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8 Best Milford Sound Cruises Compared & How To Choose

Last Updated On 6th February 2024 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

With so many Milford Sound cruises on offer, it can be confusing to know which is the best company to choose for your Milford Sound trip. This post will give you a comprehensive comparison of the best Milford Sound cruises and tour companies. In this ultimate guide, I will help you to understand the differences and similarities between 8 different Milford Sound cruises and tour companies so that you can make an informed choice on which is the best company for you to choose for your trip.

Doing a Milford Sound cruise is a top bucket list item for many visitors to New Zealand to tick off their itinerary. Milford Sound is very deserving of the fame and attention it receives as it is very beautiful. It will become a highlight of your trip to New Zealand and you’ll have the memories and photos to treasure the experience. I enjoyed my Milford Sound Cruise experience and even though it is a super touristy thing to do I do think the attention it gets is well deserved.

In this post, we will look at the 8 best Milford Sound Cruises. Considering the differences and similarities between each Milford Sound Cruise company, I offer suggestions on the best Milford Sound Cruise based on your circumstance – for example, the best cruise for couples, the best for groups, the best for accessibility, the best for families, and so on.

I have written this comprehensive guide to the Milford Sound cruise companies so you can make an informed choice of how to choose why tour to go on. The main reason I was motivated to write this post is because when I was researching which is the best Milford Sound cruise to go on, I could not find a good answer! So, I hope this guide will help you make your decision.

I also share a review of my Milford Sound Cruise experience and the company I went with for my boat tour.

Let’s get into it!

The BEST Milford Sound Cruises Compared & Which Company To Choose – Ultimate Guide

view of milford sound from the lookout

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What Will You See On A Milford Sound Cruise?

While on your Milford Sound cruise, you will be able to experience Milford Sound the best way by enjoying the scenery by boat . From the water, you will be able to get a sense of the scale of Milford Sound as you journey from the end of the road and out to the Tasman Sea and back again.

You will see majestic peaks, tumbling waterfalls, rainbows and if you’re lucky some wildlife ! Milford Sound is known the have the New Zealand fur seals (you’ll have a good chance to see those), dolphins and Fiordland Crested penguins (rare but not impossible to see!).

Lady Bowen Falls, Stirling Falls and Mitre Peak are highlights of the Milford Sound cruise. These beautiful natural formations are stunning and will have you taking lots of pictures.

Mitre Peak is a huge mountain that is on the shore of Milford Sound and has a famous triangular shape. There is also The Lion which is another huge peak rising from the shore of Milford Sound.

Lady Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls are the two most famous waterfalls in Milford Sound. They are large waterfalls, 162m and 155m respectively. There is also the Fairy Falls , which on a good day creates a gorgeous rainbow in the misty water bouncing from the rocks. This is a very cool experience.

view of milford sound from the cruise boat

Every Milford Sound cruise offers essentially the same experience – cruising the Milford Sound! Every Milford Sound cruise will take you on a sightseeing tour to see the waterfalls, nature, and wildlife and will last for around 2 hours. However, there are a few differences between the Milford Sound cruises, most notably the differences are in the price, tour inclusions and the type and size of the boat.

What Are The Similarities Between Milford Sound Cruise Companies?

Many different companies operate cruises in Milford Sound. However, it is important to realise that many cruise companies are offering very similar products. Here are some of the main similarities between the Milford Sound cruise companies :

  • Sightseeing: No matter which cruise company you decide to book with for your Milford Sound cruise, you’ll see pretty much the same sights that you would see on any other cruise. The route they take on the Milford Sound is essentially the same.
  • Experiences: Every Milford Sound Cruise goes under the waterfalls and as close as reasonably possible to wildlife. However, the smaller boats will likely offer a more intimate experience than the larger boats.
  • Nature Guide: Every cruise on Milford Sound has a nature guide on board. The guide will help you spot local wildlife and provide commentary on Milford Sound. They will explain how Milford Sound formed, the history of tourism there and the natural wonders and wildlife living in the fiord.
  • Duration: Most Milford Sound cruises are 2 hours in duration because it takes 1 hour to cruise to the Tasman Sea and 1 hour to cruise back. The Milford Sound fiord is 16km long.
  • Frequency Of Operation: All the Milford Sound cruises tend to operate every day, especially in the high season (summer). Each Milford Sound cruise company decides its seasonal operating hours so you will need to check each company specifically. The times provided in the comparison section below are the times that they tend to operate. 
  • Tea & Coffee: Every Milford Sound cruise company offers complimentary tea and coffee on board, however, some companies also include biscuits and a free packed lunch! I explain more about what each company includes on their Milford Sound cruise below.

What Are The Differences Between Milford Sound Cruise Companies?

So all of that being said, the main differences between the Milford Sound cruise companies are as follows:

  • Ticket price: The cost of a Milford Sound daytime cruise is generally between $60 – $110 and an overnight cruise between $500 – $2500.
  • Departure times: Daytime Milford Sound cruises tend to operate between 9 am and 3 pm.
  • Cruise duration: As mentioned above, many of the cruises are 2 hours in length. However, there are also overnight cruises available and cruises that are longer in duration because they have more inclusions. I discuss more on this below.
  • Size of the cruise boat: There is a big difference in the size of the vessels that operate on Milford Sound. There are large boats and small boats, and in between.
  • Inclusions: As mentioned above, all operators provide complimentary tea and coffee, but some also include food as part of the package.
  • Wheelchair accessibility: Some Milford Sound cruises are wheelchair accessible. I have included more details on these cruises in the descriptions below.
  • Underwater Observatory: One of the main differences is that there is only one Milford Sound cruise company that visits the Underwater Observatory. This is the Southern Discoveries Discover More Cruise and I have written more details about that one below.

stirling falls in milford sound with a cruise boat and sunlight rays

Add These 10 Unmissable Experiences In The North Island, New Zealand To Your New Zealand Bucket List

Summary Of Milford Sound Cruises Compared

First, here is an overview of all the Milford Sound cruise companies. This summary of the Milford Sound cruise companies is based on criteria such as best value for money, best for your travel group, how much time you have and boat preference.

