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Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

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Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

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.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1. Re: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Yep, you are worrying needlessly.

Take the Navigator and enjoy :)

San Francisco, CA
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2. Re: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

There are a few other options for small boat overnights; take a look here on TA.

I went out with Deep Cover Charters a few days after Christmas, and it was incredible. Total of 12 passengers, amazing food.

Regardless, you'll enjoy it.

Orewa, New Zealand
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3. Re: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Don't change your schedule to avoid going with Real Journeys. We did the trip with them a couple of weeks ago and couldn't have been more impressed. The boat didn't seem crowded at all. The staff were wonderful and extremely knowledgable and passionate about the area. The scenery is fantastic of course and we got to kayak and swim off the end of the boat plus the food was amazing. I normally hate buffet food but the evening meal was just superb, my hubby is still raving about it.

It was one of the best trips we have done anywhere in the world and lucky for us kiwis it is right here at home.

4. Re: Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

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