Tours and Tickets
Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise
5

Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise

By Pelorus Mail Boat
Recommended by 96% of travellers
96% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
The sunken valleys and jagged peaks of the Marlborough Sounds are most impressive when viewed from the water. On this tour, set sail around from Havelock on the Pelorus Mail Boat, which delivers mail to local residents, and explore some of the most remote corners of the sound. Look out for wildlife including penguins, fur seals, and dolphins, and gain an insight into local life around the sounds.
from
$125.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 60 per group
Duration: 5–10 hours
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • Spectacular views of Marlborough Sounds from the water
  • Travel to remote local communities on the Pelorus Mail Boat
  • Live on-board commentary: learn about local life and wildlife
  • Spot orcas, penguins, and dolphins in their natural environment

  • Professional guide
  • Live commentary on board
  • Coffee and/or Tea
What's not included
  • Food and drinks, unless specified


Start:
  • Pelorus Mail Boat Ltd, Pier B Havelock Marina, Havelock 7100, New Zealand
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 47793P1

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
    • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended
    • Most travellers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 60 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise?
    Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise price starts from $128.15. Discover and book Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor
    What is the Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise cancellation policy?
    Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise?
    Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise is hosted by Pelorus Mail Boat. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Pelorus Mail Boat on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 5h. Discover and book Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 47793P1

