When you travel to Fiordland, you are visiting one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand!
The extraordinary beauty of Fiordland was recognised by the United Nations in 1986 when it was made a World Heritage Area.
The Fiordland National Park was described as having “superlative natural phenomena” and “outstanding examples of… the earth’s evolutionary history”.
Fiordland’s west coast is deeply indented by 14 fiords spanning 215 kilometres of coastline. We focus our cruises further south than the more visited Milford Sound.
Doubtful Sound (also known as the “sound of silence”) is the second largest and 3 times longer than Milford. We also cruise Dusky Sound which is the largest at 40 kilometres long and eight kilometres wide. Captain Cook noted its entrance during his first voyage to New Zealand in 1770. On his second visit he established workshops and an observatory which we visit.
Fiordland National Park is the largest in New Zealand, at almost 10,000 square kilometres. Its Jurassic pristine glacial carved valleys are breathtakingly majestic, during this unique cruise you are highly likely to see fur seals, crested penguin’s, dolphins and maybe even whales.
The top 3 metres of the water is fresh due to rain and melting snow. With the salt underneath, it’s crystal clear. Rain washes through the leaf litter on the forest floors and into the fiords, staining the surface water a dark tea colour. Some say the environment below the water is as unique as the landscape above.
This vast remote deep wilderness enclosed by giant moss-covered gnarled trees, towering waterfalls and steep cliff faces just cannot be put into words. Surrounded by ancient native bush, the area is uninhabited… and let’s not forget the world-class fishing.
All walks are optional – you may wish to just stay on board and relax.
Our vessel Affinity is ideally suited for getting up close to waterfalls and shore lines, providing guests with world-class photo opportunities. We serve hearty Kiwi-style meals for our small groups, often supplemented with freshly caught seafood. You will enjoy a cosy cabin to retreat to at the end of your adventure packed days.
7-12 Day Tour
11 days / 10 nights
An average level of fitness. Walk 7kms, Bike 25kms. Well formed tracks and roads with very little incline.
Te Anau – Doubtful Sound
The Launch Affinity
Your adventure starts from your overnight accommodation in Te Anau. At approximately 0830, Real Journeys will pick you up and bring you to the vessel Affinity.
The trip includes a coach to the Manapouri wharf then a cruise across Lake Manapouri where at the other side you will board another coach for the trip over the Wilmot Pass and down into Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound where Affinity will be waiting for you.
You arrive at Deep Cove about 1200. As soon as you are settled and after a briefing on the safety aspects, we will depart and cruise down and explore Doubtful Sound, visit Hall Arm and moor in Little Precipice Cove for the night.
Doubtful Sound to Breaksea Sound
We will leave Doubtful Sound today and cruise down the coast to Breaksea Sound in time for lunch.
After lunch we will cruise around Breaksea Sound for the afternoon, and possibly have time to catch some blue cod as well.
Breaksea Sound to Dusky Sound
Today, we will see the sights of Vancouver Sound to its head. This is a spectacular part of Fiordland with steep sheer cliffs and many waterfalls. In the afternoon, we will leave Breaksea Sound and cruise along Acheron passage to Dusky Sound, anchoring in Sportsman Cove overnight.
This morning we will try our hand at catching a groper.
In the afternoon we will visit Astronomers Point and Luncheon Cove.
In both these areas we will enjoy a chance to stretch our legs ashore.
An exciting day ahead with a visit to Pigeon Island, we’ll don our walking boots for a 2 hour walk across Pigeon Island.
We will visit Richard Henrys base and at Facile Harbour, you will see the site of New Zealand’s first official ship wreck.
We will also have a look at Earshell Cove and anchor for the night in the beautiful Cascade Cove.
Dusky Sound to Cunaris Sound
Today we will cruise down to Chalky Sound, exploring North Port and stopping at the head of Cunaris Sound for the evening.
We’ll try our hand at catching some blue cod for dinner along the way.
Cunaris Sound to Chalky Inlet
After Breakfast, we will go ashore for a couple of hours exploring the area. We will then leave Cunaris Sound and cruise to South Port in Chalky Inlet.
We will take the tender ashore here to have a look around and anchor in South Port overnight.
Chalky Inlet to Preservation Inlet
We will leave Chalky and cruise into Preservation inlet.
We will stop and visit the old Tarawera Silver Smelter and look at the wonderful sights of this area.
Today we will cruise to the Old Oil Store and walk to New Zealand’s most SouthWestern Light house at Puysegur Point.
We may be able to visit the very remote Kisbee Lodge.
Our last full day of exploring Preservation Inlet.
We’ll cruise and do a little fishing and anchor at the head of the Inlet ready for the Helicopter flight out in the morning.
Preservation Inlet to Te Anau
After breakfast, we will take you ashore for your helicopter flight back to civilisation, and bid you farewell.
Your journey will end in Te Anau
Accommodation is onboard the vessel in eight cabins (twin share – bed and bunk or double bed)
Tea, Coffee and Juice are availablel.
If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking.
All meals are included in your tour cost. Wine and other beverages are available to be purchased during dinners.
There are no laundry facilities available. Small items can be hand washed.
Q. How long have you been operating?
A. Affinity Cruises have been operating since 1996.
Q. What are the cabins like?
A. Seven cabins can be either double (double bed on the bottom with a single bed above the foot) or twin share (two single bunk style beds with the second bed above the foot of the bottom bed). One cabin is either just a single or double, does not have bed across the foot of the other bed.
Q. What bedding / linen is provided?
A. Each bed is made ready for your arrival with sheets and duvets. You are allocated two towels for a seven day cruise, this is to reduce the effect on the environment.
Q. What if I have special dietary requirements?
A. There is a place on the booking form that covers your requirements. We will do our very best to accommodate your requirements but in some cases we may ask you to bring along some of your favourites.
Q. What is there to buy in your on board shop?
A. Items such as T-Shirts, hats, coasters, drink bottles, key rings etc…
Q. I often suffer from seasickness – what can you suggest to help me?
A. Ginger is known to contain properties to alleviate nausea. There is also other options from pharmacies and supermarkets (sea legs tablets, pressure bands etc…) If you are feeling unwell talk to one of the crew as soon as possible.
Q. Am I limited to the amount of luggage I can bring?
A. As there is limited room onboard we recommend 1 medium sized bag per person.