In recent years the popularity of this cruise has encouraged more operators to enter the market with the result that the Sound now has many more boats on it – however all things are relative, it is after all a huge sound and you will enjoy your cruise whichever trip you take.
Our suggestion would be to take the Nature Cruise which, at two and a half hours, is about an hour longer than the scenic cruise , with the added advantage of having a specialist nature guide on board to point out all the natural features from waterfalls to sheer rock faces and help with wildlife spotting of dolphins , seals and ,in season ,the rare Fiordland crested penguins .
There are a number of different ways of getting to Milford – you can either take the coach from Queenstown or Te Anau or at considerable extra cost you can combine the coach journey with a flight or fly in both ways .
If you are travelling from Queenstown we don’t advise a return coach journey since it makes for a very long day; better to overnight in Te Anau or to enjoy an overnight cruise .
Neither do we advocate driving to Milford – the drive can be arduous at times and you’ll miss some of the stunning scenery you can view through the panoramic coach windows.
What our travellers enjoyed about their Milford Cruise…
- The breath-taking views of Mitre Peak , Bowen and Stirling Falls
- The spectacular alpine scenery of Fiordland
- Chatting to the nature guide and skipper about “ life on the Sound “
- Seeing dolphins and seals close up
This is a fantastic experience aboard a traditional vessel which cruises the full length of the fiord and anchors overnight in the sheltered waters of Harrison Cove. Here you’ll enjoy a sumptuous three course dinner alongside pristine rainforest and sheer rock faces .Exploring the shoreline by kayak or small boat is also on offer.
Accommodation is in private cabins with ensuite bathrooms – these are not spacious luxury apartments , you’re not on the QE 2! but comprise two beds and a small locker for your overnight bag .
Service on board is very good , we cannot rate it highly enough ; all the staff are very personable and go about their tasks with the minimum of fuss .
The coach from Te Anau departs at 12.45 pm ,returning the following day at 12.30pm ; from Queenstown you’ll leave at 8.30 a.m to return at 3.30pm the next day.
What our travellers enjoyed about their Milford overnight cruise…
- The sheer scale of Milford Sound with its iconic natural features
- The quiet of the Sound as day passes into evening and the day boats return to harbour
- Chatting to fellow travellers and the crew about their experiences
- The wonderful three course meal – as David Atkinson , a recent Silver Fern traveller commented – “ the best I had in New Zealand ! “