    Reserve your spot

    Similar experiences

    Itinerary
    • You'll start at
      Pelorus Mail Boat Ltd
      Pier B Havelock Marina, Havelock 7100, New Zealand
      See address & details
    • 1
      Kenepuru Sound
      Stop: 5 hours
      See details
    • 2
      Pelorus Mail Boat
      Stop: 5 hours
      See details
    • You'll return to the starting point
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Pelorus Mail Boat
      582
      Havelock, New Zealand
      Joined in January 2012
    • Tjakko H
      0 contributions
      Too expensive for a crowded rushing boattour.
      Beautiful surroundings and nice areas where a few people live. The boat tour it self is crowded with more then 50 people on board and you don't get to speak to local people at all (as the brochure mentioned). The boat rushes from one pier to another where the mail was handed over at the pier, and the booat rushes off again.
      Written 13 April 2023
    • V5585WEdavidp
      0 contributions
      A very relaxing and entertaining day
      The expert and humerous commentary, beautiful landscape, comfortable cruise boat, mussell farms, beach lunch stop, interesting mail delivery stops - excellent value for money at $140 each for around 7 hours entertainment. At a very small cost, the cruise could have provided biscuits with the hot drinks
      Written 16 February 2023
    • philiplO8061JR
      0 contributions
      Peloris Mailboat Cruise
      It was a great trip. We were lucky to get a couple of extra stops. It was raining when we left Havelock but the afternoon was great, Shop around for prices.
      Written 12 July 2022
    • 177Chris177
      0 contributions
      Exploring the Sounds
      Fabulous day in the sun to enjoy Pelorous Sounds. There were lots of stop offs to drop off mail and groceries so that was nice to see the locals. The lunch stop off was at the very nice Te Rawa Lodge. A great spot for a glass of refreshment with your lunch. The Captain and Captain's mate did a great job. We enjoyed the very 'kiwi' commentary - great stuff.
      Written 10 April 2022
    • BBGMBF
      0 contributions
      Great boat trip around the sounds
      We had perfect weather for our Sunday cruise, and some great kiwi banter from our crew, amongst facts about life out in the sounds. Stopped by a few bays to drop off some supplies. Highlight was probably stopping for (bring your own lunch) at the Wilson Bay farm. Interesting talk about life on a remote farm from the Foote's. The Captain's Daughter is a good pub for a drink afterward too.
      Written 14 April 2021
    • erinandjo
      0 contributions
      Would highly recommend.
      We have just got back from an wonderful day out. The trip was bloody awesome. We went with our elderly mums. They absolutely loved it. The crew we're outstanding. Had a great time. We would highly recommend it.
      Written 20 March 2021
    • Lindaannz
      0 contributions
      Great day out in Pelorous Sound
      A fabulous day exploring the outer area of Pelorous Sound (Friday trip). Our captain, James, kept us informed and hugely entertained with his deep knowledge and background of Pelorous! Super comfortable, fast catamaran boat. Put the is trip in your list.
      Written 16 March 2021
    • Jenanne6
      0 contributions
      Very pleasant day out on the water
      Enjoyed the whole cruise, from the bush walk, the visit to a local farm, hearing all about mussel and salmon farming. Levon our skipper gave a very informative commentary and his assistant Nicole was more then happy to answer any questions. The whole trip was relaxing and very pleasant. Coffe on board was good too.
      Written 13 February 2021
    • MummaandCo
      0 contributions
      Sunday best of the week wasn't the best
      Third time we have done various forms of this trip & it was by far the least interesting! The young, male captain was great - he had a real sense of humor. T was the opposite, don't think she spoke to anyone the whole time. The walk was fantastic, very enjoyable but a shame we didn't have time for a quick swim too. The Wilson farm was also interesting but really it wasn't a tour, we saw in their woodlshed then had a picnic. No mail was delivered sadly & the mussel farm tour was just the boat going between the rows. Not happy that there was no lunch stop at Te Rawa as advertised!! We had no food with us so were starving by the time we got back to Havelock, not so much fun watching others have a picnic! This was never mentioned once to us. The scenery is beautiful, the commentary was very interesting I just wouldn't recommend the Sunday trip & make sure you take food!!
      Written 4 January 2021
    • Gordon H
      0 contributions
      Authentic Kiwi Experience
      My wife and I did both a transfer to one of the lodges in the sounds the mail tour out to Port Ligar. Fascinating experience, the crew really made it worthwhile in the description of the different residents what they did and how long they've been there with quite a bit of comedy thrown in. Everyone was so helpful as we had a 5m long double kayak.
      Written 20 December 2020
    • G1nstar
      0 contributions
      Awesome outer bays trip
      We went on the Friday mail boat run to the outer bays. The boat is easy to move around, covered inside and outer top deck. You can go out on the front when approaching the lodges for mail delivery. We were greeted by dogs, goats, sheep and pigs. Along the route we saw dolphins, took a short bush walk to a lookout and saw some shearers working hard. Left at 10am and returned at 4.30pm. A great trip I would highly recommend and hope to do again.
      Written 18 December 2020
    • KiwiKomments
      0 contributions
      What a Great Day Out!
      Under clear blue skies 29c ,and a full tide we set off on the Wednesday route with Captain J and the helm with crew lady T . Right from the booking in the cheerful nature began!. Capt J outlined the consequences of loading yr hat as we set sail with a good chuckle 🤣. As we went from inlet wharf to wharf ‘meeting’ many soles who have chosen their lives in the remote wildness of the Sounds. Not only did we encounter Dusky Dolphins and penguins there were , according to Captain J many types of Shags!🤭 An excellent day out, Well done Mail Boat crew!
      Written 16 December 2020
    • KarenB8130
      0 contributions
      Good day out
      Thanks to the staff who made this trip an excellent day out. We really enjoyed the stop off at Wilsons Bay Farm. Only comment I would make is make sure you pack yourself a good lunch.
      Written 13 December 2020
    • Sing1956
      0 contributions
      Wonderful Experience
      We have had a enjoyable experience travelling around the Pelorus Sounds on the mail boat. Levon and T were great hosts.
      Written 15 November 2020
    • DutchD-NZ
      0 contributions
      A great day out.
      A great day out. Excellent service, very informative. Beautiful scenery. Well worth it. The day started sunny but ended very windy and raining but it didn’t even matter. We will be back.
      Written 28 September 2020
    See all 582 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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    5.0
    258 reviews
    Excellent
    232
    Very good
    17
    Average
    6
    Poor
    1
    Terrible
    2

    Robin S
    Taunton, UK96 contributions
    Nov 2019 • Couples
    My wife and I booked this cruise as part of a six week motorhome vacation in New Zealand (order no R1V0AMQ). We had previously enjoyed cruising on the mailboat on two previous occasions on previous vacations and had thoroughly enjoyed it. This time we booked a slightly different route around the Marlborough Sounds which included lunch at The Lodge at Te Rawa.

    Unfortunately the weather this time round was not as kind as on previous occasions but nonetheless it was a most enjoyable cruise.

