Overnight Cruise the Milford Sound

Added by Nick Palastro

An unbelievable experience as you and roughly 60 other guests get to experience the Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park, up close and personal with an exceptional crew aboard the Milford Sound.

If you are ever visiting New Zealand's south island, I cannot implore you more to consider doing the overnight cruise of the Milford Sound via Real Journeys. For roughly $300, you board, in Queenstown, a custom designed Real Journeys tour bus that has seats slightly angled towards the windows as well as a curved glass covered roof so that you may gaze upwards toward the unrelenting views of the Southern Alps on your trip. The driver informs you of various spots you see on your 4.5 hour trip past the Remarkables, Lake Wakitipu, New Zealand farms, Lake Te Anau, and into the Fiordland National Park. The Milford Road may be one of the most scenic drives you can find in the world. Arriving in the afternoon, you check-in and board the your boat and go through safety procedures before you embark.

The first park of the cruise you are given background of the fiord itself before pulling into the Harrison Cove. Here you can either kayak, go for a swim, or board a small tender craft with the nature guide. On my trip, I went with the guide as he did an incredible job of being informative and spotting out native wildlife such as the ultra rare Fiordland Yellow Crested Penguin. After the afternoon adventures, you are able to shower up in your private cabins and get ready for the buffet dinner. You're served a three course meal where you can mingle with guests from all over the world. After dinner, enjoy laying out on the deck and enjoy the incredible New Zealand night skies before hunkering down for bed.

Wake up early the next morning and enjoy the sunrise before the crew serves you breakfast. Just like dinner, it is served buffet style. Soon, the boat picks up anchor and heads out toward the Tasman Sea. The fiord is all yours as there are no other tours going on while you are out in the morning creating an even more intimate feeling. The crew continues to give you background on the formation of this wonderful place as well as spotting out any wildlife they see. Out at the mouth of the Tasman Sea, you turn around and head back towards the dock. Back on land, take a few more pictures, re-board your bus or however you decided to travel, and continue your adventures elsewhere.

There are many options and companies for touring the Milford Sound, I believe this is the best. The crew is exceptional, food is very good, and you get to enjoy the scenery longer. Other tours often only cruise the fiord and are over in a couple hours. They are also held at times other tour companies are being held so there is a lot more background artificial noise. On the overnight cruise, you are essentially the only boat on the water. You get to relax and you get to soak in the beauty of the Milford Sound. Obviously, no two days are the same. 2/3rds the year it rains in the sound so you may likely get rained upon which creates hundreds of waterfalls, you may get clear skies allowing you to see the towering peaks and cliffs around you, or you could get overcast skies creating a misty, mythical feel toward your experience. You cannot go wrong no matter what the weather is, the Real Journeys overnight cruise through the Milford Sound in an absolute MUST do.

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Swimming Hole


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We did this for my 20th birthday. Waking up in the fiord was like nothing else

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