The Best Milford Sound Cruises For Price & Group Size

Cheapest Milford Sound Cruise For Adults: Mitre Peak Early Bird (book your tickets in advance to get a discounted price of approx $69-75 per adult), then Real NZ Nature Cruise , Southern Discoveries Nature Cruise or Mitre Peak (all approx $89 per adult). If you have a vehicle rental with Jucy then you can get a discount on their Milford Sound cruise – the driver can get the ticket for $49.50.

Best Value Milford Sound Cruise For Families With Kids: Real NZ Nature Cruise (free for kids ages 0-4, approx $30 for ages 5-15, accompanying adults ages 16+ approx $89 per person) or Cruise Milford (free for kids ages 0-4, $30 for ages 5-14, accompanying adults ages 15+ approx $105 per person). Real NZ is a bigger vessel and Cruise Milford is a smaller vessel.

Top Milford Sound Cruise For Couples: Mitre Peak is a great option for couples as they offer a relaxed, intimate smaller boat experience for a great price.

Most Group-Friendly Milford Sound Cruise: Real NZ , Jucy /PureMilford and Southern Discoveries are great options for groups as they are large boats with cafes on board.

The Best Milford Sound Cruises For Duration & Departure Times

Shortest Day-Time Milford Sound Cruise: Cruise Milford – 1 hour 45 minutes duration.

Longest Day-Time Milford Sound Cruise: Southern Discoveries Discover More – 3 hours duration.

Earliest Milford Sound Cruise Day-Time Departure Time: Mitre Peak 8:50 am, Jucy/Pure Milford 10:30 am or Southern Discoveries Nature Cruise 10:30 am (subject to season).

Latest Milford Sound Cruise Day-Time Departure Time: Mitre Peak 3:55 pm or Cruise Milford 2:45 pm. 

The Best Milford Sound Cruise Boats

Smallest Milford Sound Cruise Boat: Mitre Peak or Cruise Milford – passengers limited to 55 – 75.

Biggest Milford Sound Cruise Boat: Real NZ , Jucy/Pure Milford or Southern Discoveries – Up to 400 passengers per boat tour.

Most Luxury Milford Sound Cruise Boat: Fiordland Jewel operated by Fiordland Discovery .

The Best Overnight Milford Sound Cruise

Most Affordable Overnight Milford Sound Cruise: Real NZ Milford Sound Overnight Cruise – From $499 per adult for a double/twin cabin.

Luxury Overnight Milford Sound Cruise: Fiordland Discovery – Approx. $2498 for a king suite.

The Best Milford Sound Cruises For Inclusions & Accessibility

Best Cruise With Freebies/Inclusions: Southern Discoveries Discover More Cruise includes tea, coffee and a picnic lunch. Cruise Milford includes complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.

Best Wheelchair Accessible Milford Sound Cruise: Real NZ Milford Sound Nature Cruise – includes wheelchair-accessible restroom onboard.

Underwater Observatory Cruise: Southern Discoveries Discover More – the only cruise with access to the Underwater Observatory.

lauren viewing milford sound and lady bowen falls

8 Best Milford Sound Cruises Compared

To help you choose the best cruise company for your boat trip in Milford Sound, let’s look at the main cruise operators and evaluate the differences between them based on ticket costs, departure times, cruise duration, size of the boat and tour inclusions. You can see this comparison and a description of each company and the cruises they offer below.

All prices are approximate and prices change throughout the seasons (the peak season is December – April). Prices are for the cruise only and do not include any transport or add-on options. All cruises depart from Milford Sound Wharf.

1. Real NZ Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Real NZ is a well-known company in New Zealand that offers a large variety of tours to major tourist sights, including the Doubtful Sound Cruise, Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Queenstown TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Queenstown Jet Boat. They are known for their modern facilities, knowledgeable and friendly tour guides and excellent customer service.

Real NZ’s Milford Sound Cruise ( Get Your Guide , Viator ) is one of the most popular in the fiord. They have a large, recently renovated vessel that has indoor and outdoor spaces. The indoor seats all face the windows so everyone gets the best view. The rooftop deck will give you 360-degree views of Milford Sound. There is a cafe on board with barista coffee and alcohol options available.

The Real NZ boat is surveyed for 400 people, but the company has said that in future they will cap the passengers at 200 people. This is because they want to focus on quality rather than quantity and see the advantage to the customer experience by not packing their boats with as many people as possible.

The Real NZ Milford Sound Cruise is one of the best options for families, as they have a generous child age policy. Real NZ offers free tickets for children aged up to 4 and $30 for each child aged 5-15.

Real NZ Milford Sound Nature Cruise Important Details

Prices: From $89 per adult (ages 16+), $30 per child (ages 5-15), and free for infants (ages 0-4) – children and infants must be booked with at least 1 adult.

Departure Times: 11 am and 1:15 pm.

Duration: 2 hours.

Wheelchair Access: Yes, Real NZ’s Milford Sound Nature Cruise boat is wheelchair accessible and also has a wheelchair-accessible restroom on board – one of the only Milford Sound cruising vessels with this. Read this post from Grab Your Wheels about going the Real NZ Milford Sound Cruise with a wheelchair. Grab Your Wheels say that the outdoor decks were inaccessible in a wheelchair but there are designated indoor spots for wheelchairs.

How To Book: Book this Real NZ cruise on Get Your Guide or Viator .

Check availability and book this Milford Sound Cruise here on Get Your Guide:

2. Real NZ Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

As well as their daytime Nature Cruise, Real NZ also operates an overnight cruise in Milford Sound. On this cruise, you can spend the night in Milford Sound on the iconic Milford Mariner ship.

By staying overnight in Milford Sound, you have the opportunity to experience the serenity and majesty of the fiord after the day-trippers have gone home. You’ll have a better chance at seeing some of Milford Sound’s elusive wildlife and have the option to do some additional exploring in Milford Sound closer to the water.

The Milford Mariner ( Trip Advisor ) departs the Milford Sound wharf in the late afternoon and you’ll get a tour of the fiord to all the best sites. Then the boat anchors overnight in the sheltered Harrison Cove.  From there, you can explore the fiord by kayak, small boat or even go for a swim. If you wish to relax on the boat, you are also free to do so before dinner. Dinner is a 3-course buffet cooked by onboard chefs. Relax in the lounge, socialise and get a drink from the onboard bar (cash only). In the morning, you’ll enjoy a cooked and continental breakfast. Then, you’ll head out into the Tasman Sea and explore more of Milford Sound before returning to disembark around 9:15 am.

