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Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises

Escape to the peace and tranquility of Doubtful Sound on a magical overnight cruise.

  • Duration: 1 night or 2 nights
  • Cruise the full length of Doubtful Sound, all the way to the Tasman Sea
  • Enjoy accommodation in private cabins with ensuite bathrooms or quad share bunk-style compartments (limited numbers)
  • Buffet dinner and breakfast prepared by our on-board chef
  • Plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing
  • Choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or small boat included
  • We’ve got a specialist nature guide on board who provides insightful commentary
  • More Info >

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More Information

Doubtful Sound is unspoiled, unmatched and unforgettable. So get ready to create some lifelong memories as the Mariner takes you through the ultimate Doubtful Sound experience.

Your itinerary starts in Manapouri with a short cruise across Lake Manapouri. A coach then takes you across Wilmot Pass, travelling on a sub-alpine road through dense rainforest. Arriving at Deep Cove you’ll be met by our crew and the majestic Mariner vessel.

Designed along the lines of a traditional scow, the Mariner blends old world charm with modern comforts that include spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon with a fully licensed bar and an observation lounge.

As you cruise through some of New Zealand’s most stunning scenery, our knowledgeable nature guides will provide commentary ensuring you miss nothing, be it the pod of resident dolphins, fur seals or rare penguins you might encounter.

After dropping anchor in a sheltered cove, you can choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender boat – or to simply relax onboard. For the adventurous (or very brave), there’s even a chance to go swimming. All activities are weather dependent. 

In the evening, you’ll enjoy a delicious three-course buffet dinner prepared by our onboard chef and served in the dining saloon. Mingle with fellow travellers, savour some of the fine wines at our licensed bar and if the skies are clear in the evening, spend some time on the upper deck gazing at the stars.

Kick off the next day with a hearty cooked breakfast menu and get ready to enjoy the rest of the morning exploring other parts of the fiord. Finally, you’ll return to Deep Cove, the trip back to Manapouri and many, many conversations telling friends just how amazing your trip was.

Things you should know:

  • Duration is 1 night or 2 nights
  • Accommodation:
    • Private cabins (twin, double or single occupancy)
    • Quad share bunk - style compartments
    • Ensuite bathrooms
  • Enjoy a hearty dinner including soups, buffet of salads and hot dishes and a selection of desserts and cheeses (vegetarian options available)
  • There is a licensed bar on board. Due to the remote location, we can only accept cash
  • Includes kayaking and tendercraft (small boat) activities
  • You’ll enjoy a buffet breakfast on-board
  • 2-night cruise includes lunch on the second day
  • Due to the multi-leg journey and floating wharf access, guests will need to have a reasonable level of mobility

Extra information

  • Duvets, sheets and towels provided
  • Complimentary tea and coffee is available
  • Suitable for all ages, with the exception of infants in quad share

Departure Times

The trip leaves Pearl Harbour, Manapouri at 12.30pm and returns 12pm the following day. 

You are required to check-in at the RealNZ Visitor Centre 30min before your departure time.

Getting there

All our Doubtful Sound experiences start in Manapouri which is around 2.5 – 3 hours from Queenstown and 30 minutes from Te Anau.

Free parking is available in Manapouri. 

What to bring

Only one carry-on bag is recommended for passenger convenience and for safety reasons.  Don't forget the following:

  • Non-slip walking shoes/boots
  • Waterproof jacket*
  • Warm sweater/fleece jacket
  • Change of clothes*
  • Sunscreen/sunglasses
  • Insect repellent*
  • Swimwear (optional)
  • Camera
  • Cash for bar and snacks
  • Lunch and snacks for the first day
  • Small bag only

* Essential items if you are doing activities. Activities take place even if it is raining.

Overnight cruise experience like no other


About the Mariner

The Mariner is a purpose-built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords.

  • Sleeps 64
  • Private cabins with ensuites (twin or double bed configuration)
  • Limited quad-share bunk-style compartments with ensuites (mixed gender)
  • Spacious viewing decks and observation lounge
  • Dining saloon and licensed bar
  • Carries 30 kayaks and 2 tender craft onboard


About the Wanderer

Designed along the lines of a traditional sailing scow, the Wanderer has old world charm combined with modern facilities and the latest safety equipment. After a recent refurbishment, the Wanderer offers 'twin-share' compartments and shared bathroom facilities. 

  • 32 passengers per departure
  • Warm, comfortable accommodation (two passengers per sleeping compartment)
  • Modern shared bathroom facilities with hot showers
  • Delicious meals prepared by an onboard chef
  • Kayaks and small motorised craft available onboard


In case you haven't found the information you were looking for, we've put together some of the most common questions our customers ask about our trips. If you need more specific answers, please contact us directly.

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Our places. Our experiences. Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises. Escape to the peace and tranquillity of Doubtful Sound on a magical overnight cruise.

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