Once a year, at the start of each of our Milford and Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises seasons, Real Journeys dedicates its final training 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 and it keeps 100% of the proceeds.  In the last four years, Cruise-for-a-Cause has raised over $150,000.

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

  • Wildlife Hospital, Dunedin (2019): More info
  • Baskets of Blessing (2019)
  • Wanaka Search and Rescue (2018): More info
  • KidsCan Charitable Trust (2018)
  • Cancer Society Southland and Otago Region (2017): More info
  • Forest & Bird (2016 & 2017): More info
  • Wakatipu High School Foundation (2016): More info
  • 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: our Milford & Doubtful Sound 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: your organisation/cause could raise a significant amount of money. So far our most successful cruises have raised up to: 
    • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise – up to $40,000.
    • 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 the Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise or Milford Sound Overnight Cruise to use as a fundraiser.

To be successful, applicants must:

  • provide a detailed month-to-month marketing plan that demonstrates they have the organisational ability to market and sell the trips through their own channels
  • describe how this fundraiser will make a difference to their organisation.

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. 

Then your job is to publicise your fundraiser, contact people on your databases and sell your cruise as quickly as possible.  You must sell all your tickets six weeks prior to the sailing date.

Real Journeys is happy to assist you by making 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 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 departs from Manapouri on Saturday 31 August 2019 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 Friday 13 September 2019 at 3.30pm and returns at 9.15am the next day.

The process

  • Applications closed on Sunday 3rd February 2019.
  • Successful applicants will be notified of the cruise they have been allocated by 18 February 2019. 
  • 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 for our Cruise for a Cause have closed for the year. Please check back again in December 2019.

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.  Either the organisation OR 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 20 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 applicatants 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
  • Meet our standards
  • Be reviewed and approved by Real Journeys before being published. 

e. Successful applicants agree to publish a minimum of five posts on the organisation's social media accounts to promote the event and must tag Real Journeys social media accounts in the posts @realjourneys #realjourneys

f. Successful applicant agrees to send monthly progress reports including social media reach, engagement and exposure analytics, and sales analytics. 

g. The organisation agress to write about their experience, provide at least three quotes from participants, fill out a questionnaire and provide photographs within 24 hours of the cruise. These may be used for a media release and marketing on Real Journeys website and social media. The organisation also agrees to share the media release on their website and social media. 

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

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. 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.

k. The organisation is entitled to one cabin on its overnight cruise to use for promotional purposes and/or its staff.

l. Real Journeys may provide passenger email addresses to the organisation for the purposes of, or in connection, with the Cruise-for-a-Cause only if the organisation agrees that they will only be used for the purposes in relation to this cruise, in alignment with the Real Journeys Privacy Policy. 

m. Travel for Free competition does not apply to the Cruise-for-a-Cause.

n. 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 (this should be clearly explained), 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.

NB. This is a fun, social occasion that will allow your organisation to come together and to get to know your supporters better. We have found that involving the Head of Organisation and having them reach out directly to key supporters leads to fantastic results. Applicants should be prepared to involve the whole team in promoting and selling the 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 posted on the Real Journeys website. The decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.  

5.     Dates/cancellations 

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

In the event that a supporter wishes to cancel or amend their booking, refunds will only be granted when Real Journeys receives notifications at least 5 days prior (NZ time) to departure date. We strongly recommend travel insurance for all our experiences, especially for those that require longer notification periods for cancellation. 

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 we will reassess your allocation (8 weeks prior to the departure.  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.