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“Fabulously Unique Overnight Cruise”
Review of Real Journeys

Real Journeys
Ranked #2 of 7 things to do in Manapouri
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Cruise across island-studded Lake Manapouri and coach over Wilmot Pass. Then explore Doubtful Sound on a three-hour cruise with our nature guide on board the modern catamaran the Patea Explorer. Wildlife sightings are likely to include dolphins, seals and penguins. Discover the 'sound of silence', rugged peaks and explore the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. Queenstown and Te Anau coach connections available. Daily departures, all year.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 21 April 2018 via mobile

Very well organised trip overall. Interesting boatrip from Manopouri to West Arm. Our coach driver Alan over the Wilmot Pass drive was excellent, so knowledgeable & funny. The staff on the Navigator were brilliant, friendly and v hardworking. The boat is comfortable, clean and well set up for this type of experience. The Naturalist Nick on board was great, and the sights on this trip were just breathtaking. There had been rain so nature was in full swing with low cloud and waterfalls flowing everywhere you looked! This trip is a must do for if you want to experience such a unique corner of the world with totally natural wonders.

The dinner & breakfast on board was excellent and plentiful. Chef Frank did an amazing job and the girls had a very fair system for diners. The muffins and soup in the afternoon was great too.

We would have booked 2 double rooms on the higher deck had they been available but our only option was a quad dorm. This was an interesting experience for us and one night was definitely enough as was very open. Our only recommendation would be to put a door on these quads for privacy.

Highly recommend this trip to Doubtful Sound worth the effort and cost...

Date of experience: February 2017
Thank TravelTrishWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"wilmot pass"
in 83 reviews
"across lake manapouri"
in 76 reviews
"doubtful sound"
in 403 reviews
"day trip"
in 80 reviews
"tasman sea"
in 75 reviews
"overnight cruise"
in 121 reviews
"the bus"
in 113 reviews
"fiordland navigator"
in 31 reviews
"new zealand"
in 81 reviews
"te anau"
in 70 reviews
"west arm"
in 18 reviews
"complete silence"
in 10 reviews
"fur seals"
in 40 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 27 reviews
"nature guide"
in 32 reviews
"quad share"
in 9 reviews
"seal colony"
in 13 reviews
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31 - 35 of 815 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2018

We had to book this trip over a year ago and it was well worth the wait. The scenery was stunning, the crew were wonderful, the food was amazing and the cabin was cosy and warm. We wanted for nothing and spent our time gazing at the views, walking with a very knowledgeable guide, chatting with new friends and taking numerous photographs. We saw kaka, kakariki, robins, dolphins, seals, penguins and albatross. We were so tired at night, that we went to bed at 9 and awoke fresh at 7 for breakfast. We even had the chance to swim! It was expensive, we saved for a year, but it was worth every cent and we helped a conservation project with our payment. We had the best time and thank all the crew for their excellent, hard work. One piece of advice, take sea sickness tablets for the sea journeys and try to stay outside in the fresh air! The first crossing was the worst, after that, it was a breeze. Our lovely Hannah brought us hot water bottles even though she was suffering herself. Caring, everyone of them.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank JulieB8405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2018 via mobile

Having read all the reviews I booked an overnight boat trip- three of us in a quad cabin. It was one of the last things we did in NZ, and it was a wonderful way to end our trip. Well organised, pleasant staff, the best buffet dinner, kayaking, nature talks, sea swimming, waterfalls and rain, and rain and more rain! But this simply gave the fiord an ethereal beauty with swirling mists, rainbows and shafts of sunlight breaking through to create stunning spotlights and shadows. It was achingly beautiful and we loved the thought that the pristine forests have largely never been explored, which made the experience all the more special. The staff work incredibly hard to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness, cuisine and service. We did appreciate all their efforts and realised that as soon as we left, they only had a few hours before the next guests arrived. For anyone considering this trip, we advise good waterproof trousers, jackets and shoes and a complete change of clothes for the evening as it is impossible to get everything dry. Highly recommended.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank JuliaC129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Real Journeys, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2018

