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Milford Mariner Overnight Cruises

17 March 2018

"Milford Magnificent Mariner"

One of the undoubted highlights of a month touring New Zealand was the overnight cruise. The enthusiasm and professionalism of the crew was only surpassed by the quality of the food and the scenery. Even in the pouring rain this is a trip that will produce many great memories.

91solar, Cupar, UK via TripAdvisor

23 February 2018

"One of the best experiences ever. Simply amazing"

Without a doubt the Milford Mariner overnight cruise is one of the best experiences I have ever done.

We boarded at 4pm and set sail shortly after. We anchored in a cove and you have the option to either go kayaking or out on a small tender boat. We took the option of the latter. 
The tender boat was amazing. We had the awesome Johnny as our guide. A zoologist from the UK, whose every fibre of him loved Milford Sound. We had an awesome time discovering the various coves and seeking out the wildlife - penguins and seals.

We returned to the Mariner for an amazing evening meal. And then there's a talk about the local flora and fauna. We took an early night as we had an early start. Breakfast was at 7am. And then we set off hunting more marine life. It was this part of the trip which totally blew us away. The early morning light and the obvious love and delight of the crew of their job and environment was just superb. 

Milford Sound is simply magical. It's utterly stunning and at times breathtaking. Accommodation was great - we had a double room with an suite. Small but very comfortable. The crew are exceptional.  Food was superb.  I wouldn't have a single hesitation in recommending this trip to anyone!

DaisyTurnip, Warickshire, UK via TripAdvisor

17 January 2018

"WOW WOW WOW!!!"

When you come through the tunnel, the anticipation starts to rise and when you drive down into Milford Sound your breath is just taken away. It is so beautiful and we were lucky to have clear blue day with 30 degrees so it was just magical. The beauty is awe inspiring, pictures just don't do it justice, it is a must see place. We did an over night cruise on the Milford Mariner, and what a fantastic way to immerse yourself right in amongst the scenery and beauty of it all. Would definitely recommend you see this at least once in your life.

Lee-Anne S, Sydney, Australia via TripAdvisor

15 December 2017

"Highlight of our Vacation, Spectacular views!"

We booked the overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner online about 5 months before our trip. Booking was easy and arrival and check in was smooth. The experience was definitely a highlight! We were touring NZ on a motorbike and the day of the cruise it was raining which was the perfect weather to see hundreds of temporary waterfalls both on the drive to Milford Sound, and on the cruise. The cruise was worth the cost paid, staff were excellent, food was delicious, and the cabin was extremely clean and comfortable. Even though it was raining the crew still made sure the water activities took place for those who wanted to participate. I can't say enough about this experience, highly recommend that Milford Sound not be missed no matter which tour you select.

Diane C, Verona, Canada via TripAdvisor

11 November 2017

"Breathtaking and Beautiful"

Had the greatest pleasure of doing the overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner. Our skipper Gibby was the best so friendly and took the time out to have a lengthy chat with us. All the staff were so friendly and helpful nothing was a bother for them. The scenery is stunning photos just can’t do it justice. Weather was sunny when we left and quite wet and cold overnight but it just makes for more picturesque photos. Going out to the Tasman Sea was exhilarating and then having the sail up and sailing back into the sound was awesome. This is a bucket list experience just do it. The cabins are tiny and very warm but you are hardly in them, the food was delicious and plenty of it.

Madonna B, Logan Village, Queensland, Australia via TripAdvisor

15 October 2017

"A must on the bucket list"

Milford Sound is truly one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Real Journeys Overnight tour of the sound from beginning to end was simply one of our best and most memorable travel experiences. I cannot recommend it enough. I also recommend the overnight cruise. The cruise vessel, Milford Mariner, sleeps about 60 in single or double cabins. The cabins are a little cramped but very comfortable with an ensuite. Dinner and breakfast were of surprisingly good and plentiful. There is a bar on board to cater for most palettes. The crew were fantastic and the views simply magnificent. Others have said this so much more eleoquent but what I want to say is this. Firstly it rains in the sound every other day on average but weather you might consider inclement simply adds to the magnificence of the Sound for the simple reason during or after rain the subsequent waterfalls have to be seen to be believed. They are simply indescribably beautiful. One tip which I would make is try to go when New Zealand has daylight Savings. Being further south the light last so much longer in the evenings. Another tip, rug up for all four seasons. And a final tip is when booking a cabin do make sure it is as close to the fron of the boat as possible because Cabins at the back are in the range of engine noises. Even when the boat is stopped. I can’t recommend this tour enough

CrewCommander, Mittagong, Australia via TripAdvisor

28 June 2017

“An absolute highlight”

The overnight stay on Milford Mariner was a highlight of our six week NZ trip. We were lucky with the weather in February being blazing hot so much so that perhaps the waterfalls were not seen at their very best but a small price to pay.

