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All reviews wilmot pass across lake manapouri doubtful sound day trip tasman sea overnight cruise the bus fiordland navigator new zealand te anau west arm complete silence turned off nature guide fur seals quad share packed lunch
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Reviewed 19 January 2016

The day started with an hour cruise across Lake Manapouri followed by a coach trip over the Wilmot Pass and down to Doubtful Sound. We had left under grey skies but as we descended the Pass, the skies cleared and we were treated to a beautiful sunny day. The modern and comfortable Real Journeys catamaran took us on a 3 hour cruise up the Sound and out into the Tasman Sea where we saw a colony of NZ fur seals on the Nee Islets. On the return journey, we went up a couple of the smaller arms and got right up close to the rocks. As there had been rain the previous day, there were plenty of waterfalls. Throughout the cruise, there was an excellent commentary plus we could ask all the questions we wanted. What made this cruise really special was that we were the only boat on the Sounds. An exceptionally well organised trip and a hugely enjoyable day which was one of the highlights of my visit to New Zealand.

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank SteelerRos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2016

We were so pleased that we fortunate enough to do the day tour to Doubtful Sound on a beautiful clear sunny day.
Even though numbers were high, it rarely seemed crowded. The boat trip across Lake Manpouri and the bus ride to Doubtful Sound are only means to an end but even these were enjoyable and spectacular in their own way. Doubtful Sound itself is incomparable with the reflections in the still waters of Crooked Arm unforgettable. We saw penguins and the dolphins as well as venturing out of the mouth of the Sound. Really, this is an experience not top be missed.

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2016

Mind you it's about $250NZD to this cruise while it's typically around $99NZD to do a Milford Sound cruise. The day after we did a Milford Sound cruise and observatory visit, we visited the Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise. The only thing missing was the tour of the power plant but it didn't take too much away from the whole experience. The fjords are smaller and closer together which made it more interesting.

To get to Doubtful Sound, you start in Manapouri and take a ferry for an hour to a secluded road and then take a bus for 40 minutes over a pass into the Doubtful Sound harbor. It's really secluded and less travelled than Milford Sound. Once on the cruise, it is for 3 hours and you will have the possibility to see all sorts of wildlife. We saw a huge NZ Fur Seal colony, a pod of dolphins, and spent time with the engine off in of the arms of the sound where it's completely quiet.

Like the other cruises, you can package the cruise with lunch, which did. Or bring your own. Then it's back again typically the earliest cruises have a tour of the power plant but it was closed for maintenance when we went.

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank TheWellTravelled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2016

Real Journeys seem to be an extremely professional company. From the moment we checked in we felt that everything was very well organised and executed. The staff were wonderful, the scenery breathtaking and the whole experience was without doubt one of the best things I have ever done. I wasn't expecting a huge amount, thinking that the ship would be like a ferry but I was very pleasantly surprised. The cabin was clean and comfortable and the food was extremely good indeed with masses of choice and all of it very good quality. An experience not to be missed.

Date of experience: December 2015
Thank Fairestview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2016

The overnight cruise with Real Journeys is fabulous. This company is very professional and efficient. Doubtful Sound is more remote and therefore less crowded and touristy than Milford Sound. Although I have not been to Milford Sound, I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than Doubtful Sound. It involves a bus ride from Queenstown, then a boat ride to another bus which takes you up and over a range to Doubtful Sound. Because of the lengthy transit, I would highly recommend the overnight cruise rather than the day trip. Our stateroom was roomy with its own bathroom. The meals were excellent with plenty of top quality food and cheerful service. The kayak outing was shorter than I would have preferred but adequate. There were frequent announcements by the guide as to sights (many, many waterfalls) and wildlife (seals, dolphins). In the evening the guide gave a short lecture on the area. It was very chilly so go equipped with a coat, hat and mitts. We were fortunate to have only a few showers. This trip was a highlight in our vacation in New Zealand. Not to be missed!

Date of experience: December 2015
Thank FernieJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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