The Milford Mariner sleeps 64 people in private cabin accommodation with ensuite bathrooms. There are also quad-share bunk-style compartments.

Real NZ Milford Sound Overnight Cruise Important Details

Prices: From $499 per adult (ages 16+) in a double or twin-share cabin. $249 per child (ages 2-15). Free for infants 0-23 months if sleeping in a cot (twin cabins only). An adult must be booked per child or infant. $900+ for single occupancy adults.

Departure Times: Departs Milford Sound wharf in the late afternoon around 4:30 pm and returns around 9:15 am the next day.

Duration: 1 night – (4:30 pm – 9:15 am).

Inclusions: Complimentary tea and coffee. Free parking is available for overnight cruise passengers in the Real NZ bus parking at the Visitor Terminal in Milford Sound. 3-course buffet dinner and cooked breakfast. Option to explore the coastline by kayak or small boat.

How To Book: Book this Real NZ overnight cruise on Trip Advisor .

Planning your Working Holiday to New Zealand? Check out this post: 12 Ways To Find A Job On Your Working Holiday Visa | New Zealand

fiachra on the mitre peak cruise boat in milford sound

3. Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Nature Cruise

I would say that Southern Discoveries is the second most well-known Milford Sound cruise operator. Southern Discoveries are a New Zealand-wide company that offers tours not only in Milford Sound but also in Queenstown. They run cruises and sightseeing tours as well as jet boating experiences, scenic flights and kayaking.

The Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Nature Cruise ( Get Your Guide , Viator ) runs on a large boat with an open-top deck. The interior cabins have full-height windows to give you the best view even inside. On board is a licensed bar and picnic lunches are available to purchase.

Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Cruise Important Details

Prices: From $89 per adult.

Departure Times: 10:30 am.

Inclusions: Complimentary tea and coffee included (plus picnic lunch – book below).

Wheelchair Access: The Southern Discoveries website states that the Pride Of Milford’s vessel is a wheelchair-accessible cruise boat operated by the Southern Discoveries cruise company. I can’t find any more information than this about wheelchair accessibility on the Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Nature Cruise but if you’re interested in this company you could contact them to find out more.

How To Book: Book this Southern Discoveries cruise on Get Your Guide or Viator .

4. Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Discover More Cruise (Underwater Observatory)

If you’re keen on visiting the Underwater Observatory while you’re in Milford Sound, then this is the tour you must go on! The Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Discover More Cruise ( Get Your Guide ) is the only Milford Sound cruise that visits the Underwater Observatory. The Underwater Observatory 

At the Underwater Observatory, you can see rare black coral in its natural habitat and creatures that live in the Milford Sound’s waters. You will descend 10 meters below the surface down 64 steps and observe what is happening through the big glass windows that look out into the depths.

This tour is around one hour longer than a regular Milford Sound cruise because you will spend that time visiting the Underwater Observatory.

A picnic lunch is included in the cost of the tour and a licensed bar is available on board.

Due to visiting the Underwater Observatory, the Southern Discoveries Discover More Cruise is a little more expensive than other options but does include more and last longer.

Southern Discoveries Milford Sound Discover More Cruise (Underwater Observatory) Important Details

Prices: From $107 per adult.

Departure Times: 12:15 pm and 1:15 pm.

Duration: 3 hours.

Inclusions: Complimentary tea and coffee. Picnic lunch (vegan, vegetarian and halal options available).

Wheelchair Access: No.

How To Book: Book this Southern Discoveries cruise on Get Your Guide .

lady bowen falls in milford sound

5. Jucy Cruise / Pure Milford Milford Sound Cruise

You may know the Jucy brand from their popular green rental campervans or Jucy hostels and hotels. The Jucy company also offers a Milford Sound Cruise. The company has recently rebranded as Pure Milford since the Covid Pandemic as they wanted to appeal to the domestic Kiwi audience. Despite the name change, the product is still essentially the same and it is still known as Jucy cruise on some booking websites.

If you have a hire vehicle from Jucy then the Jucy Cruise / Pure Milford Sound Cruise ( Get Your Guide ) could be a good option. You can get a special discount of around 50% off the cruise ticket price for the driver of the rental vehicle. Considering this, the Jucy cruise is one of the most expensive Milford Sound cruises compared to other companies, so it could only be worth it if you are taking advantage of the discount.

Jucy Cruise / Pure Milford Milford Sound Cruise operates on a glass roof catamaran which sounds pretty cool. It is the only vessel in Milford Sound that has this feature. The boat looks incredibly modern with comfortable seating. There are two indoor and three outdoor viewing decks on the boat, as well as a cafe on board with food available to purchase.

The boat is large and that means more people so if you’re after a less-crowded cruise maybe this isn’t one for you.

Jucy Milford Sound Cruise Important Details

Prices: From $99 per adult and $30 per child. If you hire a rental vehicle from Jucy you will get a special price on your Milford Sound cruise – $49.50 for the driver.

Departure Times: The morning cruise departs at 10:30 am in summer and at 11 am in winter. The afternoon cruise departs at 1 pm in summer and 1:45 pm in winter

Inclusions: Complimentary tea and coffee.

How To Book: Book this Jucy Cruise / Pure Milford Milford Sound Cruise on Get Your Guide .

Thinking of buying a campervan in New Zealand? Check out these 10 Key Things You Need To Know Before You Buy A Campervan In New Zealand

milford sound cruise company mitre peak in milford sound

6. Mitre Peak Milford Sound Cruise

The Mitre Peak Milford Sound Cruise ( Get Your Guide , Viator ) is one of the smallest cruise boat companies that operate in Milford Sound. A smaller cruise boat has many advantages over a larger vessel like many of the other Milford Sound cruise companies.

Firstly, a smaller cruise boat can allow closer access to Milford Sound’s waterfalls and shoreline because the boat is more agile. Secondly, each cruise on the Mitre Peak boat has no more than 55 or 75 spaces because they limit the number of passengers. The boat is, therefore, less crowded and allows more opportunity for seats and standing space from which to observe the sights.

