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Milford Sound Overnight Cruises

Spend the night aboard the iconic Fiordland Navigator and wake up to dawn in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The cruise style is relaxed, allowing plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife. It’s the ultimate Milford Sound experience!

  • Enjoy accommodation in private cabins with ensuite bathrooms or quad share bunk-style compartments
  • 3-course buffet dinner and cooked breakfast prepared by our on-board chef
  • Choose to explore the shoreline by kayak or small boat
  • Specialist nature guide on board
  • Wildlife sighting opportunities – seals, penguins and dolphins
  • Duration: 1 night

To join this experience, you'll need to present your My Vaccine Pass at check-in. Find out more about our Covid-19 policy>

More Information

This overnight cruise through the heart of Fiordland provides astonishing views and the ultimate Milford Sound adventure.

You’ll start by departing from the Milford Sound wharf in the late afternoon before cruising through Milford Sound accompanied by our specialist nature guide. They’ll explain the history and geology of the area and be on hand to answer your questions.

This cruise style is relaxed, allowing plenty of time to view the fiord’s spectacular waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and wildlife – you’re bound to encounter seals and, if you’re lucky, maybe dolphins and penguins too.

The Fiordland Navigator then anchors in a sheltered cove. From here you can join the guide and explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) or kayaks. If you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place. If you’re feeling brave there’s always the option of a refreshing swim too. All activities are weather dependent. 

As evening falls, you’ll enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon – a feast prepared freshly by our on-site chef. Then it’s time to relax in the company of your fellow traveller, indulge in some star-gazing and story-sharing or simply retire to your private cabin.

The next day you’ll be able to dig into a hearty breakfast before heading back out to the Tasman Sea (weather permitting) and exploring more of the fiord.

Things you should know

  • The trip duration is for 1 night
  • Accommodation onboard the Fiordland Navigator (sleeps 72):
    • Private cabins with ensuites bathrooms (twin, double or single occupancy)
    • Quad share bunk-style compartments (shared bathrooms)
  • There’s a three course buffet dinner including appetisers, soups, salads, hot dishes and a selection of desserts and cheeses (vegetarian options available)
  • A full buffet breakfast with cooked and continental options is served
  • There is a licensed bar on board. Due to the remote location, we can only accept cash
  • Kayaking and tender craft (small boat) activities included

Extra Information

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

Departure Times

The trip leaves from the Milford Sound Terminal at 4.30pm and returns by 9.30am the following day. 

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

Getting there

The journey to Milford Sound is just as spectacular as the destination itself. Milford Sound is around 5-6 hours (one-way) from Queenstown and around 3 hours from Te Anau by road. 

Free parking is available for Overnight Cruise passengers in the RealNZ Bus Parking.  

By far the most satisfying way to experience Milford (or Doubtful) Sound is to do an overnight cruise; it gives you more time in the fjord when it's at its best—first thing in the morning and early evening.

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
  • Small bag only

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

About the Fiordland Navigator

The Fiordland Navigator is a purpose built vessel designed to replicate a traditional trading scow and is perfectly suited to cruising the fiords

  • Sleeps 72
  • Private cabins with ensuites (twin or double bed configuration) 
  • Quad-share bunk-style compartments with shared bathroom facilities (mixed gender)
  • Spacious viewing decks, dining saloon, licensed bar and observation lounge
  • Carries kayaks and tender craft 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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