Winter is no excuse not to get out on the water in New Zealand, especially now with luxury cruise operator Fiordland Discovery’s new Milford Sound overnight winter cruise.
The boutique cruise operator – which offers unrivalled access to Milford Sound and Fiordland on the Fiordland Jewel. Launched in 2016, this winter marks the first full year in operation for the family-owned business.
The Fiordland Jewel is a custom-built 24m catamaran featuring a helipad, hot tub, private king suites and chef-prepared cuisine. Opened for the season on 15 July, it is the only tourism operator in Milford Sound to offer overnight cruises during winter.
Accommodating up to 20 people per cruise, Fiordland Discovery also offers day trips (crayfish lunch cruises) for guests wanting to fly in and out of Queenstown and Te Anau, landing directly on the boat in Milford Sound via helicopter.
Rob Swale, Queenstown-based owner of Fiordland Discovery, says winter brings a whole new dimension to the Fiordland Jewel experience. While the well-appointed vessel provides quiet solace from busy ski season Queenstown, the winter landscape is also incredible.
“The cooler months are ideal for exploring the fiords – it’s a surreal feeling being able to enjoy the snowy peaks and captivating wildlife from the comfort of your own spacious cabin, or even from the top-deck hot tub with a wine in hand,” he says.
Designed and built by Swale – a long-time commercial fisherman and one of the area’s most experienced skippers – the Fiordland Jewel accommodates 20 passengers overnight in nine climate-controlled cabins, each with their own ensuite bathroom. Overnight cruises are hosted by Swale and his wife Kate Rollason and include a three-course dinner as well as a full cooked or continental breakfast.
“We established Fiordland Discovery to give guests up-close-and-personal access to the phenomenal wilderness in a luxury setting,” adds Swale. “We are a family-operated business with a genuine connection to the area and we know Fiordland and Milford Sound inside and out. It’s fantastic being able to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for this region with our guests so they can have the experience of a lifetime.”
Winter Milford Sound Overnight Cruises run from 15 July – 24 September 2018.
About Fiordland Discovery
Fiordland Discovery is a small, New Zealand family-owned and operated tourism business offering luxury cruises in Milford Sound and Fiordland on the new five-star 24m catamaran, the Fiordland Jewel. The luxury vessel offers helicopter access, an on-deck hot tub, spectacular cuisine and wine, land expeditions and water activities such as kayaking, Zodiac excursions and underwater exploration with the area’s first high-definition Remote Operated Vehicle.
Each cruise accommodates just 20 passengers in nine luxury climate-controlled cabins, complete with ensuite bathrooms and majestic views.
As well as the spectacular Milford Sound Overnight Cruise and Heli-Lunch-Cruise-Heli Day Cruise, Fiordland Discovery offers a seven-day scenic tour of Preservation Inlet and the surrounding Southern Fiords including Doubtful and Dusky Sound. Private, customised multi-day fishing, hunting and diving trips are also available for guests who want to explore New Zealand’s largest national park then relax in complete luxury.