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How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

Auckland
5 posts
How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

My partner and I are taking a campervan trip around South Island in the second week in September. I was wondering how far ahead do we need to book a Milford Sound cruise, as we are not exactly sure when we will be there. Can we book it once we are in Queenstown or do we have to do it earlier ? How busy is it at this time of the year? We just don't want to miss it :)

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
1,736 posts
1. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

You do not have to book ahead, in fact its best to book your cruise when you arrive in Milford Sound. This avoids having to rush when driving the Milford road. There are at least four different companies to choose from.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Christchurch, South Island, Akaroa
Level Contributor
51,615 posts
555 reviews
231 helpful votes
2. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

Even in January we booked on arrival in MS and then changed our minds when we got to the dock and saw a smaller boat - got a refund and a new ticket on the spot. September is very quiet so wait u til you get there and see what the weather is doing. If it is cold & wet you might opt for a shorter cruise than you would choos eon a sunny day!!

Karitane, New...
Level Contributor
2,410 posts
7 reviews
20 helpful votes
3. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

We were there in July last year, and booked the day before (full tour from Queenstown). If you are staying in Queenstown, it's best to take the bus. It's a very long day and September is still avalanche season.

Auckland
5 posts
4. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

Thank you so much for your feedback :)

That's exactly what I hoped to hear, I would not be too happy if I booked the whole day cruise and its raining. Yeah I thought of taking a bus too, but my partner has done this before many times and insists to show me his gorgeous country this way. Lets hope there are no avalanches lol not funny

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
33,901 posts
88 reviews
104 helpful votes
5. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

I hope you aren't using Queenstown as base to drive to Milford and back for the day? It is 13 hours to drive,cruise, return!!

Best take the bus from Queenstown or...

1 drive to te Anau

2 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

or...

1 drive to Milford

2 cruise, drive out

best of luck :)

Putrajaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
201 posts
20 reviews
19 helpful votes
6. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

i am also going to visit that area this sept... i was just wondering when they say milford sound day trip (bus) do they mean the tour include te anau n fjordland national park? do u advise to book online or just find a travel agent in queenstown?

tq in advance

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
33,901 posts
88 reviews
104 helpful votes
7. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

The bus Queenstown to Milford Sound stops for 30 minutes or so in Te Anau and yes, it travels through Fiordland National Park from Te Anau to Milford. It is a lovely trip.

You can book in Queenstown at any i-SITE (tourist information) or online.

Happy travels :)

Putrajaya, Malaysia
Level Contributor
201 posts
20 reviews
19 helpful votes
8. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

Tq so much

St Helens, United...
Destination Expert
for North Wales
Level Contributor
12,295 posts
69 reviews
136 helpful votes
9. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

I enjoyed the overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner (?)

It was great to be on the Sound at night with only a couple of other boats.

Fantastic star gazing, kayaking and a very enthusiastic naturalist.

A quick dip in the freezing waters, very bracing but not recommended!

An early morning breakfast and a cruise in the still morning air along a deserted Sound, unforgettable

The drive is spread over two days doing it this way.

we also took the chance of a helicopter trip from Doubtful Sound up onto the tops

A once in a lifetime experience

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
4,632 posts
255 reviews
333 helpful votes
10. Re: How far ahead do I need to book Milford Sound cruise?

We were in MIlford yesterday - it was deserted. We've never, ever booked a cruise in advance in our many trips to the SI and have never been caught out, regardless of time of year. Wait and see what the weather gods have in store and go from there.

PS - we had a beautiful sunny day in Milford...in August. You just never know.

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