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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri

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Manapouri, New Zealand
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon8 hours  (approx.)
iconOffered in: English

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Explore Fiordland National Park's Doubtful Sound on this full-day cruise from Manapouri. Aboard a luxury catamaran, take in the scenery and keep an eye out for fur seals, bottlenose dolphins, and crested and little blue penguins while listening to commentary from your naturalist guide.
  • Full-day cruise on Doubtful Sound in Fiordland National Park
  • Cruise aboard a luxury catamaran
  • Commentary from a naturalist guide
  • Photo ops of pristine natural scenery
  • Look out for several penguin species
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Live commentary on board
Food and drinks (available to purchase)
Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
Hotel pickup and drop-off
64 Waiau Street , 64 Waiau Street, Manapouri 9679, New Zealand

Please be sure to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled departure to check in.

10:00 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
Your day begins in Manapouri with a cruise across the picturesque Lake Manapouri followed by a trip across New Zealand's most expensive road over the Wilmot Pass, pausing along the way to experience the dense Fiordland rainforest and view Doubtful Sound glistening far below.

In Doubtful Sound, you will board our spacious catamaran for a cruise through the pristine fjord. During the cruise our knowledgeable and friendly nature guides will share with you their passion for the region through their commentary. They will answer questions, point out landmarks and provide you with information about the varied wildlife you may encounter like dolphins, fur seals and the rare Fiordland crested penguin.

What to bring: Non-slip shoes/boots, a waterproof jacket, a warm sweater/fleece jacket, sunscreen/sunglasses, insect repellent and a camera.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Doubtful Sound
Take in the scenery and wildlife aboard our comfortable catamaran. Our on board nature guides will be giving an informative commentary throughout the journey.
Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Lake Manapouri
Cruise across Lake Manapouri to the Wilmot Pass at the beginning of your journey.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, warm clothing, and a rain jacket or hat, as necessary
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Please note: During survey the Patea Explorer will be substituted with another vessel from the RealNZ fleet
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 135 travelers
  • OPERATED BY RealNZ
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
See all safety measures taken by Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri.

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Traveler Tips


  • "Don't let a rainy forecast stop you from taking this trip." See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

