We want to do an overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound. The usual options are the Navigator with Real Journeys which is a larger ship taking up to 70 passengers or a smaller ship with either Fiordland Expeditions or Southern Secret which take passengers.
My preference is the smaller boat. However; our schedule has us spending 1 night Auckland; 3 nights Coromandel; 3 nights Rotorua; 2 nights Tongariro Alpine Crossing; 2 nights Dunedin; 1 night in Te Anau and then the cruise -- the date is Dec 24.
The smaller ships are not going out Dec 24; 25; 26 so they are not an option unless we cut a day and arrive a day earlier.
I would think the day we would cut would be in Rotorua -- 1 full day there instead of 2. That day would be added later in the trip -- probably around Abel Tasman; Nelson; Queen Charlotte area -- We have 4 full days there and this would make it 5.
Has anyone been on both the Navigator and the smaller ships? Should we just do the Navigator as it does go that day and leave the schedule as is or should we change it?
I wonder about the noise and busyness of a larger ship and think about Doubtful Sound be a quieter experience. However, I have read reviews on both and everyone seems to love whichever trip they took. So perhaps I am worrying needlessly.