Affinity Fiordland Cruises in New Zealand's Largest National Park
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New Zealand’s Fiordland covers over 120 miles yet most visitors only see about 10 miles of it, in the famed Milford Sound. This cruise aboard the 16-guest Affinity explores the more untouched Fiordland region south of Milford Sound, including explorations in remote Doubtful Sound, New Zealand’s second most popular destination that’s only accessible by sea.
Fiordland National Park is the largest National Park in New Zealand, covering over 3 million acres. It is also one of the wettest places in the world, which contributes to its spectacular waterfalls and misty scenes. Affinity has been cruising in Fiordland since 1996, regularly studying the weather patterns throughout the years, and has based their operations in New Zealand’s winter months (June through August) as they’ve found the weather patterns more settled during this time of year. At that time, temperatures average 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and while it will likely rain, Affinity's large windows invite you to experience it all in warmth and comfort.
Explore the Sounds and Inlets of Fiordland, visit historic sites and learn about Captain James Cook's explorations here in the 1770s. Enjoy a visit to a cove where fur seal pups swim around the rocks. Take advantage of daily opportunities to get off the vessel and experience wonderful scenery and walk through the beautiful native bush that has never been cut. Anglers can take time to fish for grouper, blue cod and other big species that ply these waters.
Cruise options aboard Affinity include a standard 7-day cruise, as well as options to arrive and/or depart via helicopter and extend or shorten your cruise. View the Rates & Dates tabs for more information on alternative itineraries.
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Rates vary by cabin starting at $1905 per person. Please see website for full details on rates.
Prices are based off of exchange rates from New Zealand dollars and may vary based on the exchange rate at the time of payment. Please contact AdventureSmith for current prices.
Day 1: Te Anau To Lake Manapouri & Embark Doubtful SoundTe Anau, South Island, New Zealand
The adventure starts from your overnight accommodation in Te Anau. At approximately 8:30am, a local operator will pick you up and transfer you to the vessel Affinity. The trip includes a coach to the Manapouri wharf then a cruise across Lake Manapouri, where at the other side you will board another coach for the trip over the scenic Wilmot Pass and down into Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound, where Affinity is at anchor. Settle in and attend a safety briefing, after which the Affinity will embark down the fiord. Lunch is served as you cruise and explore Doubtful Sound and down the coast to Breaksea and Dusky Sounds, weather permitting.
MEALS: lunch and dinner
Days 2-5: New Zealand’S FiordlandFiordland National Park, South Island, New Zealand
Explore the maze of arms, channels and islands that have made this part of the world famous. Sail close to roaring waterfalls, walk in native bush and moss-covered forest, take the tenders out for the closest views of wildlife, and even fish for grouper and blue cod.
You’ll also visit sites of historical importance, like the first European house site, the first recorded European shipwreck and the site where New Zealand’s first sawn-timber ship was built. You will also learn of the importance of the Fiordland area to the explorer Captain James Cook, who spent time here in the 1770s. Visit Astronomer’s Point where Cook and his team of astronomers cut down some trees and set up camp to enable them to take measurements of the planet Venus. Stop by Pigeon Island, home of New Zealand’s first conservationist, Richard Henry, who lived there for 13 years rescuing the country’s native birds from predators, as well as Facile Harbour, the site of New Zealand’s first shipwreck. In clear conditions you can see parts of the ship that sunk in 1795.
Another highlight is a visit to a cove where a number of fur seal pups swim around the rocks, and the tenders you’re riding in, as these creatures are quite curious. This is very special, as there aren’t many places in the world where you can do this. You are also able to get some amazing and very cute photos.
MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6: Doubtful SoundDoubtful Sound, South Island, New Zealand
Today return to Doubtful Sound and explore around a beach that has some very interesting rocks and a few other nooks and crannies in the area.
MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7: Disembark Doubtful Sound, Manapouri Power Station & Return To Te AnauTe Anau, South Island, New Zealand
Today the Affinity slowly makes her way up the Sound while exploring the arms of the fiord, ending back at Deep Cove at approximately 2:00pm to meet up with the coach for your return journey. At West Arm, weather permitting, the coach takes you to visit the unique Manapouri Power Station, located deep underground in the southwestern arm of Lake Manapouri. Unlike many power stations, Manapouri does not rely on a high dam to provide water; it takes advantage of the natural 584-foot height difference between Lake Manapouri and the sea at Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound. Your tour here entails the history and the great achievement of building in this remote area. Then journey back across Lake Manapouri to Manapouri, Te Anau and the real world, arriving at approximately 6:00pm.
MEALS: breakfast and lunch
Alternative Itinerary: In addition to the main 7-day itinerary listed above, there are alternate itineraries that add a helicopter flight in and/or out. The 4-day itinerary focuses on exploring southern Fiordlands, the 5-day itinerary stays in central Fiordlands, the 7-day itinerary makes a dedicated visit to Breaksea and Dusky Sounds on day 2, and the 11-day itinerary adds time in Dusky Sound and cruises both central and southern Fiordlands.
Itinerary Notes: Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.
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