Fiordland / Te Wahipounamu small ship cruise

enquire now 7 Days From NZD $7,500 pp twinshare
Terms & Conditions apply

21-27 Apr 2023, 3-9 May 2023, 2-8 June 2023

7 day scenic expeditions that are designed for individuals, couples or small groups of family friends to join others and experience the extraordinary history and spectacular history of New Zealand’s largest national park, which is also a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site.
The focus is primarily on exploring this remote wilderness and there are opportunities for kayaking, short walks, and weather permitting, some fishing, depending on peoples wishes.
All 9 luxury cabins have sea views and a private ensuite and are fully air conditioned and heated.


  • Doubtful Sound
  • Breaksea and Dusky Sounds
  • Preservation and Chalky inlets
  • Spectacular scenery of NZ’s largest national park
  • World Heritage site
  • Remote Wilderness
  • Kayaking
  • Short Walks
  • Fishing (Weather depending)


Day 1
Fly via helicopter from Te Anau and land directly onboard the Fiordland Jewel, which will be waiting in Preservation Inlet Please note: the weather (of course) is central to any Fiordland experience, so the itinerary of your cruise may differ depending on the conditions of the day. This sample itinerary is from Preservation Inlet ending in Doubtful Sound. For private charters we will tailor your itinerary according to the interests of your group.

Days 2-5
We cruise around the inlets, and may do activities such as:

  • View the rusting hulk of the wreck “Stella”, a steamship that purposely ran aground in the 1800s after damaging itself on a reef.
  • Walk on the beach at South Port Cove and visit McCallum’s sawmill boiler.
  • Walk up to Lake Cadman, via the falls in Lake Cove at the head of Edwardson Sound (20 minutes).

Right beside Chalky Inlet is Preservation Inlet, separated by Broke-adrift Passage and Treble Mountain. In the 1890s, a gold rush occurred and mining towns sprang up at Cromarty and Te Oneroa, where tracks and old mining machinery can still be found. Possible activities include:

  • Land at Krisbee Bay to view an old sawmill boiler at Cromarty.
  • Land at Te Oneroa Beach and walk 10 minutes inland to the old Morning Star battery boiler, where you may be able to see the mine drives and even the remains of an aerial cableway.

On the other side of the inlet is the site of the first whaling station in the South Island. Preservation Inlet also has some spectacular land features and viewpoints, including:

  • Puysegur Point, where we land at the old oil store (now a DOC hut) and walk to the most isolated lighthouse in New Zealand.
  • Spit Island, an island connected to the mainland by a beautiful sandspit at low tide. It was the site of two tragic Maori battles in the 1780s.
  • Cascade basin, a magnificent waterfall that plunges into Long Sound.

At some stage, depending on the weather, we leave Chalky Inlet to cruise up to In Dusky Sound where we’ll cruise amongst various islands, coves and passages, visiting many historically significant sites such as Luncheon Cove, where we walk around predator-free Anchor Island (2.5 kilometres), a bird sanctuary near the mouth of the fiord. You may see the South Island saddleback and, occasionally, one of the 40 rare kakapo on the island. This track travels up to a small lake in the centre of the island. Anchor Point, where Captain Cook anchored HMS Resolution in 1773. Also Pickersgill Harbour where Cook moored off Astronomer Point for five weeks. Pigeon Island, where we walk up the DOC pathway to visit the site of the home of New Zealand’s first conservationist, Richard Henry, who tried to save the kakapo from extinction in the late 1800s. Here there is also an incredible viewpoint towards the entrance of Dusky Sound. We then cruise through the narrow channels of the Little Harbour to The Basin where you can go kayaking or explore Resolution Island on foot. There is also the possibility to launch the ROV to view black coral and marine life, giving you the unique opportunity to experience this remarkable place in a way that, until now, has been impossible

Day 6-7
We’ll start to head back north through Breaksea and Doubtful Sounds. At Doubtful Sound on Day 7, you’ll disembark and take a bus over Wilmot Pass, a boat over Lake Manapouri and return to Manapouri.

Please note:  Itineraries are subject to change

Fiordland Jewel

Vessel Type: Catamaran
Length: 24 metres
Passenger Capacity: 20

The Fiordland Jewel is a 24m, three-deck catamaran with a high quality 5-star marine fit-out. Our Milford Sound Overnight Cruise sleeps 20 passengers a night and on our Fiordland and Stewart Island private charters and our small group scenic boat expeditions we cater to a maximum of 18 passengers in nine climate-controlled cabins, each with their own ensuite bathroom.


  • Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV): The Fiordland Jewel hosts Fiordland’s first and only remote-operated vehicle, which provides high resolution live underwater footage.  Our guests on our private charters and small group scenic boat expeditions can view the enchanting sea life beneath the surface in real time from the comfort of the boat lounge.
  • Helicopter pad.
  • Top-deck hot tub.

Cabin information:

  • 1 x Governor Cabin. At the top of the boat all by itself with its own full width forward window and large side windows. Super-King double bed, the ensuite has a separate shower and toilet.
  • 4 x Captain Cook Cabins. All on the main deck all with sea views. Super-King double bed, each ensuite has a separate shower and toilet.
  • 2 x Endeavour Cabins. Both on the main deck both with sea views. King single beds, each ensuite has a separate shower and toilet.
  • 2 x Resolution Cabins. Both on the main deck both with sea views. 2 single bunks single beds, each ensuite has a combined shower and toilet.


Images courtesy of WildEarth Travel