A person holds a fishing pole over the water in New Zealand's fiordland
The view of the green hillsides and rocky mountains from the water in the New Zealand's fiordland
two seal pups look up from their perch on a rock next to the water in new zealand's fiordland
dolphins swim in calm water in new zealand's fiordland, as seen from the affinity small ship
A waterfall in the milford sound in New Zealand's fiordland, as seen from the affinity small ship
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Asia / Pacific New Zealand Cruise

Affinity Fiordland Cruises

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.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s New Zealand cruises.



Itinerary

7-Day Scenic Fiordland Cruise Itinerary

The 7-day Scenic Fiordland Cruise operates round-trip from Te Anau, beginning with an overland transfer to Lake Manapouri, followed by a cruise across the lake and another overland transfer over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound for embarkation. These departures end in the opposite fashion.

Route map of Affinity Fiordland 7-Day Scenic Cruise, operating round-trip from Te Anau, New Zealand, with visits to sites within the southern island's southwest corner, including Lake Manapouri, Doubtful Sound and Fiordland.
Read More
Day 1
Te Anau to Lake Manapouri & Embark Doubtful Sound

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.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 2 - 5
New Zealand’s Fiordland

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.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Doubtful Sound

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.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Disembark Doubtful Sound, Manapouri Power Station & Return to Te Anau

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.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Crew, accommodation on board, bedding and towels, all meals and all activities mentioned in the itinerary, transfers to and from Te Anau to the ship.

Exclusions

Airfare, beverages, insurance of any kind, transportation in and out of Te Anau pre- and post-cruise.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit equivalent to NZD $250 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
61 days or more – 100% of deposit
60 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Affinity Fiordland Cruise begins and ends in Te Anau, New Zealand. The closest major airport is in nearby Queenstown (ZQN). Please plan to arrive in Te Anau at least one day prior to the start of your cruise. The trip ends around 6:00pm on Day 7 of the main itinerary so we recommend booking a night’s accommodation in Te Anau after your cruise as driving is not advisable in winter conditions. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit ourBooking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, fishing, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, land treks, visits to historical sites and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a supplement equivalent to NZD $200 (2020) per night in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under, including toddlers and babies, may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

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.

7-Day Heli Out Scenic Fiordland Cruise Itinerary

The 7-Day Heli Out Scenic Fiordland Cruise operates round-trip from Te Anau, beginning with an overland transfer to Lake Manapouri, followed by a cruise across the lake and another overland transfer over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound for embarkation. These departures end with a scenic helicopter flight over the World Heritage National Park to the helipad in Te Anau, followed by a bus transfer back to your accommodation in Te Anau.

Route map of Affinity Fiordland 7-Day Scenic Cruise, operating round-trip from Te Anau, New Zealand, with visits to sites within the southern island's southwest corner, including Lake Manapouri, Doubtful Sound and Fiordland.
Read More
Day 1
Te Anau to Lake Manapouri & Embark Doubtful Sound

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.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 2
Breaksea Sound & Dusky Sound

The ship will leave Doubtful Sound today and cruise down the coast to Breaksea Sound in time for lunch. After lunch, cruise through the Acheron Passage to Dusky Sound to start exploring this wonderful area. There may be time to catch some blue cod as well.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 3 - 5
New Zealand’s Fiordland

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.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Breaksea Sound & Vancouver Sound

After breakfast, cruise through the Acheron Passage to Breaksea Sound and discover Vancouver Sound to its head. This is a spectacular part of Fiordland with steep mountains and sheer cliffs, great for photography on calm clear days as the reflections leave you wondering which way up the photo should be.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Disembark Doubtful Sound & Helicopter to Te Anau

Today say goodbye while departing from the cruise in this World Heritage Park. After breakfast, prepare for the arrival of the first helicopter. The crew take you to the helipad for the helicopter ride of a lifetime flying over the World Heritage National Park to the helipad in Te Anau; then transfer by coach back to your accommodation in Te Anau. Please note the timing of arrival back into Te Anau is weather dependent but should be mid-morning to lunchtime.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Crew, accommodation on board, bedding and towels, all meals and all activities mentioned in the itinerary, transfers to and from Te Anau to the ship.

Exclusions

Airfare, additional helicopter flight costs (NZ $645 in 2020), beverages, insurance of any kind, transportation in and out of Te Anau pre- and post-cruise.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit equivalent to NZD $250 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
61 days or more – 100% of deposit
60 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 7-Day Heli Out Affinity Fiordland Cruise begins and ends in Te Anau, New Zealand. The closest major airport is in nearby Queenstown (ZQN). Please plan to arrive in Te Anau at least one day prior to the start of your cruise. The trip ends around mid-morning to lunchtime on Day 7. Plan flights to depart Queenstown no earlier than 4:00pm on day 7. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit ourBooking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, fishing, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, land treks, visits to historical sites and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a supplement equivalent to NZD $200 (2020) per night in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under, including toddlers and babies, may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

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.