    The reason I have given the 3* rating was because we still await the refund due given the discount we were entitled to as Top 10 card holders.

    At the time the original booking was made (online from the UK) our Top 10 card details had not been received by us so it was confirmed, by e mail, that the refund would be made upon check in on the day of our cruise.

    We duly checked in on the morning of the cruise and Candice (who had been the signatory to the earlier e mail) confirmed, upon presentation of our Top 10 card, that she would arrange for the refund back to our credit card.

    Upon our return home in December we checked our credit card statement and the refund had not been activated, despite assurances to the contrary.

    Subsequent e mails to Candice querying this have remained unanswered. Frankly very disappointing.

    Let’s be clear the amount we are talking about here is relatively small, however it is more about the principal here that, despite assurances to us at the time and in a previous e mail confirmation, we would receive a refund this has conveniently been ignored.

    As customers who have booked now on three previous occasions we feel we have been let down and now we are back in the UK have little influence to do much about it.

    We did notice this time that Jim, the Scottish previous owner, had sold his business to another buyer in 2019 so perhaps this represents a deterioration in what has previously been excellent service.

    To re-emphasise we enjoyed the cruise (although not the weather) but if you enjoy the benefits of a Top 10 or similar card make sure you get the discount up front as you may be waiting for it months later like us.

    We will not be doing the cruise again.
    Written 7 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Amanda G
    3 contributions
    Oct 2020
    I was a transfer passenger, heading to Havelock from Nydia Bay, and fortunate to be picked up early-on in the run, enabling me to enjoy the rest of the cruise. After over a week of hard slog, carrying building materials by hand up a steep incline, and digging foundation holes in rock-filled clay, this was a much appreciated opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and wonderful hospitality of Levon and Ti. I particularly enjoyed the informative commentary around the history and residents of Pelorus Sound. The clearfiles with photos and stories of the area were also fantastic. Thanks so much guys, we will meet again!
    Written 9 October 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi AmandaG4490, thank you for taking time to write your great review - especially after your full-on week of hard work. It's great you were able to enjoy the cruise and the beautiful Sounds before your return to Havelock. We look forward to seeing you again soon! - The Pelorus Mail Boat team.
    Written 21 October 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Go58420751936
    5 contributions
    Jun 2020
    The professionalism and friendliness of the crew who were obviously passionate about their product.
    Levon ( the skipper) and Bindy ( the crew) were marvellous and really interacted with the punters who because COVID-19 were dominantly kiwis.
    The Marlborough Sounds are spectacular but calling in at various bays and remote dwelling to deliver mail & groceries etc really added to the experience.
    Written 8 June 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi Go58420751936, thank you very much for your awesome review. We're thrilled you enjoyed your day with us, in particular the unique experience of delivering the mail and supplies to our Marlborough Sounds residents. We hope you'll come back to join us for another cruise one day soon.
    Written 15 June 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    aatir azhari
    5 contributions
    Jun 2021
    WOW - have done a lot of cruises around SOUTH ISLAND, nz but this one stood out. Everything about it was stunning and an eye opener.

    Firstly, the boat was nice, clean, safe and comfortable to move around. The crew both the captain/skipper Levon and in trainee skipper Nicole were friendly, informative and interactive. Levon commentary was so funny and entertaining it complemented the entire day trip, Nicole was always there interacting with each and eveyone of the passengers and talking/looking out for passeners on the aged side. that was such a nice thing. Helps/makes it easy to recommend to parents the trip when we know people with age on thier side will get attention and be able to enjoy the ride.

    The ride/route itself was stunning, epic landscapes and an eye opener as to how the locals live here and how the mail boat is like a lifeline to this region. it showed me an entire other way of living life.
    Saw all the local forest, tracks and wildlife from sting ray, king shags, seals and yup dolphins almost 15-16 of them together around the boat, under the boat and everywhere. it was as lucky as we could be on that day to spot so many together.

