It seems most people have heard of Milford Sound – the eighth wonder of the world, but if you haven’t, then let me recap. Milford Sound is in fact a fiord created by an ancient glacier carving its way through the rock. Located in the southwest of the South Island and known for its towering Mitre Peak, rainforests, waterfalls and home to New Zealand Fur Seal colonies, penguins and dolphins.
The overnight cruise departs from Milford Wharf daily (Mid Sept – Mid May) between 3.30-4.30pm and travels up the fiord taking in the two largest waterfalls, Lady Bowen and Stirling Falls before returning to Harrison Cove for the evening. Once moored, water activities including kayaking or cruising the shores by tender vessel commence or you can choose to simply stay onboard to soak up these awe-inspiring views from the boat. Then it’s time to meet in the Saloon for Drinks, a Delicious Buffet Dinner and to enjoy the company of your fellow travellers. Following dinner, enjoy a nature presentation by their onboard Nature Guide or head out on the deck for star gazing, before retiring to your private cabin. The Mariner sleeps up to 60 people and includes Single/Double/Twin & Quad Cabins, all with their own bathroom.
The following morning and after continental and cooked buffet breakfast, the Mariner leaves Harrison Cove and cruises the full length of the fiord out to the Tasman Sea. The cruise takes in further waterfalls, visits a seal colony before returning to Milford Wharf at 9.00am.
Apart from driving into Milford Sound, the cruise can be packaged with return coach transfers from either Te Anau or Queenstown. There is also an option to upgrade to a scenic plane or helicopter flight taking in the spectacular alpine scenery including glaciers, rivers, lakes and rainforest.
The overnight option is ideal for those wanting to experience Milford at its best, when all the day visitors have left, and the fiord is yours to explore at a leisurely pace. In my opinion the overnight option is the ultimate way to experience Milford Sound.
Experience the Milford Sound Overnight Cruise with one of these packages:
Explore New Zealand– 21 days, exploring New Zealand’s North & South Islands by rental vehicle.
Ultimate New Zealand – 21 days, Auckland to Christchurch by independent coach.
Southern Walking Adventure – 8 days, exploring the beautiful Fiordland National Park and Hollyford Guided Walk.