At time of reserving your cabin with Fiordland Cruises, full payment will be debited to confirm your booking. Additional extras (if any) will be charged at this time also.
We will email to re-confirm your departure details within 24 hours of your reservation.
If you are booking for a departure the following day, please contact us by phone.
Whilst care is taken, prices are subject to change without notice. Prices charged will be the valid rate at time of travel. All prices as quoted on this website are in NZ dollars (NZD) and include all relevant taxes including GST and other taxes/National Park Concession Fees etc.
Purchases or refunds will incur exchange rates, bank, and/or card fees that are current at the time the transaction is processed. The company is not liable for exchange rates, bank fees or card fees applied by customers' chosen merchant.
Q.A.How long does it take for my reservation to be confirmed?
Fiordland Cruises endeavour to respond to all booking enquiries and reservations within 24 hours. If you have not received a response within this time, please check your junk-mail or spam mail filter. If your inbox securities are set to high our emails may be quarantined by your mail provider.
Q.A.What is your cancellation policy?
Payment is part refundable (less 10% fee of cabin rate) if cancelled more than 14 days before departure. If cancelled within 14 days of departure, then there is no refund.
In the case of a 'No Show' by reserved departure time, there will be no refund.
Half / Full Private Charters will incur a 20% penalty if cancelling. If cancelling less than 28 days before departure, there is no refund.
If cancellation is due to unforeseen circumstances, for example, weather or breakdowns, Fiordland Cruises may be forced to cancel the trip and will refund monies in full if cancelled before departure.
If the cruise must be cut short or cancelled after departure, Fiordland Cruises will use their discretion to provide partial refunds as appropriate.
Optional Extra cancellation policy: we require a minimum of 2 days' notice if you wish to cancel any optional extras you have reserved with us (booked company policy will apply).
Our cancellation policy applies to all reservations
Q.A.What is your Safety Policy?
Fiordland Cruises has a Health & Safety policy to keep in line with New Zealand's 'Health and Safety at Work Act 2015'. This includes identifying potential risks and minimising them through staff training and guest awareness.
Due to the remote location of Doubtful Sound, Fiordland Cruises MUST be advised of any medical conditions, dietary allergies/intolerance at least 48 hours prior to departure. Failure to do so may result in Fiordland Cruises refusing carriage.
A safety briefing will be given upon arrival at the Southern Secret and prior to any additional activities. The Southern Secret works with the 'Maritime Operator Safety System' (MOSS). While at sea the Skipper has the discretion to make decisions to ensure the safety of guests during our Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruises.
Q.A.Will the Crew have lots of knowledge about the area and wildlife?
Commentary is given throughout your Doubtful Sound Cruise. The crew are very knowledgeable about the Fiordland area, some of them have worked in Doubtful Sound for many years. If you have any specific questions you are welcome to make a cup of tea or coffee and join the Launch Master at the helming station.
Q.A.Do you supply alcohol or can we purchase alcohol during the tour?
Alcohol is not provided, although we do invite you to bring a bottle of New Zealand wine to enjoy with your evening meal or a couple of cans of beer to enjoy while fishing. We do not sell alcohol on the cruise but the local supermarkets in Te Anau have a large selection of beers and wines available, with the bottle store in Te Anau able to provide something a little stronger. In Manapouri, the local store has wines available for purchase. Once the tour commences - no alcohol is available for sale.
Q.A.What availability and departures do you have?
Our full availability can be found on this website. Simply click ‘Book Now’ on the top-right corner of the screen or click here to visit our secure online booking engine to check availability and reserve your Doubtful Sound cruise. Simply use the calendar to select the date you wish to depart on your cruise.
Q.A.Can you tell me how far in advance we should book this Cruise? We don’t want to be disappointed.
We recommend booking as soon as you know the date you wish to take the cruise. November to March are our busiest months, but as we only have five cabins on board we do get booked out quickly. On occasion, you may be able to book right up until the day before, however, all bookings are subject to availability.
Q.A.Are the rates for two people, or per cabin?
The rates shown are per cabin and includes up to 2 people sharing, regardless if it is for 1 or 2 people in the cabin. The Twin/Double Cabin rate is for up to 2 people and there is an additional cost for each additional person booked (as this cabin can accommodate up to 4 people).
Q.A.How many crew are on the boat?
There is usually one Launch Master who skippers the boat and one Crew member.
Q.A.Can we meet the cruise from Queenstown?
Yes, Tracknet offers an early bus connection that will allow you to link directly with our cruise from Queenstown. There is also return transport to Queenstown after your cruise, which allows five hours stopover in Te Anau in the afternoon before travelling to Queenstown at 5.00pm. Departures can be arranged for an additional $99.00 per person return or $60.00 one way. Note this bus service is only available from 26th October 2021 to 1st May 2022. For other dates please ask our reservations team.
