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Fiordland Trails Trust pirates dig deep for treasure

Date: 2 November 2020

$30,698 will help progress the Fiordland Trails Trust network of trails from Te Anau to Te Anau Downs, for non-motorised recreational activity, following Real Journeys pirate-themed Cruise-for-a-Cause.

Cruise-for-a-Cause at the top of Wilmot Pass with Doubtful Sound in the background

Trails Trust Chair John Greaney says the cruise almost did not go ahead with uncertainty over the COVID-19 alert levels and slow ticket sales.

“We’re very thankful to Real Journeys in tough times – we would have understood if they’d said ‘no it’s cancelled’,” says Greaney.

But in the end, the Fiordland Navigator set off with every cabin full (68 passengers) for a Doubtful Sound overnight cruise that had some unique additions. There was a ‘pirate lunch’ provided by Kiwi Country before they left, scones by West Arm Lodge, the silent auction of a number of donated items, and (for an extra donation) the option to take bicycles across Lake Manapouri.

“Real Journeys went above and beyond, doing extras such as providing transport for bikes for those wanting to ride down from Wilmot Pass (an appropriate extra activity for a Trails Trust),” says Fiordland Trails trustee Stephen Hoskin. “People got into the spirit of the pirate theme, dressing up and undertaking activities such as a sailing-themed quiz, auctions and fines for various offences. We all ate like captains - as always, the food was sensational.”

“Brilliant trip for a good cause,” says another Cruise-for-a-Cause participant, Karlene Rainham. “The trip was fantastic with hearty camaraderie amongst the piratey revellers, and for me personally, getting to get up close and personal to a waterfall in a kayak was the highlight!”

“I haven’t been there for so many years – it’s such a magnificent country and you’re inclined to forget. There was a real cross-section of people and I think they were amazed,” adds Greaney.

George Garden singing sea-shanties as some of the evening entertainment on board

Since 2015, Real Journeys has dedicated two of the first overnight cruises of the season as a fundraiser for charitable or not-for-profit organisations. The vessel, crew, three-course dinner, breakfast and water activities – are all provided at no cost. Successful applicants sell the tickets to their supporters and keep 100% of the proceeds.  Over $260,000 has been raised since Cruise-for-a-Cause began.


For further information contact:

Tsehai Tiffin - Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +64 21 523 899
Email the team