Due to the agility and speed of the Mitre Peak vessel, the company claims that it can go further and closer than any other Milford Sound cruise.

There is a comfortable indoor lounge and outdoor decks at the top, front and back with seating available as well.

The Mitre Peak Milford Sound Cruise can also be one of the cheapest Milford Sound cruise options. If you book your tickets in advance, you can get a discounted price of approx $69-75 per adult. This is opposed to the regular price of $89 per adult.

Mitre Peak also offers one of the earliest Milford Sound cruises departing at 8:50 am. They also have one of the latest departings at 3:55 pm compared to other Milford Sound cruise companies.

My Experience On The Mitre Peak Milford Sound Nature Cruise – Mitre Peak Review

The Mitre Peak Milford Sound Nature Cruise is the Milford Sound cruise that I went on. I loved the small boat experience as it just made the landscapes feel even grander. The boat was not crowded as it can hold fewer people.

On the Milford Sound Cruise, I joined, and we got very close to fur seals basking on rocks. They were just meters from us as we were standing on the outside deck of the boat. It was awesome to see wildlife so close in their natural habitat.

We also went underneath the waterfalls to the point where the waterfalls were falling onto the deck of the boat. At Stirling Falls, we could stand under the falling water and get absolutely drenched. It was awesome fun to see the waterfall from this perspective.

I thought the tea and coffee were really nice and it was good to have throughout the tour.

Mitre Peak Milford Sound Cruise Important Details

Prices: From $89 per adult (ages 15+), $30 per child (ages 4-14), free for infants (ages 0-2). Early bird special $69.

Departure Times: 8:50 am, 11:10 am, 1:30 pm and 3:55 pm (subject to season).

Wheelchair Access: Yes, Mitre Peak’s Milford Sound Cruise is wheelchair accessible but on the back deck only. However, there is no accessible restroom on board. Check out this post from Wheelchair Jimmy about his experience in Milford Sound on the Mitre Peak cruise.

How To Book: Book this Mitre Peak cruise on Get Your Guide or Viator .

lauren on the milford sound cruise

7. Cruise Milford Milford Sound Boutique Small Boat Cruise

One of the smallest Milford Sound cruises is the Cruise Milford Boutique Small Boat Cruise ( Viator ). The passengers on their cruises are limited to 75 for a better viewing experience. This is despite the boat being surveyed for 150 passengers.

The smaller size vessel allows it to get very close to wildlife and waterfalls. This is similar to the Mitre Peak Cruise described above.

In addition to the complimentary tea and coffee, Cruise Milford also offers biscuits.

Cruise Milford aims to offer a boutique, small-group experience. Their prices reflect this, being the most expensive Milford Sound cruise company considering the inclusions. The tour duration is also advertised as being 15 minutes shorter compared to other Milford Sound cruise companies.

Cruise Milford Milford Sound Boutique Small Boat Cruise Important Details

Prices: From $105 per adult (ages 15+) , $30 per child (ages 5-14), free for infants (ages 4 and under).

Departure Times: 10:45am, 12:45pm, 1:45pm and 2:45pm depending on day and season.

Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes.

Inclusions: Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.

Wheelchair Access: Yes, Cruise Milford’s website states that their Small Boat Cruise is wheelchair accessible into the main cabin.

How To Book: Book this Cruise Milford Tour on Viator *.

Check out these tours on Viator and book by clicking below:

8. Fiordland Discovery Milford Sound Overnight

If you have the money to spend and are looking for a unique Milford Sound overnight cruise, then you may want to consider the Fiordland Discovery ( Trip Advisor , Booking ) cruise company. This luxury overnight cruise travels Milford Sound on the Fiordland Jewel, a luxury vessel with ensuite cabins, a top-deck hot tub and a helipad.

The small group cruise can accommodate just 20 passengers per night, in 9 cabins with ensuites. As part of your overnight experience, you will enjoy a 3-course dinner, a full cooked and continental breakfast, and complimentary tea and coffee.

There are opportunities for kayaking and small boat excursions in Milford Sound during your trip. You can also enjoy a pampering soak in the top deck hot tub while enjoying the incredible views.

The Fiordland Discovery operates in the summer only from December to April.

Departures are from the usual Milford Sound wharf, but the onboard helipad means that if you want to arrive by helicopter directly to the boat without the long drive, you can do so in just a 30-minute flight from Queenstown (extra charges apply). Talk about arriving in style!

Fiordland Discovery Milford Sound Overnight Important Details

Prices: $1598 for a quadruple bunk cabin, $1898 twin or double cabin, and $2498 for a king suite cabin.

Departure Times: Check-in between 3 pm – 3:45 pm and check-out at 9 am the following day.

Duration: 1 night (3 pm – 9 am)

Inclusions: Complimentary tea and coffee. 3-course dinner and cooked and continental breakfast. Option to explore the coastline by kayak or small boat. Top deck hot tub.

How To Book: Book this Fiordland Discovery cruise on Trip Advisor or Booking .

view of mitre peak in milford sound

8 Milford Sound Cruises Compared – Thanks For Reading!

In this post, we looked at the differences and similarities between each Milford Sound cruise company. Every Milford Sound cruise offers essentially the same experience, just in different formats. I hope that this post has helped you to understand the difference between the Milford Sound cruise companies. With this knowledge, you can choose the best cruise for you! Enjoy your trip to Milford Sound! – Lauren x

wild lovely world thanks for reading end of blog post

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earliest milford sound cruise

Lauren | Wild Lovely World

Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Scotland. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog WildLovelyWorld.com

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Best Milford Sound Cruise + Tips for Planning your Visit 

Home » Blog » New Zealand » Best Milford Sound Cruise + Tips for Planning your Visit 

Surrounded by the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park, visiting Milford Sound in New Zealand is a must! Specifically, a Milford Sound cruise allows you to experience this incredible landscape in a unique way. Read on for what to expect and which cruises are best. 

South Island New Zealand Milford Sound

Milford Sound ( “Piopiotahi” in Māori) is arguably New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attraction (and that’s saying something!).

