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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown

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Queenstown, New Zealand
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon12 hours  (approx.)
iconOffered in: English and 8 more

Overview

Join a Doubtful Sound cruise from Queenstown and discover this alpine gem nestled in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Traveling by coach, take a ferry across Lake Manapouri and cross over Wilmot Pass for your catamaran cruise. Admire the fiord’s vivid beauty as you search for dolphins, fur seals, and penguins amid a dramatic landscape of soaring granite peaks and crystal-clear waters. 
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Skipper provides live commentary
  • Hotel pickup and drop off from centrally located Queenstown hotels
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Live commentary on board
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Food and drinks
Gratuities
88 Beach Street , 88 Beach Street, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled departure.

6:55 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
Start your South Island adventure to Doubtful Sound with pickup from your Queenstown hotel by coach. Relax during the journey to stunning Lake Manapouri, situated in the UNESCO–listed Fiordland National Park, and ride a ferry across its tranquil waters. Then ascend Wilmot Pass, stopping en route for a photo op of Doubtful Sound, a ribbon of blue meandering between the Fiordland's alpine moss gardens and steep rainforest-laden walls.

Board a spacious catamaran at Deep Cove for your cruise of Doubtful Sound. Ten times larger than Milford Sound, the pristine fiord boasts sun-drenched or mist-shrouded peaks where waterfalls cascade into the deep blue water below.

Keep an eye out for basking New Zealand fur seals, rare Fiordland penguins and bottlenose dolphins that often swim alongside the vessel as your skipper explains natural features of this extraordinary landscape. 

End with the return trip to Manapouri, where you’re transferred back to your Queenstown hotel.
Itinerary
Pass By:  
Fiordland National Park (Te Wahipounamu)
Cruise around Doubtful Sound in the beautiful Fiordland National Park.
Stop At:  
Doubtful Sound
Take in the scenery and wildlife aboard our comfortable catamaran. Our on board nature guides will be giving an informative commentary throughout the journey.
Duration: 2 hours 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Lake Manapouri
Cruise across Lake Manapouri to the Wilmot Pass. Take in the amazing mountain scenery from on board a modern catamaran.
Duration: 50 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Lake Wakatipu
Board a luxury coach in Queenstown and travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through rolling countryside to Manapouri township.
Pass By:  
Queenstown
Begin your journey in Queenstown, where you will board one of our luxury coaches for travelling to Manapouri.
Stop At:  
Manapouri
Your first stage of the journey ends in Manapouri, and will continue from here with a 50 minute catamaran cruise across the townships stunning lake.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Te Anau
Our coaches will make a brief stop in Te Anau to pick up other passengers. Take this time to enjoy the scenery in the amazing part of the world.
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Please wear comfortable shoes, waterproof jacket and warm clothing
  • Please note: During survey the Patea Explorer will be substituted with another vessel from the Real Journeys fleet
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 135 travelers
  • OPERATED BY RealNZ
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
See all safety measures taken by Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown.