Real Journeys were excellent throughout, providing a luxurious coach and a hugely entertaining / informative driver for the very long journey from Queenstown. There is no other way to see Milford Sound than on this vessel (and its sister ship) and we had the whole Sound to ourselves from early evening to the morning. Kayaking from the boat was wonderful and the evening meal was excellent too. Cannot rate this experience highly enough.

AlJSurrey, Surrey, UK via TripAdvisor

5 December 2016

“Highly recommended”

Booked the overnight cruise on Milford Mariner with Real Journeys and so glad we did. Although the weather forecast on the Saturday was not too good with rain and cloud we were determined to enjoy the trip. Yes it did rain but we still managed to do some kayaking, saw penguins and seals and some amazing waterfalls alongside the incredible views of the mountains. It is a surreal place to spend the night on a comfortable boat after dining on some very good food. Rooms were fine and staff were all very friendly.

The following day the sun came out and we had some very interesting commentary as we cruised along on the geology and nature of the Milford Sound. Loved this whole experience!

Lisa S, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK via TripAdvisor

15 November 2015

"The best part of our NZ trip"

We did the overnight cruise in Milford Sound. We took a bus there, and impulsively took a plane ride back. Carl, the bus driver, who grew up in the area, was a wealth of knowledge. Our nature guide on the boat (Blaine?) was also excellent, enthusiastic. Both men were smart, too, which always makes things better.  The food was amazing - some of the best we ate in New Zealand. We saw penguins, seals, sea birds, and even a whale! The plane ride back was full of amazing sights.
All in all, one of the highlights of my life.

Visited November 2015

April H, Portland, Oregon via TripAdvisor

14 October 2015

"Experience of a lifetime"

Took the whole family of five on the overnight cruise. The drive up from Te Anau was spectacular in itself. After an initial scenic cruise we moored for the night in a bay where there were activities including kayaking and a nature guided ride in the tender boat. Fantastic staff, very helpful and informative, the cabins were far more spacious than I expected on a boat this size and very comfy. Food was great - Bob the chef is a culinary genius. Scenery and wildlife were spectacular.
One of the best experiences of our lives.

Visited October 2015

Steve M, Newcastle, Australia via TripAdvisor

20 October 2015

"Milford Mariner was fantastic!"

Milford Mariner was fantastic!!!!!
We had a overnight on the Milford Mariner and it was a Experience of a lifetime. The Nature Guide; "Blair" and the other crew members were all very friendly and helpful.
I highly recommend Real Journeys...they are exceptional!!!

Visited October 2015

Farshid P via TripAdvisor

26 December 2014

"First class cruise"

We took the overnight cruise on Milford Sound and it was fantastic.
Of course, Milford Sound itself is beyond description; so breathtaking. The cruise allowed us to be crusing in the sound for the entire evening and the next morning. We even got to take their little tender out on the water for some small scale crusing. We had excellent weather which also helped.
The crew was altogether very helpful and friendly and knowledgeable. The meals were very nicely done and served (but you're not really there for the food!!). The cabin was very comfortable; to was small as you would expect on a ship. 

Visited December 2014

Ted L, Colorado, USA via TripAdvisor

16 December 2014

"Breathtaking"

This is beyond description, absolutely stunning & breathtaking & real journeys add more value to the beauty by making the journey so comfortable.  It is a must see & the highlight of our New Zealand tour, we loved every bit of it. 
I was a little apprehensive about the journey to & fro from Queenstown as we didnot want to make it a tiring trip.  To our surprise the journey was so scenic that we lost sight of time. 
The cruise was very comfortable, we had taken a twin sharing cabin.  The ship was not overcrowded at all.  The dinner & breakfast was a huge spread & the chef went out of his way & cooked a great meal for one & all.
The menacing mountains, the blue sea, water falls along the mountains, the sight of seals & dolphins made it an extremely enjoyable trip. Even now there are times when I close my eyes & try to relive those lovely couple of days of my life.  I along with my wife will cherish this trip all our lives.

Visited October 2014

Rafi3021, Jamshedpur, India via TripAdvisor

24 October 2014

"Overnight on Milford Sound"

Unique experience staying overnight on the amazing Milford Sound on the Milford Mariner. The crew were really helpful and keen to make the trip something special. Dinner and breakfast are buffets with nice food. It was a friendly atmosphere and we got to chat to passengers from all over the world.
It did not matter that weather was overcast with some showers as it created hundreds of spectacular waterfalls.  We saw penguins, seals and were lucky to experience 2 dolphins who bow rode the boat for 10 minutes or so. Amazing creatures.
We drove to Milford ourselves after staying at Te Anau for the night. We did not find the drive too challenging but could see where landslides had taken place recently. Amazing rugged countryside.