Q.A.For departures from Queenstown, are you able to offer accommodation pickups?
We are unable to offer accommodation pickups in Queenstown. Departure is at 7:00am from 'The Station Information Centre', on the Corner of Camp & Shotover Streets in Central Queenstown. Please don't be late! The Station is right in the middle of town and you will be able to find accommodation nearby. A more convenient option may be to stay in Te Anau the night before departure, we are able to help you arrange accommodation in Te Anau.
Q.A.On Day 2, the itinerary says we arrive back in Te Anau at 12:30 pm. What time do we head back to Queenstown and what activities do you recommend that we could do in Te Anau while waiting for our trip back to Queenstown?
The bus from Te Anau to Queenstown leaves Te Anau at 5:00 pm and arrives in Queenstown at approximately 7:45 pm, giving you the afternoon in Te Anau.
There are many activities to enjoy in Te Anau, an option that fits in perfectly is the Glowworm Caves Tour which departs at 2:00 pm. Or you can just relax at one of the town’s cafes.
A relaxing walk along the lakefront of Lake Te Anau is a fantastic way to spend the afternoon, this can even take in a section of the world-famous Kepler Track and Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary.
Fiordland Cinema has regular Showings of Ata Whenua – Fiordland on film & Deer Wars a must-do to complete any visit to Fiordland.
If you enjoy flying, there are floatplane and helicopter options to see Fiordland by air.
Check the following link for more information about Te Anau: Destination Fiordland.
Alternatively, take your time in Te Anau to stay an extra night and enjoy one of our many Te Anau restaurants.
Q.A.What sort of cabin setup would be best suited for a family or a party of three/four?
Our Double / Twin Cabin features 1 Double bed and 2 Single beds (in bunk style above the double bed). This is suitable for up to 4 people sharing.
Due to the nature of our cruises, we do not accommodate children 12 years and under.
Q.A.Are there any mobility or safety issues?
Yes, because of the area in which we operate and the nature of boat design, there are a few areas which may cause some passengers some difficulty. These areas are detailed below:
There is a walk down/up a steep gradient which can be slippery from the bus park to the Southern Secret's mooring place in Deep Cove (approx. 40 metres)
Cabins and bathrooms are located downstairs from the main deck, the bathrooms being en-suite to your cabin
Showers / Bathrooms may be narrow
Several doorways on the Southern Secret are nautical doors – this means that there is a “lip” approximately 10 cm high that needs to be stepped over as you walk through the doorway
There are multiple bus/boat changes over the duration of the cruise. These do not present any major difficulty but may be worth considering when you choose how much luggage you bring on the cruise - less is best
Q.A.What is the main difference being on this cruise with a small group?
On our cruise there is a maximum of just 12 passengers. Small and personalised tours mean that we are able to remain flexible and adapt each cruise to our customer’s preferences. On our cruise, each guest gets to interact with all the other members on the cruise. This experience often results in lasting friendships, with the common sight of guests exchanging contact details.
Q.A.Do you allow passengers to explore the waterfalls in the area?
Yes, our skipper always looks to bring you the best examples of waterfalls in the area at the time. If you wish to explore and photograph the waterfalls, please let the skipper know, as we try to adapt our cruise to your preferences.
Q.A.What is the layout of the boat?
An approximate layout of the boat can be viewed here.
Q.A.Does your package include an underground trip to the Manapouri power station at West Arm?
We do travel past the exterior walls of the power station, but the power station is currently closed to visitors due to ongoing safety concerns.
Q.A.I have heard that some Cabins are next to the power/generator room in the boat which could make sleeping at night very difficult, is this the case?
Due to the size of our boat, we are able to use battery power overnight. This means that our generators are switched off so there is no mechanical noise at night.
Q.A.How much space is there for luggage?
Our Cabins have space for luggage, but we do suggest bringing only an overnight bag with your personal belongings. Remember to bring a change of clothes and some wet weather gear - you never know what the Fiordland weather will produce. Please don't bring tramping/camping equipment on board.
Q.A.Am I able to store my luggage with you while I am on the Cruise?
You are welcome to leave your luggage with us in storage at our Office. Our Office is based at Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park, 77 Manapouri – Te Anau Highway, Te Anau.
Q.A.I am travelling in a rental car, where can I park while I am on the Cruise?
Our office is based at Te Anau Lakeview Kiwi Holiday Park. You are welcome to leave your vehicle here, for no additional cost whilst you are on the Cruise and we provide a complimentary shuttle to/from Te Anau. If you wish to start and finish your Cruise in Manapouri, then Pearl Harbour has parking available.
Q.A.If we have not done kayaking before, will there be a tutorial prior?
Kayaking is an adventurous activity and a safety briefing is held prior to going on the water. Lifejackets are provided and are compulsory. Kayaking only occurs at the discretion of the skipper and is weather-dependent.
