Experience the natural beauty of Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise departing from Manapouri on New Zealand’s South Island. Cruise on a traditional three-mast sailing scow (flat-bottomed trading boat) along the pristine waters of the fiords, and see a vast array of wildlife including dolphins, seals and penguins in their natural habitats. You can join the cruise in Manapouri or include luxury coach transfers from Te Anau or Queenstown.
Doubtful Sound has one of the most dramatic landscapes in New Zealand. It is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. With deep black fiords, soaring granite peaks and ancient rainforests that cling to the surrounding mountains, Doubtful Sound is a magnificent, unspoiled wilderness.
Your Doubtful Sound overnight adventure begins with a short cruise across island-studded Lake Manapouri and a coach trip over Wilmot Pass. You'll then descend to Doubtful Sound to meet the crew and board the sailing scow awaiting you in Deep Cove.
The sailing scow is purposely built for these waters and designed along the lines of a traditional sailing vessel, combining the charm of a bygone era with all the modern comforts, including spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon, fully licensed bar and an observation lounge.
Cruise the full length of the fiord, weaving through hidden coves and waterways. Doubtful Sound is home to a vast array of natural flora and fauna. See bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins in their natural habitats from the vessel’s large viewing decks and platforms. A specialist nature guide is on board to provide commentary and insight into the history of the region.
In the late afternoon, the crew will drop anchor in a sheltered cove, allowing you to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender craft (small boat) with a nature guide. For the more adventurous, there’s even a chance to go swimming.
Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner prepared by the onboard chef and relax in the saloon before retiring to your cozy cabin.
The next morning, following a cooked or continental breakfast, cruise a little further before returning to Manapouri.