Kia Ora Manel,
Thank you for a wonderful review. It is great to hear you ended your trip with the iconic Doubtful Sound Experience and enjoyed the spectacular views Doubtful Sound has to offer. We hope to see you again in the not so distant future.
Kind Regards - The Team at Real Journeys.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2018

Booked this in advance only to be contacted by email and told I was upgraded. When i arrived in Manapouri the day before the tour, I went to see the office to find out what was happening. My morning tour had been cancelled and i had been put on a later one. What was the upgrade? The later trip was more expensive but I didn't have to pay the extra. It didn't really suit me to go later as i had further travel plans the next day but I had no choice. No apology, no explanation. I went on the later tour and found that there was little or no interaction with the mostly backpacker crew. I had hoped for some information on the local flora fauna etc but almost none and only read parrot script. No NZ humour. I was pushed out of the way many times by another tourist, observed by staff but nothing repaired. When I asked the Captain about a flora issue he turned and said "I don't know". On the return journey all the young female staff gathered beside the young captain and chatted about the forthcoming nights out. I felt that the guests did not exist, and the use of backpackers is unacceptable in this location. No staff member took the opportunity to speak to me or even acknowledge anyone once all day although the boat was not crowded. I even had one of the female staff from the restaurant push me out of the way to get a photo with her camera when some penguins had been pointed out. There was no courtesy on this tour. Apart from the beautiful scenery the day was disappointing in not feeling that we were valued guests or in fact were even there. Hopefully some NZ staff will make a big difference.

Date of experience: October 2017
3  Thank Jennifer D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 April 2018

We crossed the lake by catamaran from Manapouri, which took around 45 mins, then boarded a coach for our journey over to Deep Cove. Chris, our driver, was amusing and knowledgeable and the drive was particularly impressive as the rain caused the waterfalls to be spectacular! A short way from our boat, Fiordland Navigator, there had been a problem with the road and it was deemed to be unsafe. We walked, one by one, over the narrow walkway and then boarded a vintage coach for the final 650 metres. Apparently, this is likely to be the case for around 3 months, but it wasn’t a problem. Once aboard the small ship, Marky introduced the crew and we were shown to our spotless and surprisingly spacious cabin. Lovely opportunity to meet other passengers followed, as well as kayaking, trip on the ship’s tender or for the braver amongst us, a swim in the Sound! A choice of two soups at 5.30pm, followed by a fabulous buffet prepared by our chef Phil and Lydia at 7.30pm. Later, we sailed from the mouth of the Sound into the ocean where fur seals relaxed on the rocks and we watched the sun set - simply stunning. The bar was available for drinks to be purchased and complimentary hot drinks were available throughout the trip. Carol, the onboard naturalist was brilliant, telling us facts and information and answering any questions about the Fiords. We then anchored to a mooring bouy overnight. A sunny morning, and a lovely continental breakfast at 0645 was followed by a fabulous cooked breakfast; once again prepared by Phil. We then started our return trip through the Sound accompanied by Dusky and Bottlenosed dolphins - just fabulous. One of the most poignant moments was when Glen, the captain, turned off engines and generators and everyone was completely still and silent - what a special moment - just the beauty of our surroundings! 24 hours later, our return journey was equally well organised and our coach driver, Alan, as knowledgable and entertaining as Chris. This overnight cruise was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand. Thank you

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Mim Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at Real Journeys, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

Kia Ora Mim, thanks for taking the time to post this wonderful review. We are so pleased to see how much you enjoyed your visit to Doubtful Sound with us. Seeing wildlife such as dolphins swimming alongside the boat in such magical surrounds truly is fabulous. We are so happy that our guides and staff looked after you so well throughout your trip and that the overnight cruise is one of the highlights of your visit to New Zealand.
Kind regards, the team at Real Journeys.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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