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“Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise with Fiordland Cruises”
Review of Doubtful Sound

Doubtful Sound
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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Te Anau or Manapouri
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Doubtful Sound Scenic Helicopter Flight from Te Anau
Ranked #2 of 48 things to do in Te Anau
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Attraction details
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise with Fiordland Cruises”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

A highlight of our trip to the South Island was the overnight Doubtful Sound cruise with Fiordland Cruises on the MV Southern Secret. While the boat has six cabins sleeping 12 guests, we were most fortunate to have just one other couple on our cruise. The crew included Adam as skipper, Nelly as first mate and cook (honestly, she did everything!) and also Clint from the management team. They were all exceptionally customer focused, professional, informative, took great efforts to accommodate everyone's requests, as well as great company all around! The personal touches abounded. We learned a lot and had a great time cruising, fishing, and kayaking and were fortunate to have sunshine and blue skies for the entire cruise! The food was fantastic, including fresh rock lobsters for lunch, and lamb plus the fish we caught for dinner. The cabins were cozy, with en suite bathrooms and hot showers. If you want a personal experience with a small group, do not hesitate to book with Fiordland Cruises. Clint, thanks for your hospitality at the Black Dog bar in Te Anau, and we hope you have now caught some fish with your new fishing rod!
Trish and Rich

Visited November 2013
Thank proberts77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Peoria, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Overnight Aboard the Navigator with Real Journeys”
Reviewed November 28, 2013

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise with Real Journeys. We booked the double room, meaning we 1) had a place to lock away our valuables, 2) probably better sleep as no risk of a stranger snoring or coming/going at different hours, 3) privacy, 4) no need to coordinate showers / bathroom time with others. Others in quadshare bunks expressed some jealousy and we admit all of the above were nice to have. That said, next time we’d probably choose the quadshare as not much time is spent in the room and the difference in cost is substantial. The buffet dinner was very well done with a wide selection (roast beef, lamb, mussels, salmon, chicken), everyone at our table found something they found to be very delicious. By comparison, breakfast the next day was disappointing – standard fare normally found at a continental breakfast (juices, cereals, breads) plus some bland scrambled eggs, non-descript bacon and sausage. The nature guide on the trip provided interesting commentary along the way and we were lucky enough to see penguins, dolphins, seals, and even a humpback whale – the latter is not very common to see according to both the guide and captain). At each sighting, the captain would stop / position the boat for plenty of time for all to watch and take pictures. Though the captain got the boat very close to the wildlife considering the size of the vessel, it would have been nice to have something just a bit more than the 5X zoom capability of our point and shoot cameras. Evening activities included choosing between 1) kayaking, 2) a ride in a smaller boat, or 3) relaxing on the main boat. The captain had an open deck policy at the helm, so it was interesting to see the control room. Biggest downside is the transportation (bus/boat/bus) to and from the sound – rather than break up the trip with stops at scenic points for photos, the buses stop at non-descript cafés along the way.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank ctc10s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lone Tree, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fiordland Expeditions was awesome! Highly recommend.”
Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

We found Fiordland Expeditions online and are so glad we did. Their small boat experience for an overnight trip of Doubtful Sound was THE highlight of our trip. The crew of David and Rachel ensured we had everything we needed. We kayaked, fished for our dinner (which was a blast and I don't even fish), and our skipper went diving for lobster for dinner. The food was awesome. When we saw something interesting (whale, dolphin, penguin, sea lion, seal, take your pick), Dave would ensure we had plenty of time for pics and enjoyment. A+ all the way. Don't book with anyone else. We didn't want to leave and will certainly go back.

Visited November 2013
Thank DiverLuv2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Glasgow, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Well worth it”
Reviewed November 28, 2013

You can drive to Manapouri yourself or get picked up from your lodging in Te Anau. Go Orange had a $199 special this week with no additional charge for pick up. Picked up at 7:20, then a 20 km bus ride to Manepouri, transfer to boat for trip across lake to the West Arm. Had a tour of the hydroelectric plant underground, quite an engineering feat. Back on bus in 20 min for the drive over the mountains to Deep Cove on Doubtful Sound. Boarded boat for tour of Doubtful Sound around 10:15 a.m. We lucked out on the weather and had a brilliant sunny day in an area that gets on average of 1.4 cm each day. Saw a humpback, penguins, fur seals, snow capped mountains, and amazing fiords. You can bring your lunch or they will pack you a bag lunch for a charge. Coffee and tea are provided on the boat. Back to Te Anau around 5pm-ish.

Visited November 2013
Thank Buddy510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morgan Hill, California
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Excellent Overnight Cruise”
Reviewed November 24, 2013

My wife and I took the Real Journeys Doubtful Sound overnight cruise on November 25-26. First, let me say that I would give the Real Journeys people a 5. They did everything first class and extremely well organized. Everything was spotless and timely, from the two bus trips to the ferry to the ship itself. (We took the tour from Te Anau.) The crew was outstanding and did everything possible to make it a great experience. We especially liked Skipper Dave who had an open bridge and was very friendly in answering all our questions. We spent a decent amount of time on the bridge. We also really liked the nature guide Josh who provided commentary throughout the voyage on where we were going (while many times standing at the front of the ship in driving rain!) He also did an excellent Powerpoint presentation after dinner. Our feeling was that Real Journeys could not have done anything better. (Other than providing rain gear to the people that were going out on the boat and kayaks in the rain.)

We were disappointed with the outbound part of the trip because after a while it was pretty much the same. There was a light rain and fairly heavy winds which made standing outstanding something you did not want to do for an extended period.

However, at night the rain intensified and made the return trip spectacular. There were hundreds, if not thousands of waterfalls and it really was amazing. To be honest, if the weather had been good in both directions we would have been disappointed. The heavy rain resulted in the scenery going back being totally different than going out.

Going out we did get to see a large colony of seals and were able to get pretty close. We also saw a humpback whale who spent time swimming in the vicinity of the boat and we saw it (or at least part of it) come out of the water several times. Also saw part of a penguin going out and coming back. Seems they were a bit shy on this trip!

Our opinion of Real Journeys was that these people certainly have their act together.

The excursion itself we felt was very good but not great, through no fault of Real Journeys. As stated above, the overnight rain and spectacular waterfalls in the morning saved the trip.

We would certainly use Real Journeys again should we come back to New Zealand in the future.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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