Traveler Photos

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Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
110 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 110 reviews
star-5
No Doubts about Doubtful Sounds
Heather_P
, Aug 2021
I was expecting a quiet little cruise on Doubtful Sounds but due to the weather it was a totally exhilirating adventure with the most magnificent waterfalls everywhere thanks to the amount of rain. The boat we travelled in was a large, modern vessel with all the technology you could ask for so I felt totally safe. The skipper was very experienced and not at all concerned as we rocked up and downat times. I've never felt so alive than when I stood at the back of the boat staring out into the fabulous sounds with the water whipping around us. Magic. As we arrived out towards the sea we got to see many sea lions on top of a rock in their natural habitat. We travelled by Bus from Queenstown to the Manapouri Outdoor Centre where the tour started. Comfortable bus and an enjoyable trip and commentary from our driver Jill. I certainly recommend the lunch box. Very impressed in what we were given for $20. Wraps, fruit, homebaking, chocolate, cheese and crackers and the most delicious cheese scone. I think there should be a minimum age limit as we didnt enjoy the number of babies and young children on our tour as its not really a safe environment for them plus they get bored.
star-4
Interestingly frustrating but fun and memerable.
Isobel_Seath
, Jul 2021
Was an amazingly beautiful day to go on what I'm sure is a beautiful tour of the gorgeous Doubtful Sound. However, the majority of the trip that we got to complete was gorgeous but was a shame to no-ones fault except the engine of the boat that we did not actually get to see the Doubtful Sound in the end due to engine troubles. We are really looking forward to rebooking and going another time to complete the tour. Thank you for a lovely memorable day :)
star-4
Worth visit
Pornpop_U
, Jun 2021
The tour company and tour guide were nice. Although, to me, the Sound is not as attractive as Milford Sound owing to fewer waterfalls along the Sound, it was worth for money and time to visit this beautiful and serene Sound especially the Sound of Silence where the water was still enough to reflect all surrounding mountains. Overall, the visit is recommended.
star-5
Trip of a lifetime
Hazel_P
, Apr 2021
A great experience - thoroughly enjoyed it. I have wanted to do this trip for a long time. It surpassed expectations.
star-5
Highly recommend!
Cheryl_M
, Mar 2020
Loved everything about this trip. While travelling on the bus after the boat trip across Lake Manapouri, we were able to see the trees that inspired Peter Jackson to create the Ents in the Lord of the Rings. The boat ride in Doubtful Sound was incredible especially the couple minutes of silence to enjoy the beauty of nature.
star-5
Incredible journey from start to...
Danielle M
, Jun 2018
Incredible journey from start to finish. Well organised trip and our guide Chris was full of knowledge and made the long journey enjoyable. The ferry journey over Lake Manapouri and the drive over Wilmot Pass are both stunning. Doubtful Sound is breathtakingly beautiful and would recommend it to anyone who wants more of an adventure away from the crowds.
star-2
It was like traveling in a city bus...
Ram_J
, Mar 2018
It was like traveling in a city bus that drops off passengers at every stop in the town and picks up cash passengers at every other stop.
star-3
Very long day and bus rides. Pretty...
Lawrence A
, Mar 2018
Very long day and bus rides. Pretty waterfalls and peaceful boat rides. We did not see a single creature but so many were advertised and in the brochures. When we asked about seeing dolphins, whales, penguins we were told they are wild and we do not put them on leashes...
star-5
I was picked up on time from my...
Christopher_H
, Feb 2018
I was picked up on time from my accommodation, check in was straight forward, the coach driver was most helpful and provided good informative commentary. There were a couple of changes enroute coach, boat, bus these were well organized and went without a hitch. The main cruise around the Doubtful Sound was amazing, staff were helpful and again informative commentary was given. I highly recommend this trip.
star-5
Loved it! We got lucky to get some...
Elvin D
, Jan 2018
Loved it! We got lucky to get some sunshine. Seeing the dolphins is a bonus too!
star-5
I loved this tour. Adrian was our...
Vanja Radisic
, Dec 2017
I loved this tour. Adrian was our guide and driver and he was very accommodating, stopping /slowing down frequently to show us the scenery and allow for breaks and photos. Doubtful is mind blowing, and guys on the ships were fantastic as well. I was even impressed by our preordered lunch.
star-5
A great tour from Queenstown...
Joy M
, Dec 2017
A great tour from Queenstown. Picked up from our hotel and taken to assembly point. Driver of coach very knowledgeable, pulled into scenic spots on the way to our Lake Manitoba boat crossing. Was a long day but with varied modes of transport you didn't notice the time. To save 20 each lunch provided if you order ahead take your own lunch. Drinks can be bought on cruises. We thought some drinks provided but not so, only coffee or tea free on both boat cruises. Wonderful day and the highlight of our trip to Queenstown. Views on Doubtful Sound breathtaking with great photo opportunities. We were fortunate to have a lovely sunny day, no rain either.
star-5
Fantastic Tour. Well worth the time...
Bill W
, Dec 2017
Fantastic Tour. Well worth the time and travel. Very professionally done. Beautiful scenery. And, we saw humpback whales, seals and a penguin! I recommend this tour.
star-3
doubtful sound was great, however it...
Nicole W
, Oct 2017
doubtful sound was great, however it did take 3 coach trips and one river trip before we even started on the wilderness cruise. Consider the amount of travelling time that is required
star-5
Incredible!!! The captain stopped...
Smitha K
, Sep 2017
Incredible!!! The captain stopped the boat for a minute in the sound, you could only hear the water and birds!!! What a rich experience this was!
star-4
A great tour into the beautiful...
Lyall_S
, Sep 2017
A great tour into the beautiful sound - a long day but well worth it to experience the beauty of this area.
star-5
This tour left myself and my family...
Caitlin H
, Jul 2017
This tour left myself and my family reeling for days afterwards. Doubtful Sound is truly one of New Zealand's most magical and beautiful places. Everything about the tour was extremely well organised which meant no stress they even picked us up directly from our hotel door. The coach ride was comfortable and the drivers were able to offer insightful facts about the area as we drive through the landscape. Upon arrival at Manapouri Station, we hopped on another bus with another wonderful driver to be taken to the ferry. The cruise itself was incredible. We got to see dolphins play, got taken out to see the local seal colony, and most importantly had plenty of time to take in the beautiful views. Looking forward to booking the Milford Sound tour next year. Thanks for a brilliant experience!
star-5
Fantastic day, really great sights...
Margot S
, May 2017
Fantastic day, really great sights and commentary, saw dolphins, seals, fairy penguins. Well organised
star-5
Amazing well organised day with...
Andrew R
, Apr 2017
Amazing well organised day with perfect weather, dolphins and an albatross ! The coach drivers were friendly and informative and although a long day we had a fantastic experience and would definitely recommend it
star-5
Having visited Milford Sound by both...
roger r
, Mar 2017
Having visited Milford Sound by both coach and plane in previous visits to Queenstown and been blown away by the experience, we decided to go to Doubtful Sound this time. We knew that it needed to rain a lot to benefit from the magnificent falls that pervade the Sound, but had experienced both wet and dry visits to Milford and found the scenery stunning in itself with the added benefit of a full visual experience which is not available in the mist and rain which is the most likely viewing situation statistically. What we did not expect on the trip to Doubtful was the friendliness, humour and knowledge of our driver. Mick was magnificent and a charming host. Two boat trips follow the coach ride the first of which, beautiful in itself, is the only access to the Sound followed by a winding drive in the mountains before descending to the sailing jetty. The following boat trip, helped no doubt by superb weather conditions, allowed us to travel out of the sounds and into the Tasman Sea to photograph some albatross and some seals. The scenery was for us more beautiful than Milford, and the scale of the landscape around us was breathtaking. We would urge everyone to experience this trip, not instead of Milford but as an addition, since you will definitely not be disappointed and we were assured that in wet weather the falls are spectacular. We will definitely be back!

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