5.0
star-5
120 Reviews
1 star
0

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 120 reviews
star-5
Big day out on the fiord!
Julie_B
, Jul 2022
The whole experience was magical. The scenery was incredible as were the hosts. Their commentary was interesting and relevant. We did not feel like a tourist but a visitor to their own backyards! So big ups to the staff for making the day even more memorable. We were lucky enough to head out into the Tasman sea at the end of the fiord. Wow. Would definitely recommend this incredible day to all our friends and family. Thanks
icon Response from Host , Jul 2022
This review is amazing. Thank you Julie! We want nothing more than to show people their own backyards and help people fall in love with conservation. It's good to know we're on the right track!
star-5
Doubtful Sound Day Cruise
Bruno_L
, Apr 2022
A unique experience to access the wild and beautiful Doubtful Sound. We saw dolphins and seals and experienced the silence in this remote area. Excellent service too!
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
Thank you for visiting Bruno! How exciting is it to see dolphins in Doubtful Sound?! We're so glad you enjoyed your experience.
star-5
Place of varying moods
Pam_S
, Apr 2022
Rainbows, seals, dolphins, sound of bird life in the silence, reaching the Tasman sea, exploring different arms of Doubtful Sound, watching waterfalls, varying mood and weather effects.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
The perfect recipe for the best day exploring Doubtful Sound! Thank you for this review Pam, we really appreciate it.
star-5
Stunning
Ken_O
, Apr 2022
Good commentary by all staff and beautiful scenery and all seasons whether Great to be able to sample the Tasman see as well
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
We're thrilled to hear such positive feedback! Thank you for taking the time to post this review about your Doubtful Sound experience. It sounds like an amazing day.
star-5
New Zealand at its best
Sandra_C
, Mar 2022
Spectacular scenery, wildlife and interesting and informative commentary. Loved the sound of silence at Crooked Arm. A rare opportunity to experience the forest birdsong across the water.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
Thank you for your review and the feedback on the sound of silence - we think this is a really special experience and so happy we could share it with you.
star-5
Stunning memorable day!
Peter_F
, Mar 2022
Stunning scenery all day. Very different experience on a cloudless hot day compared to wet and windy...no waterfalls at all but still wonderful. The cruise across Manapouri and the the drive with fun guides to the Sound made for a great day and it did not feel like nearly 8 hours went by.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
Thank you for your review. You were lucky to get a beautiful sunny day in Doubtful Sound to take in all the scenery which is definitely a change from the wet days that we also see a lot of in there.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
A Day Trip to Doubtful Sound is an experience not to be missed
Anonymous
, Feb 2022
This 7 hour day trip involves 3 boat trips and a bus connection - a unique combination. First, you travel by boat from Manapouri to the West Arm of Lake Manapouri, then travel by bus across Wilmot Pass to Doubtful Sound. Wilmot Pass is an expensive stretch of road with amazing views of Doubtful Sound, only accessible by boat! You then board another boat at Doubtful Sound which takes you right out into the Tasman Sea where you can enjoy the wildlife including NZ fur seals basking on the rugged rocks. The whole experience is then reversed, returning to your original departure point at Manapouri. Well worth every cent.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
World class experience
Donald_P
, Feb 2022
Superb tour, with a tour guide, Tony, who was totally client focussed and passionate about his job and the geographical area. Excellent commentary and a chance to experience the essence of the wilderness when the boat stopped and we immersed ourselves in silence for a few minutes. We took this tour under Covid red alert setting when masking was obligatory. Masks are not pleasant for anyone on a long day, but they are a fact of life at the moment . A few clients on the tour took off their masks once they were on board and seated which was the only negative aspect of the day.
star-5
Awesome day out ,heavy...
Greg_L
, Nov 2021
Awesome day out ,heavy rain weather but views were specular with plenty of waterfalls ,ticked off our bucket list
star-5
Incredible!
Ali
, Jul 2021
Fantastic experience. Great crew, excellent vessels and an absolutely stunning landscape. Highly recommend.
star-5
Magic
Jeanette_H
, Apr 2021
Where to start! Just a really special day all round. Staff were friendly, informative and gave just the right amount of commentary. Doubtful Sound itself would have to be the most memorable part - beautiful, peaceful and dramatic. Both the trip over Manapouri and the bus trip over the Wilmot Pass were enjoyable as well.
star-5
Loved that we changed...
MARION_M
, Apr 2021
Loved that we changed from boat to bus to boat with different staffing styles in each section. Our bus driver had an awesome quirkey dry sense of humour.
star-5
unmissable
Lynne_S
, Mar 2021
participate in NZ engineering history while also viewing the stunning lake scenery and the relatively unseen post glacial majesty of the fjords all in one outing - - mind blowing!
star-5
Unique
Pam_C
, Mar 2021
The whole trip exceeded my expectations. Eve gave excellent commentary on the bus trip. Scenery spectacular
star-5
Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Excellent.
David_W
, Jan 2021
Majestic scenery. Sense of remoteness. Excellent staff & commentary. Very good driver to Manapouri. Fabulous day out.
star-5
Ab fab cruise.
David_W
, Dec 2020
Excellent, friendly staff. Well informed. Lovely ship. Awesome scenery. Absolutely loved this cruise.
star-5
An excellent day trip to a remote area of NZ
Stuart_J
, Nov 2020
Informative documentary by staff. Stunning scenery. Comfortable transportation n land and on the water.
star-5
Doubtful Sound
Maria_S
, Mar 2020
Doubtful sound is magnificent. We saw hundreds of waterfalls amidst the most beautiful scenery on earth. It was quieter and not at all touristy like Milford Sound. Highly recommended.
star-5
A great day on Doubtful Sound.
Chris_W
, Feb 2020
Enjoy a guided trip across Lake Manapouri then a guided trip through temperate rainforest and a relaxing guided tour of Doubtful Sound that included spotting fur seals at the mouth of the sound. A full and excellent day and we were privileged to have beautiful weather.
star-5
Dont let the rain stop you
Pete_R
, Feb 2020
We started out knowing it was going to rain from the forecast. Boarded boat in Manapouri with gray skies and started the cruise. Weather got slightly worse, but beautiful rainbows that touched the lake formed. Disembarked at the other end and boarded very nice coaches for a trip over to Doubtful Sound. Great explanations by our driver/guide made for a very pleasant ride although the clouds obscured some great vantage points. Once we got to Deep Harbor, we boarded a well built and staffed boat for our cruise. The weather got nasty fast. As we sailed towards the Tasman Sea, the wind howled, the rain pelted, the boat, and the waves grew. We thought that the tour would be a waste as we could not leave the cabin without immediately being soaked, and the visibility was pretty bad. The Captain and crew did their best to make the journey comfortable. As we approached the Shelter Islands, the weather improved, and we stopped to watch the seals on an island just meters off the bow. As we started our return journey, the weather improved dramatically. That's when the magic started. Waterfalls everywhere. Stunning. All the rain caused hundreds and hundreds of waterfalls to awaken from all the rain. Spectacular scenery. The Captain maneuvered the boat for best appreciation of just how beautiful this area was after a rain. One of top things we've done in NZ over the past 3 weeks, and we've done lots. Don't let a rainy forecast stop you from taking this trip. Bring your rain jacket, and enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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