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Traveller rating
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All reviews milford mariner real journeys overnight cruise new zealand the bus tasman sea te anau next morning doubtful sound scenic cruise nature guide south island fur seals photo opportunities coach driver soup boat ride
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Reviewed 5 May 2019 via mobile

My husband and I took the Real Journeys Doubtful Sound overnight cruise and loved it!! The ferry ride over Lake Manapouri was gorgeous. The coach ride over Wilmot Pass to Deep Arm was beautiful and embarking onto the Fiordland Navigator was exciting. The boat is gorgeous and the double cabin with en-suite we had was super comfy. The food was excellent and we never went hungry. The crew were so friendly and helpful and very informative of the area. Doubtful Sound was breathtaking and my husband spotted lots of dolphins. Even though it was cold and raining, we still had an extraordinary time. The rain just meant hundreds of beautiful waterfalls! This is a must do to really experience everything that Doubtful Sound has to offer! Real Journeys did an excellent job and we highly recommend them!! Thank you!!

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank ijoymama
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 May 2019

We were supposed to fly to Milford Sound and take the cruise in the Sound. Due to weather, the trip was cancelled three straight days. We consulted with the "isite" travel and they encouraged us to take a "Luxury Coach" to the Milford instead. We asked about driving the rental car and they said "no" that the roads were too dangerous and it would be about 8 hours of driving. We reluctantly agreed to take the bus and asked for the nicest one. They booked us on Real Journeys and said that it would be a 12 hour day. They told us that the company would pick us up at our hotel and drop us off. They sent a taxi for us to our hotel at 7:15 the morning of the tour. The taxi took us to the public bus station in Queenstown and dropped us off in the rain and said the bus would be there to get us shortly. We waited at least 20 minutes if not longer. When the bus arrived, it was already full and we had to sit in the back of the bus. We did not realize that these would be our "assigned seats" for the duration of the trip including the return trip. There were a number of babies and young children on the trip who cried and fussed and generally made for a miserable ride. We were surprised that someone would bring a very small child on a 12 hour bus trip. When we returned to the bus after the cruise, I asked if we could sit in different seats. The guide informed me that we had to return to the same seats. The trip home was miserable - more crying babies, a woman behind me who refused to allow me to recline my seat and know way of informing the driver/guide (one in the same) that we needed more air or anything else. She (Angela) drove quite fast on the curvy and dark roads seeming to be in a much bigger hurry to return to Queenstown. We made one stop to drop off a friend or colleague (not sure which) of the driver who got on the bus in Te Anau on the return trip. We arrived after 8:30 p.m. making the entire trip over 13 hours. I do not recommend taking the bus or this company. The roads were very driveable and we met many people at the Sound that told us their drive was great and they had no problems. Companies like this one should at least consider two things: Should babies and small children be allowed on a long trip such as this one? It makes it miserable for others and the babies are certainly not enjoying it. Also, why should the passengers not be allowed to take a different seat on the return trip. Being stuck in the back of the bus the entire time was miserable and we had no control over it since we were the last picked up. We decided to NEVER go on a group bus excursion or trip again after this experience.

Date of experience: April 2019
3  Thank spendingthetrustfund
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Real_Journeys, Guest Relations Manager at RealNZ, responded to this reviewResponded 9 July 2019


Spendingthetrustfund, we apologise that your trip with us didn’t meet your expectations. To confirm, our customers are either picked up by taxi and join our coach at the Frankton Bus Shelter or collected by our coach en route from central Queenstown – depending on the location of the accommodation. We sent a taxi to pick you up from your accommodation reception and took you to the Frankton Bus Shelter. This is a dedicated public bus hub with undercover seating and toilets. We do try to estimate this accurately but depending on the number of customers to pick up, this can vary by a few minutes.
Our premium coach seating option is popular and offers allocated seats in the first two rows at the front of the coach. This is ideal for those who prefer to sit nearer the coach driver, whilst still benefitting from the panoramic windows and glass roof.
The return journey from Milford Sound will always appear quicker, especially in the dark. There are fewer stops, as most are done on the inbound sector. Agreed, this is a long day trip, but travelling by coach does allow you to relax, take in the views so you don’t have to worry about getting there on time nor parking the car. Our coach drivers are experienced, and our timetables are designed to connect seamlessly with our Milford Sound cruise departures. We hope that you enjoyed the cruise of the fiord. Thank you for your review. The Real Journeys team

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Reviewed 3 May 2019

Did the evening tour. Boat ride was great, beautiful night sky. Very informative guide. Interesting video and presentation prior to entering the cave. Actual cave tour also amazing and worth the time and money. All members of family enjoyed.

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank barsus1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 May 2019 via mobile

I took my husband for his birthday, we flew into Queenstown and hired a car. Allow 4.5 hours to drive into Milford. Be mindful on the roads and stick to the speed limits. The tour was so well organized. Great kayaks, history and nature talks. Amazing afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast A+++++

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank 765rhondad
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 29 April 2019

We decided a later visit so set off in the dark. Nothing to see during the 30 min boat trip. At the caves we were given a short talk on the caves, glow worms and what to expect during the tour. We were offered free drinks whilst waiting for the tour. The walk down to the main cave trip was challenging for tall people, as the ceiling was very low in places. The internal boat trip was done in the dark to show off the many groups of glow worms. A quite spectacular sight. Well worth a visit, but would recommend a daylight tour to take in the lake scenery.

Date of experience: April 2019
2  Thank will6634
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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