    Thanks to PELORUS mail boat team for making it such amemorable trip. full marks.

    cheers aatir azhari.
    Written 14 June 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi tikuaatir, your review is absolutely amazing - thanks so much! We're stoked that you got so much out of the cruise, from seeing a slice of daily life in Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere to the variety of wildlife. Thanks also for your lovely feedback about the hospitality and commentary from our crew. We enjoyed hosting you and hope to welcome you back again soon.
    Written 28 June 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Emma Arthur
    1 contribution
    Jun 2022
    Highly recommend. Get to sit back and relax while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Great to see an all-female crew who were all super lovely, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and gave very comedic commentary! Complimentary tea, coffee, hot water. Clean toilets aboard also. Dress warm if wanting to sit up top :)
    Written 24 June 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Jim
    1 contribution
    May 2021
    Leon and Nicole were great hosts and their knowledge of the sounds was immense.
    Nothing was too much trouble, They went out of there way to make sure everyone was comfortable.
    We had a great day and will certainly recommend it to all our friends.
    It was by far the best trip we have ever done in NZ and we have done most of them
    Jim Kay and (Zara miniture Schnauzer)
    Written 14 May 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi Jim and Kay (and Zara!), thanks for your wonderful review. We're stoked you had such a great time on board with us, received great hospitality and that you rate the experience one of the best you've done in NZ. We enjoyed hosting you and hope to welcome you all back again in future.
    Written 17 May 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Peter
    Tauranga, New Zealand4 contributions
    Aug 2022
    Absolutely fantastic trip, scenery stunning, skipper Nicole was brilliant, her crew member was also great.
    Nicole was a wealth of knowledge with all the stations we stopped in at plus history and was highly entertaining. Enjoyed meeting the locals who greeted us at each stop.
    It was a great day
    10/10 Would highly recommend.
    Written 29 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hello, Thank you very much for the great review, will be sure to pass onto the team! Very special part of New Zealand isn't it :)
    Written 10 October 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    LynleyAS
    4 contributions
    Aug 2020
    Brilliant day out on the Sounds. Six hour trip (Friday) to outer sounds. Levon and Teedia were brilliant, very relaxed and welcoming, great commentary - enjoyed all the knowledge, history, environmental info and the humour!! Options to get off and stretch your legs in a couple of places. Boat is great - very roomy and comfortable to travel on. Best thing we did on our holiday. Would advise booking ahead, especially while numbers restricted under Level 2. When we rang the afternoon before to enquire, was told just to turn up in the morning, but when we got there and even though we were quite early, we nearly missed out. Obviously popular! BYO lunch - handy bakery in Havelock to buy before you board.
    Written 28 August 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi Lynley-Soper, your review is amazing, thank you so much for including us in your holiday itinerary. We're stoked you enjoyed your trip on the mail boat and the onboard hospitality from the crew. We hope you'll be back to visit us again soon.
    Written 1 September 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Owen F
    Moffat Beach, Australia53 contributions
    Jan 2020
    A great day experiencing what Marlborough Sounds is all about. Was lucky enough to be on an extended trip as we picked up and dropped off trampers from numerous places as well as delivering mail and supplies. Entertained by a fur seal throwing a large octopus around to break off the tentacles for his meal. Both master and crew of the vessel were very entertaining with local stories of past and present and definitely added to the day’s experience.
    Written 9 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi 894owenf, your review is amazing, thank you so much. What great luck it was to spot that seal - just another day in the Marlborough Sounds! We're pleased you enjoyed the commentary and the day's deliveries and pickups. We hope you'll come back again for another visit soon.
    Written 16 March 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Pam H
    Nelson, New Zealand56 contributions
    Oct 2021
    An amazing day out! We loved being out on the water all day with nothing to do except enjoy the sights and Sounds :) The commentary from the driver was funny and informative. We saw dolphins, sting rays, kini kuni pigs, seals, gannets, shearwaters, shags, terns. The boat was comfortable and the ride smooth (well, the sea was calm!) Local farmers and hoteliers joined in the effort to entertain the tourists by parading their pet pigs on their wharfs. Excellent value for money.
    Written 30 October 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Hi Pam H, thank you for your wonderful review. We're thrilled to hear you had such a great time on the cruise, enjoyed the commentary and had great weather with lots of wildlife (and pets!) out to be seen. We're also glad you considered the experience value for money. We enjoyed hosting you and look forward to welcoming you back again.
    Written 3 November 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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    Full Day Marlborough Sounds Mail Boat Cruise provided by Pelorus Mail Boat