Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Milford Sound Mariner Overnight Cruise. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise - met fun people, enjoyed the incredible scenery, and were impressed with the general attitude and organization of the company. We would and have recommended it to many others - actually, we made a point of going because it was recommended by some friends who went years ago.
It rained all day, so when we got there there were waterfalls everywhere, hundreds of them. When the rain stopped, we had a nice cruise, finished up with a friendly supper & a very comfortable overnight stay. Next morning was very misty, but as the sun came up everything cleared away & we had great views of Mitre Peak, falls, etc.
The highlight of our 2 weeks holiday in N.Z. A memorable experience we will cherish always and an inspiration to return and explore the other fjords and cruises. Our only disappointment was the fact that we could not have a shower as the water was cold and as the cruise was only one night and one morning therefore it did put somewhat of a dampener on the trip. We had selected an outside cabin and spent more money. Bathroom facilities are a very important aspect of our travel. We got up very early to not miss the early morning sunrise.
Despite heavy rain, we kayaked and got even wetter. Waterfalls were amazing and also, though unusual for time of year, saw some crested penguins. Staff looked after us royally and meal delicious. Evening entertainment very amusing, slept like a log and woke up to see seals playing around boat. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Great trip! Bunks were comfortable, lots of room in the boat, informative, entertaining, very relaxing and overwhelmingly scenery.
Trip very well organised, good and quick response from website. Excellent trip, was as described on website. Would definitely recommend and book again with Viator.
Milford Sound itself was as inspiring as we had anticipated. The very well appointed 'Milford Mariner' was excellent and the enthusiastic. Friendly and competent staff optimised the experience for the passengers. The program was well planned and executed. It included a presentation on the flora and fauna of the sound. Passengers were encouraged to join the captain in the cockpit at any time, which provided plenty of opportunity for asking questions and general discussion.
We greatly enjoyed our overnight experience. Cabin was small but cozy, with everything we needed. Appreciated the afternoon tea and muffins after getting room keys. The kayaking experience was wonderful, seeing the penguin nesting area and having the seals join our return to the boat. The next morning seemed a bit rushed w/ only a half hour for breakfast. Wish we could have ventured out into the Tasman just a little to see the coast north and south. Appreciated the skipper turning around to see the group of bottle-nose dolphins which swam along side the boat for awhile. Crew was very friendly and helpful. We appreciated the commentary describing Sound features and also greatly enjoyed the evening slide show. We were back on shore before 0930, which seemed rushing it a bit. We'd do this trip again,
Les and Judy Kemp
New Haven, Missouri
We found the overnight cruise to be everything we hoped it would be. The crew were very friendly and relaxed making the experience unforgettable. The sun shone putting the fiord into a glistening cascade of waterfalls especially when the boat moved in very close to the cliff face - rainbows rose in semicircles from the sea at each waterfall. The shear scale of the geography is hard to imagine.
Wonderful experience of this with great food and fabulous views all around. We had good weather s well, but apreciate that can't be guaranteed
A great trip. Beautiful scenery. Professional staff. Good food. Only complaint is that is starts out too late in the day to enjoy the kayaking.
I really enjoyed the trip on the Mariner. The accommodation was comfortable and the meals were excellent. I would recommend this cruise to anyone.
Milford Sound is a must see, and I think an overnight is the best way to see it. We were all alone as we sailed the Sound. That being said, the cruise was not all I thought it would be. The first night is a short 1 hr. cruise up and back to a mooring within shouting distance of the boarding dock. The food was good and the scenery was beautiful. The next day breakfast and sailing began at 7 a.m.. We sailed out the Sound and into the Tazman. We were back at the dock by 9:15. So the sailing is quick but something you have got to do.
Found the Staff pleasant and helpful. Really enjoyed the overnight trip. The only way to do it and stay relaxed. The weather was great but would still have been good if it rained.
The folks at Real Journey do an awesome job at ensuring you enjoy the experience of visiting the Milford Sounds. An awe inspiring part of New Zealand and while worth the visit.
The Milford Sound Over night Cruise was amazing, the crew were very informative and the food was fantastic, Clear blue skies, a full moon what more could we ask for, well done every body, highly recommended
Overnight cruise on Milford Mariner was well worth it - great crew and very comfortable. Plus staying overnight we saw some contrasting weather conditions, which is part of the experience of Milford Sound.
Great trip and worth doing. Ship was great, very new and smart small cabins. Food excellent. Nature expert who gave talk after dinner was superb - funny and very informative. Only downside you should be aware of - the cruise element is quite small as the Sound is not long, so don't think you are cruising for hours! One tip - go on the tender or kayak excursions from the ship rather than staying on board - there is nothing to do while you wait 2 hours for boats to return, and you get eaten by sandflies!!
Despite the weather not being ideal, the crew were able to make the trip really great. The food was good, the accommodation clean, secure and comfortable, and the activities were informative and fun.
While many elements of the cruise were great eg itinerary, food, staff, location; we were really disappointed in the accommodation and recommend you check where your room will be prior to booking as while rooms are priced the same they vary greatly in quality. Really there should be different pricing. My husband and I travelled with my mother. Our cabin was "below deck" and when we went in smelt of vomit. I asked to be moved but the boat was full. Staff re-cleaned the room and fixed the smell but while my husband was fine as I am a bit claustrophobic I ended up not actually sleeping in the cabin. My mother had what at first glance seemed to be a lovely cabin, on the main deck with a door to outside for which incidentally she paid virtually the same as we paid for two. However she wondered why she had ear-plugs laid out on her bed. On going to bed she soon found out! There was some kind of generator immediately adjacent to her room which made a very loud noise all night long and hence the earplugs!!!
We felt pretty aggrieved about having spent so much money to cruise and for 2 out of 3 of us to get no sleep. I am sure if the on-board staff could have helped they would as they were very pleasant and went out of their way to be helpful but the boat was full. It is a pity the management is not a bit more transparent and realistic about the varying quality of accommodation on board.
For the price we paid, we expected a better boat and food. We had to return to port the first night due to weather warning, but the next morning we made it to the entrance of the fjord and had the chance to see fresh snow on top of the mountains. Spectacular views that we love to experience in better weather conditions, but next time we might opt for day cruises rather than overnight.