Join us for a magnificent Milford Sound Overnight Cruise to raise much needed funds for the South Island’s only specialised expert wildlife veterinary facility – The Wildlife Hospital, Dunedin.
Your journey begins in Te Anau, where we board the specially chartered coach for Milford Sound, leaving no later than midday. Or you can self-drive and meet us in Milford Sound. (Please note the coach is provided at no extra charge, but is on a first come first served basis as there are limited seats).
Enjoy the spectacular scenery on the way to Milford Sound with fellow Cruise-for-a-Cause supporters, pausing at some of the beauty spots along the way.
Late afternoon we board the Milford Mariner – a beautiful vessel combining old world charm and elegance with comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon/fully licensed bar and an observation lounge. The 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 dolphin and penguins – your nature guide is on hand to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The Milford Mariner anchors in a sheltered cove, where you can join the nature guide and explore in a small boat or kayak. If you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place or go for a swim (if you’re brave enough!). Enjoy a delicious three course buffet dinner prepared by our on-board chef served in the dining saloon. Mingle with other guests and savour some of the fine wines from our licensed bar.
As a wonderful extra to this very special cruise, Wildlife Hospital Director and one of New Zealand’s best-known wildlife veterinarians, Dr Lisa Argilla will share more about her work at the hospital and give some unique insights about some of our very special patients!
After this unique presentation, if skies are clear, wander out on the upper deck to gaze at the night sky from Fiordland.
When we wake the following morning, a sumptuous breakfast awaits us, before heading back to the wharf at Milford Sound.
Book online below or call our Customer Contact Centre on 0800 656501 and quote ‘Milford Sound Cruise-for-a-Cause’.
Important request from the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital Trust:
The Wildlife Hospital will only receive the name of your booking and number of passengers, as we do not pass on your contact details. They may like to make contact with all those joining their trip before it leaves and would welcome an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org so they are aware of everyone supporting their trip. (Note: The Wildlife Hospital has guaranteed they will not use your email for anything other than Cruise-for-a-Cause arrangements).
Prepayment by credit card and subsequent confirmation by Real Journeys Ltd is accepted as confirmation of your booking.
No refunds will be granted but we do allow swapping of passengers if you need to on-sell. We recommend travel insurance.
Media alert: As this is a charity event, there may be media on board, and images might be used in various channels including social media. All participants agree to their image being used in any future publicity unless otherwise specified - please email Tsehai Tiffin prior to your trip: Tsehai.email@example.com
The journey to Milford Sound is just as spectacular as the destination itself. Milford Sound is around 5-6 hours (one-way) from Queenstown and around 3 hours from Te Anau by road. Our coach drivers are extremely knowledgeable about the area, its history and local flora and fauna and will provide you with informative commentary along the way.
You could also drive yourself to Milford.
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.Fodors.com
Milford Sound Visitor Terminal - departs 3.30pm (returns 9.15am day 2)
Fiordland Community Events Centre, 20-22 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau - departs 12noon (returns 11.30pm day 2)
Please note: If you have any special dietary needs please add this into the comments box during the booking process.
The Milford Mariner is a purpose built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords
In case you haven't found the information you were looking for, we've put together some of the most common questions our customers ask about our trips. If you need more specific answers, please contact us directly.
Overnight Cruises and Quadshare - We are a group of three people and would like to book a shared quad-share room. Will this mean we would be sharing with another person?
Yes, you could potentially be sharing with another guest. Alternatively you could choose to pay for the entire quad cabin, or two double cabins, to ensure privacy. If you wish to pay for an entire quad cabin, please contact us directly by email, by phone or via webchat.
Note: quad-share cabins are mixed gender.
Throughout Fiordland the fiords are officially mapped as sounds. Strictly speaking, they should be called fiords.
A fiord is a glaciated valley - typically narrow and steep-sided - that has been flooded by the sea after the glacier’s retreat. A sound, on the other hand, is a river valley flooded by the sea following a rise in sea levels or depression of the land, or a combination of both.
Fiordland’s weather is what gives the region its unique character. Rainfall is what makes Fiordland a land of lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls and fiords. Visitors should always be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during their stay. It is recommended to bring sensible clothing for cool and wet weather to fully appreciate your stay.
The temperatures you can expect in the different seasons are as follows:
While we cannot guarantee you will see wildlife, sightings of fur seals are reasonably common in both Doubtful and Milford Sounds. A pod of bottlenose dolphins resides in Doubtful Sound so you have a good chance of seeing these fascinating mammals, and in Milford Sound dolphins are occasional visitors. In both sounds the rare Fiordland crested penguin can at times be observed.
From Queenstown to Te Anau by car or coach takes around 2 hrs 45 mins and from Manapouri around 30 minutes. For more information refer to our Driving Times webpage.
If you are travelling from Queenstown it will take around 5 hours to reach Milford. Te Anau to Milford is around 2 hours 20 minutes. This timing allows for stops along the way for photos or short walks to places of interest. If driving make sure you fill your vehicle with petrol in Te Anau before travelling to Milford (there are no petrol stations at Milford Sound or en route). For more details, refer to our Driving Times webpage.
Driving conditions during winter (May to September) can be difficult. Extreme care is needed as freezing temperatures mean the road can ice over in shaded places. During the winter it is mandatory to carry snow chains in your vehicle as the road can sometimes be covered in snow. These are available for hire from petrol stations in Te Anau and Queenstown.
If you are not confident about driving in winter conditions then take a Real Journeys coach to Milford Sound and relax and take in the stunning scenery.
Parking in Milford Sound is currently free of charge. Please allow up to 45 mins - 1 hour to park your vehicle and transfer to the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal, where you must check in for your cruise 20 minutes before departure. Car parking at Milford Sound is organised by Milford Sound Tourism (MST). The main parking area is approx. a 10 minute walk to the terminal. Parking in Deepwater Basin is approx. a 25 minute walk from the terminal.
From Saturday, November 1 parking fees will apply in the main car parking area operated by Milford Sound Tourism. The cost will be $20 for up to 5 hours.
All prices and transactions on the Real Journeys website are in New Zealand dollars (NZD). This is specified on the Terms & Conditions page.
Our staff are trained to deal with incidents and in case of an emergency you should listen to their instructions.
We have a portable defibrillator on each of our overnight cruise vessels (Milford Mariner, Milford Wanderer and Fiordland Navigator).
In addition to this we also have portable defibrillators at the following locations:
• Milford Sound Visitor Terminal
• Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Manapouri
• Cavern House (Te Anau Glowworm Caves)
• Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant, Walter Peak
• TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship
• Stewart Island Ferry (Bluff - Oban - Bluff).