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All reviews milford mariner overnight cruise milford wanderer nature cruise new zealand tasman sea the bus te anau water activities slide show next morning nature guide before dinner box lunch doubtful sound south island tender boat
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Reviewed 8 April 2018

Overall, our expectations were higher for the AUD$635 each we paid but it was still enjoyable. The mild weather was great with no rain. We took the return trip 'Coach-Overnight Cruise Milford Mariner-Coach' with Real Journeys from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Not a glass top coach as advertised but comfy enough. Seven hour coach trip unnecessarily long and driver didn't stop talking on the mike the whole way, so no escaping the irritating waffle of how great he was. The return six hour journey was better as driver promised to stay off mike and let us relax and enjoy the trip as he knew he talked too much.

Boarding the Milford Mariner was smooth. It was great to be able to move around most of the boat freely with only 60 passengers. Captain and crew were friendly, the room/en suite clean and small with very comfortable bed. Afternoon snack of sandwiches/muffins welcome. Tea & coffee available at any time. There wasn't a choice of Milford Track walk or kayak/tender boat as advertised, only tender & kayaks were offered. We chose tender boat of 14 passengers but headed straight out to sea rather than stay close to caves and rocks like the kayaks. Bobbed up and down for 20 mins with nothing to see and our friendly 'nature expert' admitted there's not much wildlife to see usually except sandflies - perhaps this is why we were in the ocean as the sandflies were bad. Back on board the main boat, some passengers enjoyed a swim off the back of the boat.

Dinner was a delicious soup, breads & dips, then buffet of beef/lamb with some roasted vegetables and the usual salads. Nothing special. There's a small bar on board where you can buy drinks with cash. Captain had gone out into the sea in search of Poison Bay as a treat for the crew apparently while we were eating dinner. A few of us felt quite sea sick and left dinner unfinished and declined dessert - pavlova, pastries, cream and fruit. After some fresh air on deck we went to bed early. Up around 6.30am, still dark seeing seals lying asleep on back deck and swimming nearby. Early breakfast buffet was same as most hotel buffets. Misty morning provided peaceful and eery scenery. Watched a pod of about 10 dolphins playing in front of the sister ship that sailed with us. Beds were stripped and bags were packed and before we knew it, we were near the big waterfall and back in the harbour around 9.30am ready for the return journey. Those with booked flights were told weather did not permit flights and that this happens more often than not. So be warned.

Unless you enjoy a long coach journey and then cruising basically the same scenery for the available 8-9 hours you can see anything, I would recommend driving to Te Anau and joining the coach or parking at Milford Sound and taking a lunchtime cruise for 2 hours and still experience the wonder of the place.

Thank campouk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Thanks Malcolm for taking us out on this great Trip to Milford Sound!!! The coach with glass roof and comfy seats is so nice. The scenery on the way and Milford is just stunning.
Also the Picnic lunch on the boat was very good and thoughtful :)
Thanks again, Tina & Kiki

Thank tina-albaaaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

We opted for the Nature Cruise with Real Journeys, as we have younger kids. The drive from Queenstown is long, but worth it - we decided to drive ourselves, and save money on the ticket cost.

The cruise was 2 hours, and the commentary guide was great. We saw dolphins, seals, and got a bit wet under a waterfall, which was super fun! The scenery is so amazing, and even in the wind and rain, it was a highlight from our New Zealand trip. I was so glad we took the day out to do it. Be sure to pack a picninc, waterproofs and warm clothes.

Another tip: on the drive to Milford Sound have a quick stop at Eglinton glacial valley - really breathtaking photo opportunity.

Thank MrsKatRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner... Wowza!
Just exceeded expectations....on boarding the Captain and crew were professional, funny and totally safety conscious ...our rules, your journey !
Cabin was great, outbound trip fabulous, an outingon the boat's tender into the Tasman sea with an Albatross dropping to the waves 20feet from the tender was magical, as was the detour to Poison Bay....
Overnight cruise fabulous, met some great people, had a fabulous four-course dinner, slept like a baby and up at 5am for the morning views.....magical is all I can say. Thank you Real Journeys....you made my trip from the UK ❤️

Thank mrsbridgetdavey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

Real Journeys provides a lot of options for trips from Queenstown to Milford Sound and a cruise out to the Tasman Sea. Even if the weather is rainy, this is a must do trip: you have options for the length of time you wish to spend on the water as well as size of ship.
The bus driver picked me right up at my motel. Dean was very knowledgeable and most personable. He gave a lot of valuable tips as where to eat when we stopped in Te Anu as well as what to avoid when eating out on holidays.
On board the ship you have many options as to where you wish to be - inside or out. I highly suggest you prepare for inclement weather and if you have proper rain gear you will have a great time looking at the amazing waterfalls. Even when there is a heavy squall, you can get undercover outside at the sides of the ship. Sitting inside will not really give you a full appreciation of the majestic area.
Don’t think you need to have good weather to have a wonderful experience - just come prepared (and have protection for your camera if you want to get some spectacular photos).
At the steps along the way on the bus you’ll enjoy the scenery as well: if you are lucky you may even see a cheeky kea near the longest one-way tunnel!

Thank Happytraveller604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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