Carved by ancient glaciers and surrounded by towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and lush rainforests , this stunning natural wonder is remote and wild.

A visit to this untouched wilderness tops many travelers’ lists of things to do in New Zealand , and a Milford Sound cruise is one of the best ways to experience it.

Milford Sound Cruise Guide

For more tips and advice for planning your Milford Sound cruise, jump to the following sections (or just keep scrolling to see it all!).

About Milford Sound

Milford sound cruise landmarks, best milford sound cruises, milford sound scenic flights, alternative: doubtful sound tours, faqs about milford sound tours.

  • Insider tips for booking

Our honest opinion

Best time to visit milford sound.

  • How to get to Milford Sound
  • What to pack for your Milford Sound cruise

And if you want more information to plan your trip to Milford Sound, be sure to check out our other guides:

Milford Sound Cruise New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand: Things to Do + Essential Tips : Everything you need to know to plan your trip to this Fiordland jewel, including fun things to do and where to stay.

Key Summit hike Milford Road New Zealand

Queenstown to Milford Sound: Perfect Road Trip + Must-See Stops : If you’re making the journey from Queenstown on your own, be sure to check out this guide so you don’t miss out!

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Milford Sound is actually not a sound at all, but a fjord, and the most renowned of its kind in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. These fjords were shaped by glacial erosion over millions of years.

Originally named Piopiotahi by the Māori over a millennium ago, European settlers later coined it “Milford Sound.” While both sounds and fjords are valleys filled with seawater, the term “sound” typically refers to a valley formed by river flooding, whereas fjords result from glacial valleys.

Today, Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s top tourist attractions , drawing nearly 900,000 visitors in 2019 before the pandemic. With its lush native forests, countless waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, it’s easy to see why.

This is one of those must-see places that lives up to its reputation, making it an essential stop on your South Island itinerary .

Will you be visiting both islands on your trip? We also have a 2-week North Island itinerary that you can copy!

English language note: In this article, we’ll be using “fjord” and “fiord” interchangeably.

Milford Sound New Zealand

No matter which company you book with, your boat will follow the same basic route from the ferry terminal to the mouth of the Tasman Sea and back. Below are a few of the incredible sights you can expect to see on your cruise.

Bowen Falls 

Bowen Falls Milford Sound New Zealand

At a whopping 162 meters (531 feet), Lady Bowen Falls is the highest waterfall in Milford Sound and the first major landmark you’ll see on your cruise. 

Tucked out of sight from the port, rounding the corner to see this dramatic falls is sure to take your breath away. Stand out on the deck of your Milford Sound cruise and you just might be kissed by the ethereal mist.

But Bowen Falls isn’t just an awe-inspiring tourist attraction; she’s also an important resource – this mighty cascade provides power and hydro for the local township.

Fun Fact: Of the many waterfalls in Milford Sound, only two are permanent – Bowen Falls and Stirling Falls. The rest come and go depending on rainfall.

Fairy Falls

Though smaller than some of its neighbors, Fairy Falls is no less breathtaking. The cliffs here are covered in plush moss, creating a verdant backdrop for the tumbling water that contrasts with the imposing rock settings of other Milford Sound waterfalls.

Fairy Falls and neighboring Bridal Veil Falls are best seen after (or during!) a rainfall, as the falls will be bigger and more active.

Seal Rock 

Seal Rock Milford Sound New Zealand

Get your camera ready to capture the playful antics of native New Zealand fur seals !

Most of Milford Sound is walled by sheer cliff faces, but there’s one large rock that provides a perfect spot for seals to rest in the sunshine and out of reach of predators.

The aptly named Seal Rock is a favorite among visitors to Milford Sound. It offers an opportunity to see these endearing marine mammals in their natural habitat, napping and sunbathing on the rock or frolicking in the water nearby.

Stirling Falls

Stirling Falls Milford Sound New Zealand

From a distance, your eyes might trick you into thinking Stirling Falls isn’t that big, as the scale is masked by the dramatic mountainous backdrop . But don’t be fooled; over 150 meters (492 feet) tall, Stirling is Milford Sound’s second-highest waterfall.

The majestic Stirling Falls is known for its sheer drop into deep water that allows boats to get close to the base of the cascade. Getting up close and personal with the roaring, pounding falls is a total rush!

Insider Tip: When you head back to your car after the cruise, be sure to check out this scenic lookout. Located behind the parking lot near the information center, it’s an easy 10-minute return walk to a stunning view of Mitre Peak.

There are tons of tour operators offering similar cruises with minor differences (e.g. boat size, food options). Then there are tours that offer additional experiences, such as kayaking or helicopter rides . Some also include transportation to and from Te Anau or Queenstown.

The tour you choose will depend on where you’re staying, how much time you have, your budget, and your interests. Below are some of our top picks for tours that include a Milford Sound scenic cruise.

Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound

Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Southern Discoveries Desk at the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal
  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Price: $295 NZD (~$175 USD)

This highly-rated Milford Sound tour offers an immersive experience. Start by cruising the full length of the fjord, followed by a visit to the Underwater Observatory to see rare black coral. Then, paddle the glacial waters of sheltered Harrison Cove with an experienced nature guide.

Tea, coffee, and a picnic lunch are included in this tour.

What guests are saying:

“Excellent day! Cruise around the sound was a great way to see all the beauty of the sound […] Guide was knowledgeable and funny. The kayaking was fun and our guide was great at giving kayaking tips and knowledge about Milford. Would highly recommend” – Veronica, July 2023

From Te Anau: Milford Sound Cruise and Coach Day Trip

From Te Anau Milford Sound Cruise & Coach (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Visitor’s Centre on Lakefront Drive in Te Anau
  • Duration: 8 hours
  • Price: $215 NZD (~$125 USD)

This excursion from Te Anau is a great way to experience Milford Sound if you’re not self-driving. Round-trip transportation from Te Anau is included via a glass-roof bus, which allows you to admire all the beautiful scenery along the way.

You’ll then embark on a 2-hour cruise of the fjord. You can purchase lunch onboard or pack your own. Afterward, the comfortable coach will take you back to Te Anau.

