Why you should book a small overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

book a small overnight cruise

Why you should book a small overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

While the trip right now may be the furthest thing from your mind, I think it’s the perfect time to plan your next adventure. If living in a pandemic has taught me anything, I must say that the greatest lesson is to truly appreciate nature and wildlife.

One of the countries that has handled this pandemic in an excellent way is the country of New Zealand. In fact, they have been so successful that they are very close to being able to declare that the virus has been eliminated, so this would be a great place for me to plan your next getaway!

My husband and I visited New Zealand in the spring of 2018, we visited both islands but my absolute favorite activity by far was our overnight cruise to Doubtful Sound. Located in Fiordland, in the far southwest of New Zealand, Doubtful Sound is one of two fjords; the other being Milford Sound. Dubious sound is more difficult to obtain and much less popular, but that’s what I consider to be its best functionality.

book a small overnight cruise
Why you should book a small overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound

To get to Doubtful Sound, we first drove from Queenstown to Te Anau; a beautiful lakeside town with an incredible view of its own. Unfortunately, we encountered a snowstorm on the way, so beware that this region of New Zealand receives a good deal of snow until the summer, so you can plan accordingly.

We spent one night in Te Anau and early the next morning we went to the cruise office, a very short drive from our hotel. We were sailing with Southern Secret Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises and I highly recommend this company; it is very small with a maximum of 12 people and we were so lucky that we were the only ones to have booked for the time we had booked and actually had a private cruise! Keep in mind that this is definitely a trek to enter Doubtful Sound, we took a van to Lake Manapouri and boarded a ferry which took us to Doubtful Sound where our cruise was waiting.

The reason I suggest this little cruise is that it is much more personal; we knew the captain and the first journeyman / cook so well, and we were essentially responsible for where we wanted to go, what we wanted to see and what activities we wanted to do.

Above is a photo of the kitchen of our boat, our cook made us the most delicious meals!

As we started our 9 p.m. adventure, we met our captain and our first companion; these are absolutely lovely people who explained how everything worked, showed us our cabin and basically told us it was our trip and that we would tell them what we wanted to see / do all the time.

book a small overnight cruise

After settling into our very comfortable cabin with its own bathroom, we were delighted to start; the surroundings were breathtaking and it was the kind of experience where you felt that someone could pinch you and wake you up from a wonderful dream!

As we sailed, the views got better and better; the captain had told us that he had seen a whale that morning and we spent a lot of time trying to find him but he did a great job in hiding us! However, we could see dolphins and penguins in their natural habitat, unfortunately we could not be close enough to get a good quality photo but both are engraved in our memory.

book a small overnight cruise

One of the activities we chose to do was kayaking, it was such an incredible experience to be one in this breathtaking setting, it is a memory that I will never forget!

It would be negligent on my part not to show off some of the breathtaking views we had at every turn in this incredible setting, so I’ll post some of my favorites.

book a small overnight cruise

book a small overnight cruise

In the first photo above, I loved having captured the flying gull as often, we saw birds in the air; the doubtful sound is above all the house for nature and fauna and it is very unique and intact, even on our cruise, we only encountered 2 or 3 other ships.

book a small overnight cruise

Another exciting activity that we chose to undertake was to head to the edge of the Tasman Sea and fish. This experience was very fun because it was easy to catch a beautiful fish; we of course returned them.

On the way back from the Tasman Sea, we were told that we had to go check the traps for crayfish. Sure, it seemed like a fun thing to do, but we didn’t know that we would actually have the experience of installing and bringing them! And by the way, what they call “crayfish”, we call them “lobster”, and the ones we brought must have been part of our evening meal.

book a small overnight cruise

book a small overnight cruise

My husband had a lot of fun in this activity as you can see in the photos.

book a small overnight cruise

As we continued to travel through Doubtful Sound, we encountered several natural waterfall formations, another wonder for hungry eyes.

The next morning we woke up and had a delicious breakfast waiting for us as we sailed a bit more before heading to the dock where we were leaving and leaving it once in a lifetime experience behind.

book a small overnight cruise

As we stopped to dock, we were greeted by a Kea parrot, so we just ended on a high note!

In conclusion, if you asked me “would I do it again?”, My answer would be “absolutely 100%!”; don’t let this experience out of your next luxury New Zealand getaway.

book a small overnight cruise

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