Northern Fiords Explorer
Northern Fiords Explorer
Northern Fiords Explorer

Northern Fiords Explorer

From: 
Regular price
$4,250.00
Sale price
$4,250.00

Expedition Cruising Fiordland's Northern Fiords

Experience the primordial majesty of Fiordland's Northern Fiords where clouds scud the ragged peaks of glacier-cleaved mountains streaked with waterfalls as we explore Milford Sound and the more remote Bligh, George, Caswell, Nancy, Thompson and Doubtful Sounds, accessible only by expedition ship, on this 7-day authentic expedition cruise.

The isolation of the Northern Fiords has been beneficial in ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed. Join us as we sail the calm waters of Fiordland in solitude exploring some of the most unique and wild parts of Fiordland on this unforgettable adventure.

 

  • Itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Important Information

Day 1: Te Anau/Milford Sound

Make your way to the designated meeting point in Te Anau then take in the scenic drive through the Eglington Valley to Milford Sound and join Heritage Explorer in Preservation Inlet (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The captain and expedition leader will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. Settle into life aboard before and prepare for the adventure ahead while revelling in the spellbinding scenery of Milford Sound.

Day 2: Bligh Sound

Join your on board expedition naturalists to spot albatross and seabirds as we sail the rich waters of the Fiordland Coast before arriving in the seldom visited yet spectacular waters of Bligh Sound. With its crooked ‘Z’ shape you feel at the heart of the Fiordland wilderness when venturing to the head of the fiord at Bounty Haven where the Wild Natives River flows from the mountains above. Numerous sheltered coves and clear waters make it perfect for kayaking, of particular interest here is one of Fiordland’s several ‘China Shops’, special zones containing a fragile environment where deep sea life can be viewed closer to the surface than normal due to the darkness created by the brackish water.

Day 3: George Sound 

After a night enjoying the tranquility of Bligh Sound we navigate to the largest of the Northern Fiords, George Sound. Stretching 26-scenic-kilometres, George Sound is the longest of the Northern Fiords and with several arms branching from the fiord we have multiple options but the spectacular sight of Alice Falls flanked by dense forest and tumbling over boulders as it thunders out of Lake Alice at the head of fiord is always a strong draw. It was at the head of George Sound that Wapiti/elk were introduced to New Zealand in 1905, part of the herd being gifted by American president Theodore Roosevelt.

Day 4: Caswell Sound 

Another rarely explored fiord, Caswell Sound is home to the last physical remains of the 1949 New Zealand–American Fiordland scientific expedition, a primitive hut standing on the banks of the Stillwater River used while studying the Wapiti/elk herd introduced earlier in the century. Tiny Styles Island guards the fiord’s entrance to the Tasman Sea while walks include a nature-filled stroll along Stillwater River towards Lake Marchant. Fishing here is good for those interested in joining the chefs in securing tonight’s dinner.

Day 5: Charles and Nancy Sounds 

Today we have the exploration of the southern-most of the northern fiords on our agenda. Flanked by steep mountains including Mount Napier and Command Peak, Nancy Sound was likely named after the vessel Nancy by Captain John Grono one of the early sealing captains to explore Fiordland. Nancy Sound’s unusual leg shape was not lost on those who named it bestowing the section it turns at right angles to the north Foot Arm, which dutifully moves into Heel Cove and Toe Cove. Leg Head and Bend Point were similarly literally named. At nearby Charles Sound, the fiord branches into Emelius and Gold Arms at its head with Gold Arm being home to one of the most extensive marine reserves in the inner fiords (Kahukura Marine Reserve) while other sections are included in the Taumoana Marine Reserve. Your captain and expedition Leader will find a suitably sheltered anchorage for Heritage Explorer where activities could include kayaking or joining your expedition guides in a coastal exploration by Zodiac.

Day 6: Thompson and Doubtful Sound 

A short sail southwards brings us to the extensive sheltered waters of Thompson Sound, initially scouted for sheep farming suitability by early setters in the 1850s and location Secretary Island, an iconic site in New Zealand conservation history as one of the first large islands declared rat free in 1988. We then explore some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Fiordland – Doubtful Sound, or the sound of silence as it’s also known. Spanning some staggering 40-kilometres and holding the title as New Zealand’s deepest fiord, Doubtful Sound with its cloud-scraping wilderness cloaked mountains, sheer stone cliffs, waterfalls, inlets, quiet coves and wildlife presents nature on a scale so grand it’s off the chart. Photographic opportunities abound and our time spent here could include ship cruising Blanket Bay, the Shelter Islands, Pandora River, Deas Cove and Open Bay. Enjoy a farewell dinner with the team aboard Heritage Explorer.

Day 7: Doubtful Sound/Te Anau

This morning we navigate to the very head of Doubtful Sound in Deep Cove home to several waterfalls including Helena and Lady Alice Falls. After a final breakfast and farewells, head ashore where a transfer to Te Anau, via the picturesque Wilmot Pass, the road constructed as part of the Manapouri hydro scheme, awaits. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Te Anau until after 3pm this afternoon. During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

Please note: Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Pre and post cruise transfer
  • All on board ship accommodation
  • All meals
  • All expedition shore excursions
  • House Drinks (Beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits)
  • On Board naturalist guides

Tour Exclusions:

  • All items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  • Extensions
  • Domestic flights
  • Travel insurance.

Accommodation based on the below or similar

Ship: Heritage Explorer

New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board.

Technical description:

Vessel Type: Expedition Yacht
Guests: 18
Accommodation: 10 Cabins
Length: 30m
Engine: 653 horsepower
Cruising speed: 10 knots(one engine)
Expedition Staff and Crew: 5

PAYMENTS: A non-refundable deposit of 30% is required at the time of booking. The balance of the tour price is required 100 days prior to your travel date. If you book inside this period, full payment will be required at the time of booking. Payment can be made by bank transfer. If you cancel between 185 and 100 days prior to your travel date 30% of your tour cost will be charged. If you cancel within 100 days prior to your tour departure you will be charged 100% of your tour cost.

Innovative Travel recommends purchasing travel insurance.

For full terms and conditions refer to the Heritage Expeditions 2020-2021 Conservation and Adventure Expedition Cruising Brochure

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Full Terms and conditions are listed on the Innovative Travel website. When a booking is made it is accepted that these are agreed to. They include the following: Itineraries are correct when initially published, however are subject to change due to circumstances outside our control.

Flights are the responsibility of the passenger and Innovative Travel takes no responsibility for costs involved for any changes to flights that might be required due to necessary amendments in itineraries.

 

Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.

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