Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

41 Reviews

  • Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Duration: 2 days (approx.)
  • Tour code: 2264RJ350_351_358
Experience the natural beauty of Doubtful Sound on an overnight cruise departing from Manapouri on New Zealand’s South Island. Cruise on a traditional three-mast sailing scow (flat-bottomed trading boat) along the pristine waters of the fiords, and see a vast array of wildlife including dolphins, seals and penguins in their natural habitats. You can join the cruise in Manapouri or include luxury coach transfers from Te Anau or Queenstown.


  • Family friendly
  • See native wildlife in their natural environment
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
Doubtful Sound has one of the most dramatic landscapes in New Zealand. It is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. With deep black fiords, soaring granite peaks and ancient rainforests that cling to the surrounding mountains, Doubtful Sound is a magnificent, unspoiled wilderness.

Your Doubtful Sound overnight adventure begins with a short cruise across island-studded Lake Manapouri and a coach trip over Wilmot Pass. You'll then descend to Doubtful Sound to meet the crew and board the sailing scow awaiting you in Deep Cove.

The sailing scow is purposely built for these waters and designed along the lines of a traditional sailing vessel, combining the charm of a bygone era with all the modern comforts, including spacious viewing decks, a dining saloon, fully licensed bar and an observation lounge.

Cruise the full length of the fiord, weaving through hidden coves and waterways. Doubtful Sound is home to a vast array of natural flora and fauna. See bottlenose dolphins, fur seals and penguins in their natural habitats from the vessel’s large viewing decks and platforms. A specialist nature guide is on board to provide commentary and insight into the history of the region.

In the late afternoon, the crew will drop anchor in a sheltered cove, allowing you to explore the shoreline by kayak or tender craft (small boat) with a nature guide. For the more adventurous, there’s even a chance to go swimming.

Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner prepared by the onboard chef and relax in the saloon before retiring to your cozy cabin.

The next morning, following a cooked or continental breakfast, cruise a little further before returning to Manapouri.

Recent Photos of this Tour

Schedule details

Select a month to view a calendar of availability and departure details.

Departure Dates:
Departure Point:
Manapouri: Visitor Centre, Peal Harbour
Te Anau: Visitor Centre, Lakefront Drive
Queenstown: Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf
Departure Time:
1 Nov – 31 Mar:
Manapouri: 12:30pm
Te Anau: 11:30am
Queenstown: 08:30am

1 Apr - 21 May & 1 Sep – 31 Oct:
Manapouri: 12pm
Te Anau: 11am
Queenstown: 08:30am
2 days (approx.)
Return Details:
Returns to original departure point at approximately
Manapouri: 11:45am
Te Anau: 12:45pm
Queenstown: 3:30pm

Pricing information

Click the link below to check pricing & availability on your preferred travel date. Our pricing is constantly updated to ensure you always receive the lowest price possible.

Code: RJ350

Overnight cruise departing Manapouri. Accommodation in a single, twin, triple or quad-share cabin. 1 cabin will be allocated per booking. Please make a separate booking for any additional cabins.

USD $182.15
Pricing details
Te Anau
Code: RJ358

Overnight cruise with round-trip coach from Te Anau. Single, twin, triple or quad-share cabins. 1 cabin will be allocated per booking. Please make a separate booking for additional cabins.

USD $188.90
Pricing details
Code: RJ351

Overnight cruise with round-trip coach transfers from Queenstown. Single, twin, triple or quad-share cabin. 1 cabin will be allocated per booking. Make a separate booking for additional cabins.

USD $212.51
Pricing details

Pricing information

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise

  • Overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound
  • 3-course buffet dinner
  • Continental or cooked breakfast
  • Specialist nature guide
  • Coach transfers
  • Cruise on Manapouri Lake
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Additional Information:
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Not recommended for child aged 12 months and under
  • Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • 18 cabins have private bathrooms (12 single or twin cabins; 6 cabins with double beds)
  • 9 quad-share cabins are bunk-style with shared bathroom facilities
  • Linen, duvet, towel and pillows are provided
What to bring:
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Warm clothing
  • Swimsuit
  • For passenger comfort and safety, only one overnight bag per person allowed on board
Voucher Info:
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Local Operator Information:
Complete Operator information, including local telephone numbers at your destination, are included on your Confirmation Voucher. Our Product Managers select only the most experienced and reliable operators in each destination, removing the guesswork for you, and ensuring your peace of mind.

Traveler Reviews

Reviewed by: Angela, October 2015

This was a highlight of our trip and I'm so glad that my husband and I did Doubtful Sound over Milford Sound. Although it took longer to get there from Queenstown, Doubtful Sound was more isolated but just as breathtaking and beautiful. With its glassy rivers that reflected off the landscapes, our first day there, we got to experience Doubtful Sound with bright blue skies, kayaking in open waters. The second day, everyone was up early to see the sun rise and see Doubtful Sound in a more natural view with gray cloudy skies, but just as magical. The crew were all friendly and helpful and the captain and our nature guide were very knowledgeable about the landscapes and Doubtful Sound which was great to hear and experience. We saw seals and a few penguins but no dolphins on our trip, but did get to experience a seal feeding in the waters and even the captain had to stop the boat completely and took pictures of the experience. Accommodations were good and as expected and the food was amazing.

Reviewed by: Trang N, September 2015

A magical experience. Wonderfully friendly and helpful crew. Awe-inspiring landscapes. Learned a lot about the history, animals, and geography from the educational guide and also the captain. Delicious and plentiful food. Very comfortable sleeping quarters. Kayaking on the open water was a wonderful experience.

From USD $182.15

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Tour code: 2264RJ350_351_358