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COVID-19 Update

From Monday 18th May, Stewart Island Ferries have recommenced daily operations. All other experiences currently remain closed.

We will continue to update this page with information, including when a decision is made to reopen. 

We will be processing all cancellations as per our updated COVID-19 cancellation policy. As you can appreciate we are working outside our normal business arrangements so please email us with any enquiries, rather than picking up the phone. 

We are working as quickly as we can - prioritising those with imminent bookings, and really appreciate your patience at this time.

We would like to thank you for your support to date and look forward to seeing you again in the future.

Please email us on:  contact@realjourneys.co.nz


Real Journeys’ highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our customers, staff, suppliers and community. We are closely monitoring the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation and continue to be guided by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, which recommends that regular cleaning is the most important step we can take.

New Zealand’s response to COVID-19

On 20 March, New Zealand's borders shut to ALL overseas travellers - only New Zealand residents and citizens (and their children and partners) will be permitted to enter. Travellers arriving here are required to fill out health cards, outline their 14 – day self-isolation plan and register with Healthline. There are follow-ups and spot checks to ensure people are self-isolating as required. They are not allowed to join any tours or cruises.

Our response to COVID-19

We have intensified daily disinfecting of high-touch points such as handrails, door handles, point-of-sale equipment and countertops. Our routine cleaning and sanitising are completed utilising New Zealand company ‘Hygiene Systems’ and ‘Ecolab’ – a global leader in promoting hygienic environments. We also receive ongoing advice from Ecolab on infection prevention for COVID-19 as it develops.

  • Our Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak has the highest New Zealand Food Act grade of excellence possible for its food control plan. This is independently checked and verified by the local authorities.
  • We have reduced capacity on our Milford and Doubtful Sound coaches in line with the Ministry of Health’s recommendations for physical and social distancing. They are thoroughly sanitised daily with additional cleaning of air conditioning filters. Additional deep cleans are conducted as required. People are being requested not to board if unwell. Masks are available if needed for anyone unwell during the journey.
  • Our day and overnight cruises already have strict hygiene requirements. Vessels are routinely cleaned and sanitised between every cruise utilising New Zealand company ‘Hygiene Systems’ and ‘Ecolab’. Our staff have been trained in using specific products to clean and disinfect.
  • We have intensified daily disinfecting for all high-touch points on our Stewart Island Experience ferries, such as handrails, handles around seating and on doors, seat tops, poles and all hard surfaces including outside seats.  Bathrooms are sanitised at the end of every crossing and seats are sprayed with disinfectant. Hand sanitiser is available on board and at our visitor terminals, where our customer service teams are also vigilantly cleaning all high-touch areas.  

Further initiatives include:

  • A dedicated internal COVID-19 team established to provide daily expert guidance and information.
  • Signage to remind customers of the need for extra vigilance and increased personal hygiene, particularly thorough hand washing.
  • Changing how we greet each other if meeting in person (i.e. no handshakes, hugs or hongi).
  • Providing our staff with up-to-the-moment guidance and information so they can keep themselves and their families safe.
  • Asking any staff or customers who are feeling unwell to please stay at home and seek medical advice via Healthline or their GP

For more information about our updated terms and conditions click here. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the friendly Contact Centre Team:

Tel: +64 3 249 6000 or 0800 656501 (within NZ)

Email: contact@realjourneys.co.nz

Or via webchat (during NZ office hours).