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“Overstated & Overpriced” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Glacier Sea Kayaking-Day Tours

Glacier Sea Kayaking-Day Tours
Departs From: The Old Mountaineers Cafe, Bar and Restaurant - Next door to the Department of Conservation Visitor Information Centre, Mt. Cook Village, New Zealand
64 3 435 1890
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Queenstown, New Zealand
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Overstated & Overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

I too had an average experience largely let down by the slovak guide. Uninterested and with very little communication (maybe two or three sentences the whole trip) he made the group feel awkward and confused as to what was going on. You cannot get up n close with glacier for safety reason and 2k away is the closest you will get. Disappointing to say the least. All in all it was a disappointing trip, and at $145 per person i thought this was extremely overpriced. Knowing what the trip involves and how close you actually get to the glacier i would be prepared to pay $80 - $100. Even at $100 i still would have been disappointed. Would definitely not recommend this to friends.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Glacier Sea Kayaking-Day Tours, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Hi Sam
I talked to the guide about the comments you made about the day. He told me that you guys did some really good paddling around the lake and visited ice bergs and got to take photos etc beside them. The paddling conditions were good on that day which meant your group was able to visit the places of interest and that each stop he told the group about the area. When conditions are good for paddling to area to area to commentary will be shorter. Yes we stop a safe distance from the front face of the glacier. This is for the guests and guides protection and fulfills our safety plan requirements for operating on the glacier lake.
We've just had a massive calving in late Feb which produced millions of tons of ice which is now floating up and down the lake - very spectacular!! Comments I've received from other guests who were on that trip were positive.
No where in our advertising does it say we go up to the terminal face of the Tasman Glacier. I do heli hiking trips which will take you up onto the ice.
We've had thousands of happy clients who have had an incredible experience on the Tasman Lake. Let me know if you are up this way again.

I look forward to your reply

Charlie Hobbs
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26 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Yokohama, Japan
1 review
“Great touch with Glacier in Mueller lake”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I joined the sea kayaking in Mueller lake. It was a great experience to throw myself into the great nature and came to touch with history of iceberg. You paddle with a small kayak in a big glacier melting lake, explore around gray and blue parts of the lake, and even drink that water. My buddy, Slovakian guide Lubos, was experienced and well educated, and taught me that the lake was gray due to so called "rock powder." Glacier grounded rocks while sliding the mountains and its powder make the water color gray. This makes the lake too rich in mineral and few creatures can live there. Since you are only with your buddy, you can go to where you'd like to go and get really close to glacier so that you hear groaning sounds of iceberg. If you see it from overlook, you may see only the surface of iceberg, but from lake surface you see the "terminal" which is the end of long long iceberg.
I saw some people upload great pics of Tasman lake, but it doesn't mean Mueller lake is inferior to that or vice versa. It just makes me want to visit the beautiful world heritage again and try the other lake. I am glad to encounter the Sea Kayaking in Information Center and tried one of their tours. You see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, and tough it.
Great thanks to Lubos, friendly staff at Sea Kayaking, and Aoraki.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Must do while in New Zealand south island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

One of the most memorable experiences myself my wife and two adult children had during our 15 day trek around New Zealand's south island was kayaking on Lake Tasman below the Tasman Glacier. None of us have a lot of Kayaking experience, my daughter had none; however, our guide, Charlie Hobbs, led us to icebergs and dead ice areas at a leisurely pace while ensuring our safety and giving us an experience we will never forget.

There are power boat expeditions which take you closer to the glacier, but they do not get as close to the dead ice areas or the icebergs.

Absolutely recommend anyone with moderate fitness to do this, it is worth every cent.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Poor customer experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We visited here towards the end of Dec '12.

The Slovak guide was rude and uninterested in the customers. He was talking to his support staff all the time. The trip that was supposed to leave at 2 pm left around 2.40 pm as the guide was having lunch.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlie H, Owner at Glacier Sea Kayaking-Day Tours, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Hi
Thankyou for your feedback. I be very interested to know the details in depth of your experience with your guide. He guides with me on all our Tasman Glacier trips and I've found him to be extremely good with our guests. Helpful and interesting. He has been guiding in Alaska and has said that the Mueller lake is one of his favourite areas.
I'm not sure who the support staff would have been on this trip as he works alone on the Mueller Glacier trips. Our ratio is 1:8 only. Would you be able to give me the day you did the trip so I can follow up on your experience.
Regards
Charlie Hobbs
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Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Lots of fun, but expensive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We did the Tasman Glacier kayaking, and it was lots of fun. This is a very simply trip on the water, despite the "experience required" disclaimer -- just a couple of kilometers -- but in a breathtaking environment with actively calving glaciers all around. Gorgeous! Our guide and host was fun, experienced and knowledgeable. He probably charges $50 more than he should for the 4 hours, but it's still a blast.

Visited January 2013
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Charlie H, Owner at Glacier Sea Kayaking-Day Tours, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Hello and thank you for your comment regarding our Tasman Glacier Trip. I'm pleased that you enjoyed your trip. It really is an iconic trip.
We've also done a lot of research into safety to make the kayaks really safe and stable with the outrigger attachments.
We looked hard at the cost of the trip as we only do the one 4 hour trip a day.
The cost of $145pp - ratio 1:8 has been worked out to cover the following costs:
-Guide wages
-Dept of Conservation concession levy
-GST tax 15%
-Boat repairs
-vehicle transport cost and fuel
-commissions paid to agents
Then there is tax to pay!!! Not much left at the end of the day.

I hope this info helps.
Warmest regards
Charlie Hobbs
Owner
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