Visited October 2014

SuziOzz, Sydney, Australia via TripAdvisor

28 September 2014

"Magical Milford Experience"

We took the coach from Te Anau to Milford Sound, and from Milford Sound to Queenstown because we stayed for another night. The 2 driver for both coach were very helpful and accommodating as well. Along the way, they gave us time to explore the landmarks and take photos by stopping and letting us off the bus.
On board the Milford Mariner, the crew were all very friendly and accommodating as well. They try their best to make you feel at home. Activities include kayaking, swimming (if you dare - it was winter time), and exploring on board the tender crafts. Board games are also available on board for those who prefer to stay on the vessel.
The food was very scrumptious; they served buffet dinner and breakfast. Accommodations wise, the room was very cozy. We stayed in a double room with our own bathroom. The bathroom was smaller than the average motel/hotel size but it was clean and it catered to our needs so we were fine with it.
Overall, it was one of the best trips that we have gone to; it was worth every cent.

Visited September 2014

thetravellingpairNZ, Auckland, NZ via TripAdvisor

6 October 2014

"A must do"

We did an overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner and loved it
The boat is fairly new and has about 25 cabins with en suite. The cabins are small( to be expected) but great for an overnight cruise. The ship has 4 decks the two bottom ones are the cabins then the restaurant/bar then above that the observation deck, plenty of room.
They have kayaks and 2 runabouts for getting close to nature, we went in a runabout and saw penguins and seals and got up close with the varied vegetation, all very informative and interesting. The evening meal was simple but substantial, buffet style, the bar had plenty of wine and beer to choose from. This is great way to see Milford Sound, the best way to do it.  We loved it and the cruise co is great in every way. 

Visited September 2014

Bruce K, Sydney, Australia via TripAdvisor

13 November 2014

"Overnight Cruise! What an experience of a lifetime!"

Did the overnight cruise and had a great time!
Service onboard is exceptional and really friendly and family like atmosphere. Crew really made sure you had a great time. Food was awesome! Our Cabin was nice.
We enjoyed having the opportunity to overnight Milford Sound and being able to enjoy the sound in all it's early morning glory!
A must do!! Great price for the cruise, don't even think about it!

Visited April 2014

anlof9, Ensenada, Mexico via TripAdvisor

27 April 2014

"Milford Mariner overnight journey"

We were picked up from our safe park where we had parked for our overnight trip and taken back to the real journeys office which was a great service, we then boarded a comfortable coach and started our trip to Milford Sound. Our driver Steve was exceptionally knowledgeable about the area and his commentary during our drive was great to listen too, he didnt speak the whole time which was nice as it left us time to soak up the wonderful scenery. There were enough stops to break the trip up without being too many.
On arrival to Milford Sound we were greeted aboard the well appinted Mariner. The trip out to the sounds was fantastic, water sports were offered before dinner. dinner that evening was superb with an amazing array of food which catered for meat eaters as well as vegetarians. Dessert was amazing! Early breakfast as bad weathrt was predicted. Breakfast again was a huge offering of food. Tea, coffee & hot chocolate was available for the duration of the boat trip. Short trip into the Tasman with narrative about what we were seeing along with history of the area.
Overall a fantastic experience, friendly team who looked after our every need. My only suggestion would be that if you are traveling with young kids take food with you for the coach trip and also the return trip.

Reviewed April 2014

sahmkaren via TripAdvisor

7 May 2014

"Overnight on the Mariner - Milford Sound"

We had an outstanding Milford Sound overnight excursion with coach transportation from Queenstown. Before we even left for the two-day trip, our trip coordinator, Leanne, and the staff in the Real Journeys office were very helpful answering questions and making us feel like valued customers!
Our driver and tour guide, Adrian, was exceptional! His knowledgeable commentary along the drive was just enough to share entertaining, insightful facts without being overbearing. Our whole party thought he was an excellent host! The check-in process for the boat was smooth, and our cabin was fine. I've read some reviews that did not compliment the cabins, but for a boat, the size should be expected!
The crew on the boat were helpful and we enjoyed kayaking, seal watching and the evening entertainment. The scenery is breathtaking, and because we had the advantage of staying for two days, we saw the rushing waterfalls spurred on by the rain, which also dusted the highest peaks with snow for our morning! We had clear skies by the time we docked, so the weather - good or bad - just adds to the beauty. The food was very, very good! My only suggestion is that it should last so much longer than it did! Thanks to all who made this a highlight of our visit!

