Itineraries → New Zealand → Fiordland South
09 - 18
Fiordland South: Remote and Historic Dusky Sound
These are incredible voyages through the New Zealand Fiordland National Park. With like-minded travellers, we share a world class scenery seldom visited that will often take your breath away. All the while enjoying fine gourmet dinners under the stars, the discovery of stunning beauty while paddling a kayak on the fiords, wander unexplored foreshores or simply relax on deck enjoying cocktails as you take in these outstanding world heritage site surroundings inside Fiordland.
Arrival in Queenstown is always spectacular, especially by air. Your comfortable room and a warm welcome awaits at the Heritage Hotel. We recommend you plan enough time to explore this world-class alpine destination and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants beside the lake. It’s a beautiful location, and you’ll find numerous options to tempt you.
Soon after breakfast, we’ll have you out in the big scenery on a private coach trip to Lake Te Anau. You’ll have time to explore Te Anau township before boarding the helicopters for a 20-minute scenic flight to the ship. The helicopter flight is an experience-of-a-lifetime, a chance to take in the panoramic grandeur of Fiordland, before descending into the wild solitude of Doubtful Sound – and the helipad on Island Escape. Once bags have been stored in your cabin, we will ask you to gather on deck so our crew can acquaint you with the ship layout and run through the safety systems. Your cruise begins – we make-way out towards the Tasman Sea along Doubtful Sound then down the coast to anchor for the evening in Dagg Sound. Chef has prepared a welcome dinner that is served alfresco.
Our journey start to delve into the early history and exploration of Fiordland. We depart Dagg Sound after breakfast heading south. Whales frequent the waters near the fiord entrance and a great place to spot them is from the bridge deck.
As we enjoy lunch in Dusky Sound, the Captain will give an orientation of the history of the area and on the life of Captain James Cook and his visits to this part of New Zealand. After lunch we head ashore in Pickersgill Harbour to explore the area Captain Cook beached his ship Resolution in 1773 to repair her hull. Nearby is Astronomers Point, the site of a temporary observatory set up during Cook’s stay.
Back onboard, feel free to relax and take in the view from the jacuzzi on the Island Escape top deck. On clear evenings this is the perfect place for some stargazing into a pure dark sky.
Wake to the smells of a hearty breakfast, following which, we head inland to the head of Dusky Sound and Supper Cove. This cove is the western trailhead for one of New Zealand’s greatest wilderness hikes – the Dusky Track. Further we visit Cascade Cove, Cook Channel, Fanny Bay and Nine Fathom Passage. The Captain continue his talk over lunch where you will be acquainted with the long-running Moose story. In the afternoon we take the Zodiac´s ashore to visit the Seaforth Hut and perhaps explore the Seaforth River by Zodiac or on foot.
After breakfast we proceed to peaceful Sportsman’s Cove for morning tea and more history from the Captain. The focus remains on Cook and his journeys of exploration – and the ongoing Fiordland Moose story. Lunch served underway, and with a renewed taste for adventure, we take the Acheron Passage north and head up Wet Jacket Arm to Herrick Creek. There have been Moose sightings reported in this area – have your cameras ready. We anchor off Oke Island for the night.
We follow the inland Acheron Passage heading for Disappointment Cove at the mouth of Breaksea Sound. Look out for seals close to shore and dolphins approaching the ship. Today’s lunchtime talk focuses on conservation – the history and efforts to mitigate the impact of introduced fauna to Fiordland. We stop at Sunday Cove for afternoon tea and an introduction to the local venison industry. We stay overnight further up Breaksea Sound in Third Cove, below Mount Kellard at the mouth of Vancouver Arm.
We explore Vancouver and Broughton Arms today. For those who like to fish, the one of the Officers is available for fishing trips throughout the day, hopefully, to restock our dinner supplies with fresh crayfish and blue cod. Non-fishers can go ashore to explore the intertidal shoreline and bush at a SW corner of Broughton Arm. Fresh fish for dinner is virtually guaranteed.
We sail out into the Tasman Sea for the short northbound passage to Dagg Sound. Captain William Dagg, an early sealer, named this amazing fiord. As we cruise deeper into the interior, we anchor where Dagg is almost connected with Doubtful Sound, via Narrow Neck. This evening, we celebrate your Fiordland adventure with a fabulous farewell dinner hosted by the captain and crew in the heart of Fiordland. We can almost guarantee there are no other human beings within 20 kilometres so we can make some party noise.
We return to Doubtful Sound, having breakfast underway, to rendezvous with the helicopters to take you back to Te Anau. Enjoy another spectacular airborne transfer with views of Mount Irene and Mount Lyall. You will be back at the Heritage Hotel by mid-afternoon, with time to explore Queenstown a little more. You are free to try eating at a local vineyard or perhaps taking the historic TSS Earnslaw across the lake to Walter Peak sheep station for dinner and a glimpse of rural life in the high country.
Your itinerary concludes after breakfast. We wish you safe travels, taking home with you memories of adventure, great food, good company and vast unspoilt New Zealand.