Q.A.Do we need to bring insect repellent?
It is highly recommended, as there are always sandflies about when you are near the water edge in this area. Ensure that your insect repellent is for repelling sandflies.
Q.A.What do I need to bring?
Here is a list of things you may wish to include in an overnight bag: Comfortable walking shoes, change of clothing for day two, waterproof jacket, sweater or fleece jacket, thermals/warm undergarments, sun cream, sun hat/glasses, insect repellent, camera, alcoholic beverages.
Q.A.We are interested in a two-night Doubtful Sound cruise, can we spend two nights on the boat? Does the boat do the same tour each day?
We do occasionally advertise multi-night cruises that enable us to explore more of the area.
Our cruises are kept flexible so that the crew can adjust the cruise to suit the requirements of the passengers and what they wish to do. Our cruises are not set to being the same tour each day as the conditions and what is best to do always differs from day-to-day. Our cruise also includes the chance to undertake kayaking and fishing which are great experiences and lots of fun.
Q.A.Will I get sea sick?
If you suffer from seasickness, you should bring your own seasickness tablets / remedy. We have had guests on our boat who suffer from seasickness, but do not get it on our Cruise. Doubtful Sound is surrounded by mountains which makes the waters quite calm. We try our best to stay in calm waters and we moor overnight in sheltered areas.
Q.A.Is it possible to arrange a fly-back from the two day cruise?
Yes, you can fly back from Deep Cove to Lake Te Anau upon the conclusion of your Doubtful Sound Cruise.
There are two options for a float-plane flight. A direct flight from Deep Cove to Lake Te Anau requires a minimum of 2 passengers. There is also the option of a longer flight to Lake Te Anau via remote Dusky Sound which requires a minimum of 3 passengers.
The scenic flight is a great way to finish your experience in Doubtful Sound. All flights are reliant on the weather conditions on the day. Please contact us for more details.
Q.A.Can I go fishing?
Fishing is loads of fun and takes place outside of the marine reserves. We catch and release where possible as currently there is a moratorium on certain fish species. Common catches can include Blue Cod, Sea Perch, Terakihi, and School Grouper.
Q.A.What wildlife will I see?
Doubtful Sound is home to a range of rare and beautiful wildlife and encounters may include Fiordland crested penguins, Southern fur seals or Doubtful Sound’s indigenous bottle nose dolphins. To protect our rare and endangered wildlife we operate to a strict code of practice when we encounter wildlife.
Q.A.Is crayfish/lobster always served on your cruise?
Fiordland Lobster are captured in traps that are baited each cruise, while we cannot guarantee that fresh Fiordland Lobster will be on the menu, there is a certain excitement in watching how these creatures of the Fiord are captured.
Q.A.What are the meals like – lunch, dinner and breakfast?
Due to the remote location of Doubtful Sound, we do need to be advised at least 48 hours prior to your departure of your dietary allergies/intolerance and also of any medical conditions.
Our Lunch served onboard the Southern Secret consists of salad/ breads/ meat and when available crayfish/fish. Fruit, Tea & Coffee.
Fruits and cheese-board are served late afternoon.
Our Evening meal varies from cruise to cruise and is served buffet style. They are wholesome meals consisting of New Zealand meats, Fiordland fare and seasonal vegetables and salads. As an example, a meal would consist of a meat (such as chicken, steak, lamb) supplemented where available by the catch of the day (often caught during your cruise – blue cod, terakihi, crayfish etc), and accompanied by a selection of salad and vegetable dishes. Then followed by dessert.
Breakfast is continental style with muesli and other cereals, fruit, toast, and croissants.
Complimentary Tea and Coffee as well as cordial and water is available throughout the cruise. You are welcome to bring your own snacks and beverages such as coke, wine, beer etc.
Q.A.How big is the boat?
MV Southern Secret is a 20 metre vessel which has 3 levels.
Upstairs there is a fly bridge deck which is perfect for 360 degree views.
On the mid deck there is the kitchen, galley and living area with the Launch Masters station to the front of this.
Below decks forward there are 3 passenger cabins and, below decks aft there are 2 passenger cabins and staff quarters.
Q.A.Do you offer SCUBA Diving?
We can offer use of the MV Southern Secret as a dive platform only. This means that people wanting to SCUBA Dive must have their own 'Diving Activity Supervisor' (DAS). The DAS is responsible for ensuring the safety of participants in the water and being registered with Work Safe New Zealand and also must hold an audited Safety Plan pursuant to the Health and Safety in Employment (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016.
Q.A.Are children welcome on the boat?
Due to the nature of our cruises, it is not suitable for children 12 years old and under.
Q.A.Is smoking or vaping allowed aboard the vessel?
In the interests of safety and for the comfort of passengers, we endeavour to provide a smoke-free environment.