“Loved Milford Sound, it was like being in another world. Our guide was professional and informative. The bus was great. The open ceilings were perfect for viewing all the wonderful surroundings. The boat was also perfect. […]” – Laura, July 2023

Boutique Small Boat Cruise

Boutique Small Boat Cruise (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Cruise Milford counter at the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Price: $149 NZD (~$87 USD)

This small boat cruise provides a more intimate experience than some of the larger Milford sound tours. It also offers opportunities not found on the larger boats, like passing underneath Fairy Falls and Stirling Falls for a famous “glacial facial.”

“We had the best time on this beautiful cruise in Milford Sounds! The boat is smaller than some of the other ones at the terminal which meant we could get closer to the waterfalls and to the seals sunbathing on the rocks […] Our captain was very knowledgeable and provided some great commentary throughout the cruise. It was the perfect length and the complimentary tea, coffee and cookies were an added bonus […] – Meg, April 2023

Milford Sound Cruise, Coach and Walks

Mliford Sound Cruise Coach & Walks (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Pickup from your central Te Anau accommodation
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Price: $245 NZD (~$143 USD)

With a max of 15 people, this intimate Milford Sound day tour makes a perfect day trip from Te Anau.

Relax on a scenic drive along the breathtaking Milford Road before boarding a 2-hour cruise of Milford Sound. Enjoy a complimentary picnic lunch onboard.

After the cruise, your guide will lead you on some unforgettable 5 – 30-minute nature walks and scenic stops within Fjordlands National Park before returning to Te Anau.

“Fantastic tour with pick up/drop off at our hotel. Great info and learnt a lot. Views are amazing with plenty of time for stops along the drive. Saw waterfalls, penguins, dolphins and seals during the boat tour. Highly recommend! […] – Sheree, Oct. 2023

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach + Nature Cruise Day Trip

From Queenstown Cruise & Coach Day Trip (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: RealNZ Visitor Centre , Queenstown
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Price: $255 NZD (~$149 USD)

If you want to experience Milford Sound as a day trip from Queenstown , this tour is an excellent choice.

A luxurious glass-roof bus takes you along the scenic shores of Wakatipu before making a stop in Te Anau. As you traverse the famous Milford Road, you’ll have chances to stop for photos and short walks.

During your 2-hour Milford Sound nature cruise, you’ll enjoy live commentary from your nature guide, with snacks and drinks available for purchase from the licensed bar onboard. Afterward, relax on the bus back to Queenstown.

“[…] It was absolutely spectacular!! Truly a wonder of the world! Our guide Paulie entertained us the whole ride up with interesting facts, ancient stories, and personal experiences. […]” – Kim, Aug. 2023

Milford Sound 2-Hour Small Boat Scenic Cruise

2-Hour Small Boat Cruise (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Milford Sound Visitor Terminal
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Price: $145 NZD (~$85 USD)

This small boat scenic cruise has everything you need for a memorable tour of Milford Sound.

Enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, and hot chocolate onboard as you cruise the length of the fjord, watching for wildlife and making frequent stops at noteworthy landmarks.

“We had an amazing time and loved the whole trip. We were very happy that we chose a smaller boat because we were able to get so close to the waterfalls and had dolphins right next to us. It was one of the most impressive experiences I’ve ever had and I would recommend it to everyone” – Emma, Aug. 2023

Milford Sound Cruise & Underwater Observatory

Milford Sound Cruise & Underwater Observatory (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Southern Discovery desk at Milford Sound Visitor Centre
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Price: $165 NZD (~$96 USD)

Experience Milford Sound both above and below the surface on this combination tour .

Your cruise will bring you within an arm’s length of rock walls and cascades, giving you a chance to taste the glacial waters of Stirling Falls.

After the cruise, you’ll visit the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory, where a large viewing area will allow you to see native marine wildlife in their natural habitat.

“Absolutely fantastic cruise, highly recommend! The guide on the boat was great. Provided exceptional information and commentary. Very friendly staff and competent. Toilet facilities on board, food and drinks available and very clean. […]” – Melissa, July 2023

Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

earliest milford sound cruise

  • Starting point location: Milford Sound Terminal
  • Duration: 1 night, departs 4 p.m., arrives 9:15 the following morning
  • Price: Prices vary depending on cabin; $699 NZD (~$400 USD) for an adult double cabin

Experience the magic of Milford Sound with an overnight cruise aboard the iconic Milford Mariner. Spend a night surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of this pristine fiord and wake up to a dawn that will leave you in awe.

Your one-night journey includes comfortable accommodation in private cabins with ensuite bathrooms or cozy bunk-style compartments. Indulge in a sumptuous 3-course buffet dinner and savor a cooked breakfast, expertly prepared by the onboard chef.

What sets this experience apart is the presence of a specialist nature guide on board, enhancing your understanding of the unique ecosystem and wildlife. You can choose to explore the pristine shoreline by kayak or small boat, getting up close and personal with the stunning surroundings.

Milford Track: Full Day Guided Hike and Nature Cruise

Milford Track Guided Hike & Nature Cruise (GYG)

  • Starting point location: Mitre Peak Cruise Counter in the Main Visitor Terminal
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Price: $304 NZD (~$175 USD)

This full-day Milford Sound adventure includes a morning guided walk along the Milford Track to Giant Gate Waterfall, offering picturesque natural views.

After the hike, you’ll enjoy an afternoon Milford Sound small-boat nature cruise, where you can witness the geological marvels of the area, keep an eye out for wildlife like seals and dolphins, and admire the stunning scenery.

The 7-hour tour, limited to a small group of 12 participants, includes a 4-hour guided walk with a professional hiking guide, water taxi transportation, safety equipment, hot drinks, and hotel pick-up and drop-off. It’s a great opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Milford Sound by both land and water.

For those with a bigger budget, a scenic flight is an exciting and adventurous way to get the most out of your experience. You’ll see a lot more, and from a unique perspective. Below are our top picks for tours that include both a Milford Sound cruise and a scenic flight .

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat

Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Pickup available at 26 locations around Queenstown or meet at 39 Lucas Place
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Price: $645 NZD (~$377 USD)

Get a unique perspective of Milford Sound on this combination airplane and boat tour . 