11-Day Heli Out Scenic Fiordland Cruise Itinerary

The 11-Day Heli Out Scenic Fiordland Cruise operates round-trip from Te Anau, beginning with an overland transfer to Lake Manapouri, followed by a cruise across the lake and another overland transfer over Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound for embarkation. These departures end with a scenic helicopter flight over the World Heritage National Park to the helipad in Te Anau, followed by a bus transfer back to your accommodation in Te Anau.

Route map of Affinity Fiordland 7-Day Scenic Cruise, operating round-trip from Te Anau, New Zealand, with visits to sites within the southern island's southwest corner, including Lake Manapouri, Doubtful Sound and Fiordland.
Read More
Day 1
Te Anau to Lake Manapouri & Embark Doubtful Sound

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, including a visit to Hall Arm. Anchor in Little Precipice Cover for the night.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 2
Breaksea Sound & Dusky Sound

The ship will leave Doubtful Sound today and cruise down the coast to Breaksea Sound in time for lunch. After lunch, cruise around Breaksea Sound for the afternoon. There may be time to catch some blue cod as well.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Vancouver Sound

Today, see the sights of Vancouver Sound to its head. This is a spectacular part of Fiordland with steep sheer cliffs and many waterfalls. In the afternoon, leave Breaksea Sound and cruise along Acheron passage to Dusky Sound, anchoring in Sportsman Cove overnight.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Astronomer's Point & Luncheon Cove

This morning we will try our hand at catching a groper. In the afternoon, visit Astronomers Point and Luncheon Cove. In both these areas enjoy a chance to stretch the legs by going ashore.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
Pigeon Island

An exciting day is ahead with a visit to Pigeon Island. Put on walking boots for a two-hour walk across Pigeon Island. Visit Richard Henry’s base and at Facile Harbor, see the site of New Zealand’s first official ship wreck. Also have a look at Earshell Cove and anchor for the night in the beautiful Cascade Cove.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
Chalky Sound

Today the ship will cruise down to Chalky Sound, exploring North Port and stopping at the head of Cunaris Sound for the evening. Try catching some blue cod for dinner along the way.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Cunaris Sound & Chalky Inlet

After Breakfast, go ashore for a couple of hours to explore the area. Then leave Cunaris Sound and cruise to South Port in Chalky Inlet. Take the tender ashore here to have a look around and anchor in South Port overnight.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Preservation Inlet

Leave Chalky and cruise into Preservation inlet. Stop and visit the old Tarawera Silver Smelter and look at the wonderful sights of this area.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Preservation Inlet

Cruise to the Old Oil Store and walk to New Zealand’s most South Western Lighthouse at Puysegur Point. Possibly visit the very remote Kisbee Lodge.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Preservation Inlet

Today is the last full day of exploring Preservation Inlet. Cruise and do a little fishing before anchoring at the head of the inlet, ready for the helicopter flight out in the morning.

Accommodations

Affinity

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Disembark Doubtful Sound & Helicopter to Te Anau

Today say goodbye while departing from the cruise in this World Heritage Park. After breakfast, prepare for the arrival of the first helicopter. The crew take you to the helipad for the helicopter ride of a lifetime flying over the World Heritage National Park to the helipad in Te Anau; then transfer by coach back to your accommodation in Te Anau. Please note the timing of arrival back into Te Anau is weather dependent but should be mid-morning to lunchtime.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Crew, accommodation on board, bedding and towels, all meals and all activities mentioned in the itinerary, transfers to and from Te Anau to the ship.

Exclusions

Airfare, additional helicopter flight costs (NZ $645 in 2020), beverages, insurance of any kind, transportation in and out of Te Anau pre- and post-cruise.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit equivalent to NZD $250 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
61 days or more – 100% of deposit
60 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 11-Day Heli Out Affinity Fiordland Cruise begins and ends in Te Anau, New Zealand. The closest major airport is in nearby Queenstown (ZQN). Please plan to arrive in Te Anau at least one day prior to the start of your cruise. The trip ends around mid-morning to lunchtime on Day 7. Plan flights to depart Queenstown no earlier than 4:00pm on day 7. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit ourBooking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, fishing, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, land treks, visits to historical sites and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a supplement equivalent to NZD $200 (2020) per night in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability.

Families & Children

Kids 12 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates; exceptions for children 11 years and under, including toddlers and babies, may be allowed with special pre-approval.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

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.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Listed prices for this trip are based on foreign currency exchange rates and may vary. USD pricing will be calculated at the time of final payment based on the market conversion rate plus a 1% banking conversion fee of total invoiced amount. Please contact AdventureSmith for current pricing.

Departures available regularly, June through August. Contact us for 2021 rates and availability.

Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Yacht
Affinity

Cruise New Zealand's famed Fjordland region aboard 16-guest Affinity, purpose built for adventure cruising in New Zealand.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Affinity Fiordland Cruises

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