Visited April 2014

MarfAtlanta, Atlanta, USA via TripAdvisor

19 March 2014

"Highly recommended"

Milford Sound is spectacular and cruising on the Mariner was a delight. We were fortunate to have glorious weather and millpond conditions. Our cabin was larger than we expected and had a good ensuite shower. Dinner, at 7pm, was delicious and plentiful, as was breakfast, served at 7am. We stayed on deck after dinner until 10 or so, watching seals playing around the boat. In fact, 3 of them slept on the swimming deck overnight! Sand flies could be annoying, but copious amounts of insect spray/roll-on mostly keep them at bay (we were given some by our tender driver and kayak instructors). So long as you keep moving, the flies stay away. A small price to pay for such amazing scenery.
When we booked (some months beforehand) we felt the cruise was expensive, but actually it was worth every penny.

Visited February 2014

Helen256, Dunstable, UK via TripAdvisor

9 March 2014

"Overnight Cruise - a must do"

I travelled with another couple & we were unanimous in our praises for the overnight cruise on the Mariner. The overnight stay was well set up, with options to kayak, hop on board a zodiac, or just have a quiet well deserved drink as part of the late afternoon activities. The meals were extensive & good quality with opportunities to catch up with fellow travellers. The morning trip out of the Sound was spectacular, as we saw Seals, whilst Dolphins played at the front of the boat. The scenery was awesome.
The mix of the guests ranged from couples, young & old , to families & everyone appeared to have a great time.Highly recommended.

Visited January 2014

Boze4Ever, Sydney, Australia via TripAdvisor

17 January 2014

"Fabulous trip"

This overnight cruise was everything you want it to be when you book it. The ship was in great condition and fully outfitted, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable and funny, the food was tasty, and the sights were, well...jaw-droppingly beautiful. We got lucky that it had rained a lot the night before so we were able to see a lot of the waterfalls that are only present during and after rainfall - but the weather cleared while we were on the boat and so we also go to see bright sunny skies as well.
I definitely would recommend this to anyone wanting the Milford Sound experience. And an added bonus was being able to live "off the grid" for a day or so, adding to the tranquil experience.

Visited January 2014.

Julie B, Chicago, USA via TripAdvisor

11 May 2013

"Fantastic Overnight Cruise"

A perfect evening, clear and warm. Staff went out of their way to make you feel welcome. Beds were small but comfortable. Food was too good, went to bed feeling very overstuffed.
Morning was a little cold and had some rain but it showed another aspect to the view.  All up was very nice.

Visited May 2013

AlFewre, Sydney, Australia via TripAdvisor

7 May 2013

"Exceeded Expectations"

We got to Milford Sound (Most beautiful drive ever) and boarded the Milford Mariner for an overnight cruise at around 3. We were greeted by friendly staff, and fresh-baked blueberry muffins which were delicious. Our private cabin was very clean and had everything we needed. We dropped our bags and, after a quick, incredibly scenic cruise around the sound, took some sea kayaks out for a spin. They also offered dinghy rides with the on-board wildlife expert.
Then it was in for dinner, I wasn't expecting much in the way of quality food, but it ended up being one of the best meals we had in our time in New Zealand, which is saying something. Huge buffet, fully stocked bar, incredible dessert... We ended up seeing an Albatross, Seals and dolphins playing under a huge waterfall. We were lucky enough to have very little rain, and lucky enough on the second day to have a clear, sunny day (Milford Sound gets 7000mm of rain a year). The sleep was perfectly calm, the boat wasn't rocking at all as we were anchored in a secluded cove. There were 60 people on board, but it never felt crowded.
The crew were friendly, informative and pretty entertaining! I don't think there is a better or more intimate way to see Milford Sound.

Visited April 2013

Ionionion, Toronto, Canada via TripAdvisor

16 April 2013

"What a 'Wow' experience"

What a fantastic couple of days! We were picked up from our hotel in Queenstown by a cheerful driver who certainly kept us entertained and educated us all the way to Milford Sounds. The bus trip was very enjoyable especially with the comfy seats and the 'windowed roof".
Upon boarding the Milford Mariner we loved the whole experience! The scenery was amazing, the cabins were great and cosy and food was fantastic. Well worth it and we would definitely recommend this attraction for all ages.

Visited April 2013

Donna A, Hamilton, New Zealand via TripAdvisor

9 April 2013

"Fantastic trip"

We did the overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner & would definitely recommend this for people of all ages.
The cabins were comfortable and the food was fabulous and endless. The staff were terrific and very helpful with everything. The chance to kayak was wonderful & again great for all ages.
It was wonderful to watch the dawn in the sound & much better than just an afternoon cruise.

Visited April 2013

Travel_pair24, Geelong, Australia via TripAdvisor

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