Enjoy spectacular views as you soar over the mountains in a Cessna, heading for Milford Sound. After the 40-minute flight, you’ll hop on a 2-hour cruise down the fjord. Your pilot will take a different flight path back to Queenstown so you can see as much of the national park as possible.

“This tour is exceptional! The plane is great and everybody gets a window, so you can fully enjoy the experience. […] The cruise is also a very nice experience because it gets close to the falls and if lucky you can spot some of the marine animals. The views are spectacular, just like being inside a movie! […] – Alejandra, July 2023

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Flight and Boat Cruise

From Queenstown Flight & Boat Cruise (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Pickup from your central Queenstown accommodation
  • Duration: 4.5 hours
  • Price: $625 NZD (~$365 USD)

This half-day tour from Queenstown is a perfect way to see the highlights of Milford Sound and the surrounding area.

From Queenstown, your Cessna will fly over the Southern Lakes and Tutoko Glacier. If time permits, your pilot will guide you on a bush walk through the rainforest to Milford Sound, where you’ll set out on a sightseeing cruise.

Afterward, your pilot will take a different route back to Queenstown, showing you such famous landmarks as Sutherland Falls, Lake Te Anau, and Lake Wakatipu.

“[…] The flight was fantastic with beautiful scenery. […] The cruise through Milford Sound was a great experience. We had such a great time and would highly recommend this tour.” – Carla, April 2023

Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

Fiord Cruise & Glacier Landing (Get Your Guide)

  • Starting point location: Pickup available from all Queenstown hotels
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Price: $1,220 NZD (~$713 USD)

This adventurous tour combines two of our favorite New Zealand experiences: a Milford Sound cruise and a helicopter glacier landing.

First, fly to the town of Milford, where you’ll embark on a scenic fjord cruise. Then, hop back on the helicopter for an exhilarating flight over the stunning Southern Alps, dotted with alpine lakes and glacial rivers. 

Finally, your pilot will land on a glacier, giving you a chance to enjoy panoramic views and take once-in-a-lifetime photos before returning to Queenstown.

“A once in a lifetime experience. […] We thoroughly enjoyed everything about the amazing tour from beginning to end. Our helicopter pilot Alfie has been flying for 40 years, so we felt very safe at all times 🙏” – Ron, Dec. 2022

Doubtful Sound Fiordland National Park New Zealand

Adventurous souls looking for an alternative to Milford Sound can book a tour to the far more remote (and far less crowded) Doubtful Sound.

The Māori named it Patea , meaning “place of silence”, so Doubtful is also sometimes called “The Sound of Silence” ( cue Simon & Garfunkel! ). But again, this is a fjord, not a sound.

Whereas Milford is heavily trafficked by tourists, Doubtful Sound is an untouched wilderness that has barely changed since it was discovered. There’s no settlement here and no way to self-drive, so many travelers skip it.

But those who make the trip are handsomely rewarded with a tranquil escape where you can marvel at the awe-inspiring landscapes while listening to birdsong echoing off the cliffs.

Do it yourself:

The only way to visit Doubtful Sound is to join a tour departing from Queenstown, Te Anau, or Manapouri. There are lots of options to choose from, all with varying prices and inclusions. Click the button below to find a tour that works for you.

Our personal pick: This overnight Doubtful Sound cruise sounds magical! It is on our list for our next NZ trip! Our Director of Content, Amanda, did this exact cruise when she visited New Zealand with her family and raves about the experience.  

Milford Sound cruise New Zealand

Now that you have our recommendations for a Milford Sound cruise, here are some other things to consider as you plan your trip.

How long is the Milford Sound cruise?

There are tons of tour options that vary drastically in length depending on what else is included, but the cruise itself usually takes about 2 hours.

How much does a Milford Sound cruise cost?

Milford Sound cruise New Zealand

If you’re JUST looking at the cruise itself, the cost is usually around $80-90 USD per person. Again, if you choose a tour with more to it (e.g. transportation, kayaking, helicopter ride, etc.), you’ll need to budget more.

Also, keep in mind that you may need to buy lunch or pack your own if it isn’t included in your tour.

Psst! Check out our money-saving tips for traveling New Zealand on a budget .

Will the cruise still run if it’s raining?

Milford Sound cruise New Zealand

Absolutely! In fact, locals say that Milford Sound is even better in the rain.  

A good rainfall can create hundreds, if not thousands, of temporary waterfalls tumbling down the cliffs surrounding the fjord. Plus, the extra mist adds an ethereal, otherworldly quality to the experience.

That said, some tours may be affected by weather conditions – especially those that include airplane or helicopter flights.

Fun Fact: The heavy rainfall in Fiordlands creates a unique effect in Milford Sound. Rainwater collects tannins as it runs through the forest into the fjord, making it darker. Because the fresh water is less dense than the seawater, it sits on top, forming a dark layer that blocks light and creates an environment usually only found in the deep ocean.

Do cruise ships go into Milford Sound?

Currently, yes. However, the New Zealand government initiative Milford Opportunities has recommended that cruise ships be banned from entering the fjord in an effort to help relieve stress on this delicate environment.

Is Milford Sound really worth it?

Milford Sound cruise New Zealand

YES. Milford Sound is more than just “doing the thing in the place”. It is truly a bucket-list experience and photos don’t do it justice.

If you can swing it, we’d recommend doing something more immersive than just the cruise, like this tour that combines a boat cruise and kayaking.

Insider tips for booking your Milford Sound cruise

Milford Sound cruise New Zealand

Here are a few tips and tricks that will be helpful when booking your Milford Sound cruise:

  • Book your tour in advance . Whether you’re just doing the cruise or a longer tour, book as early as you can to avoid disappointment.
  • There’s only one ferry terminal , and it’s shared by all the cruise operators. Each company has its own check-in desk inside. 
  • The public car park is 300 meters from the terminal , so be sure to give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes before your check-in time to walk down.
  • Lunch may or may not be included. Be sure to double check with your tour provider so you know if you need to pack or buy lunch.
  • Wear layers, particularly a rain jacket. This is one of the rainiest places on Earth and even if it looks like a gorgeous day, the weather can change on a dime. Plus, you might get wet in the mist from the falls.
  • The best views are on the upper deck , but if you want or need to be able to sit, arrive early so you can claim a good seat.

