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Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise Wake in the splendour Book Now Milford Sound

Milford Mariner Overnight Cruises

More information about our Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise

This overnight cruise through the heart of Fiordland provides astonishing views and the ultimate Milford Sound adventure.

You’ll start by departing from the Milford Sound wharf in the late afternoon before cruising through Milford Sound accompanied by our specialist nature guide. They’ll explain the history and geology of the area and be on hand to answer your questions.

This cruise style is relaxed, allowing plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife – you’re bound to encounter seals and, if you’re lucky, maybe dolphins and penguins too.

The Milford Mariner then anchors in a sheltered cove. From here you can join the guide and explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) or kayaks. If you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place. If you’re feeling brave there’s always the option of a refreshing swim too. All activities are weather dependent. 

As evening falls, you’ll enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon – a feast prepared freshly by our on-site chef. Then it’s time to relax in the company of your fellow traveller, indulge in some star-gazing and story-sharing or simply retire to your private cabin.

The next day you’ll be able to dig into a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) and exploring more of the fiord.

Things you should know

  • The trip duration is for 1 night
  • Accommodation onboard the Milford Mariner:
    • Private cabins with ensuites (twin, double or single occupancy)
    • Duvets, sheets and towels provided
  • There’s a three course buffet dinner including appetisers, soups, salads, hot dishes and a selection of desserts and cheeses (vegetarian options available)
  • A full buffet breakfast with cooked and continental options is served
  • Kayaking and tender craft (small boat) activities included

Extra Information

  • Suitable for all ages
  • There are spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon/fully licensed bar and observation lounge
  • The boat sleeps 60 people
  • Complimentary tea and coffee is available
  • The underwater observatory at the Milford Sound Discovery Centre is an option for self-drive customers (extra cost)
  • Daily coach connections from Queenstown and Te Anau (extra cost)
  • There’s a fly out option from Milford to Queenstown. This is weather permitting, and not advisable for customers with connecting flights or tight travel arrangements

Getting there

The journey to Milford Sound is just as spectacular as the destination itself, whether you travel by road or by air.

Milford Sound is around 5-6 hours (one-way) from Queenstown and around 3 hours from Te Anau by road. We have specially designed luxury coaches that can get you there from both these towns. You could also drive yourself to Milford.

The best way to enjoy the Milford Road, one of the world’s finest alpine roads without having to worry about the often tricky driving conditions, is on one of our coaches. Our experienced drivers know all the right places to stop and take in the magnificent views of the Milford Road. Along the way, they will provide you with informative commentary about the region, its history and natural surroundings.

By far the most satisfying way to experience Milford (or Doubtful) Sound is to do an overnight cruise; it gives you more time in the fjord when it's at its best—first thing in the morning and early evening.


We depart from three main locations:

  • Milford Sound (cruise only): Departs 3.30pm / 4.30pm (returns 9.15am day 2) from the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal. Please see FAQ for parking information.
  • Te Anau (coach & cruise): Departs 12.45pm (returns 12.30pm day 2)
  • Queenstown (coach & cruise): Departs 9.00am (returns 3.30pm day 2)  

If you choose an accommodation pick up in Te Anau and Queenstown, please note that these times do vary from those noted above - accommodation pick up times are shown during the booking process and also on your booking confirmation.

What to bring

Only one carry-on bag is recommended for passenger convenience and for safety reasons.  Don't forget the following:

  • Non-slip walking shoes/boots 
  • Waterproof jacket *
  • Warm sweater/fleece jacket
  • Change of clothes *
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses
  • Insect repellent *
  • Swimwear (optional)
  • Camera
  • Cash for bar and snacks
  • Small bag only

* Essential items if you are doing activities. Activities take place even if it is raining.

About the Milford Mariner

The Milford Mariner is a purpose built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords

  • Sleeps 60
  • Private cabins with ensuites (twin or double bed configuration) 
  • Limited quad-share bunk-style compartments with ensuites (mixed gender)
  • Spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge
  • Carries 30 kayaks and 2 tender craft onboard

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