cruise-for-a-Cause website.  The decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.  An interview may be required to help with the final decision.    

5.     Dates

The dates allocated by Real Journeys are not able to be altered.  In the event that the Cruise-for-a-Cause cruises are unable to go ahead, Real Journeys will provide a full refund of any funds it has collected.

6.     Vessel

We want you to raise as much money as you can but if you do not sell all your spaces in the time allocated, Real Journeys reserves the right to provide the remaining tickets to another organisation or to invite its own guests.

7.     Acceptance of terms and conditions

An application to Real Journeys Ltd. constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions.  All the information provided at the time of application and subsequently requested must be true and accurate. Real Journeys reserves the right to make the final decision on all matters regarding the operation of the cruise.  Failure to comply with these terms and conditions may result in the Cruise-for-a-Cause being withdrawn.