South+Island+New+Zealand+Itinerary+Road+Trip+Milford+Sound

Milford Sound is one of those places you just have to visit when you’re in New Zealand. And even though it’s on most NZ itineraries , it is worthy of the hype.

I personally think a Milford Sound cruise is an absolute must-do . 

The only way to really experience Milford Sound and see its nooks and crannies and hidden waterfalls is by boat. Plus, the boat tours are really affordable, considering where you are.

I’ll be honest and say there wasn’t anything too memorable about the boat, the crew, or the tour itself. The scenery is what you come for.

Now, the majority of boat tours are more or less the same. The biggest difference is the size of the boat. We’d recommend booking a smaller boat if it works with your budget and timeframe.

Our biggest regret is that we didn’t do more than the boat tour.

I would have loved to do a kayaking tour of Milford Sound as well. I’ve heard incredible things and on our next visit (yes, there will be a next visit!) , we will definitely do a kayaking tour too. 

Do yourself a favor and book a Milford Sound cruise if it is at all of interest to you. This is the one we’d choose because it combines a boat cruise with a kayak tour – the best of both worlds!

We also think this overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound looks incredible. Further off the tourist path than Milford Sound, this would feel like discovering a hidden gem of sorts. Plus, the tour includes a 3-course dinner and earns rave reviews.

Can you imagine waking up in a place like this?! Definitely a splurge-worthy experience that is on our personal bucket list!

Milford Sound

In our opinion, the best time to visit Milford Sound is in November. Deciding on when to take your Milford Sound cruise can be tricky, but here’s why we think November is the sweet spot:

  • Temperatures are comfortable. This is the shoulder season between New Zealand’s spring and summer, so things are starting to warm up and the days are getting longer.
  • You’ll avoid peak tourist season. December to February is New Zealand’s summer, which sees bigger crowds and higher prices.
  • You have a better chance of seeing wildlife , as marine life such as penguins and seals are more active in the spring and fall.
  • You actually want some rain. That’s right, with atmospheric mists and too many waterfalls to count, Milford Sound is at its best in the rain! The South Island’s west coast is notorious for rain at all times of year, but December and January are the wettest months.

We would personally avoid visiting during peak tourist season (December to February), when Milford Sound will be at its most crowded and huge cruise ships might be coming into the fjord. We would also avoid visiting in the winter (June to August), when you may be faced with icy driving conditions and closures on Milford Road. 

For an in-depth guide on the regional seasons, weather patterns, and other factors, check out our complete guide to the best time to visit New Zealand .

How to get to Miford Sound

Milford Sound Cruise New Zealand

While some tours include transportation to and from Te Anau or Queenstown, you might be driving to Milford Sound yourself if you’re renting a car or doing a campervan road trip . There’s only one way in, and it’s pretty freakin’ spectacular: the Milford Road.

From Te Anau

Milford Road New Zealand

Distance: 118 km / 73 miles

Time: 2.5 hours minimum

The section of State Highway 94 from Te Anau to Milford Sound is known as the Milford Road . The route is straightforward since you’ll be staying on 94 the whole time, but there are some important things you need to know before making this drive:

  • Give yourself more time than Google Maps says. Traffic will be heavy as everyone makes their way to Milford Sound for their cruises. Plus, this drive is so astonishingly beautiful that you’ll want to stop at landmarks along the way. Trust me.
  • There are no services on this road. Make sure you have a full tank leaving Te Anau, as well as snacks, water, and anything else you need for the drive.
  • There’s also no cell service , so download your maps before heading out. This article  explains how to download offline Google Maps if you’re not familiar with the process.
  • It can be dangerous in the winter , and the road will close if there’s an avalanche advisory. Check conditions before leaving and bring emergency gear, including snow chains.

From Queenstown

Devil's Staircase Queenstown New Zealand

Distance: 288 km / 179 miles

Time: 4.5 hours minimum

Though it may look closer on a map, there’s no route to Milford Sound from Queenstown as the crow flies, so you’ll still need to go through Te Anau.

Take State Highway 6 out of Queenstown, heading south along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. In Lowther, turn right onto Highway 97. Turn right again in Mossburn onto Highway 94, which you’ll stay on all the way to Milford Sound. Don’t forget to stop in Te Anau for gas and supplies .

Before you attempt this drive, make sure you read our road trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound guide. You’ll thank us later!

Staying in Queenstown? You’ll definitely want to check out our list of the best things to do in this adventurous city!

What to wear and pack for a Milford Sound cruise

Milford Sound Cruise New Zealand

  • Wear layers
  • Waterproof rain jacket: choose one that also works as a windbreaker if possible, as it can get very windy
  • Sunscreen: one of the most important things to know about New Zealand is there is a hole in the ozone layer above the country, meaning you’ll likely burn more quickly than you’re used to
  • Snacks (there aren’t many food options in Milford Sound)
  • Battery bank : to keep your phone charged 
  • Gloves and a beanie: these are nice to have if you’re doing an early morning Milford Sound cruise
  • Pressure point bands to prevent seasickness
  • Travel insurance : We NEVER travel without it!

Be sure to download our complete packing list for New Zealand ! It’s packed with good suggestions and insider tips to help plan your New Zealand trip. And it’s completely FREE, so why not!?

New+Zealand+Packing+List+_+Two+Wandering+Soles

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand?

We have TONS of resources on travel in New Zealand and destinations throughout the country. Check out our  Ultimate New Zealand Travel Guide  for all the answers to your most burning travel questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

  • How to Plan the Perfect New Zealand Itinerary
  • Things to Know Before Traveling to New Zealand
  • Top Things to Do in New Zealand on Your First Visit
  • New Zealand Travel on a Budget: Money-Saving Tips

Or, let us do the planning for you!

  • Perfect 1 Month New Zealand Itinerary
  • South Island New Zealand Itinerary: Epic 2-Week Road Trip
  • North Island New Zealand: 2-Week Road Trip Itinerary

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10 BEST Cruises in Milford Sound 🏔️ [2024]

Nz pocket guide is 10 years old. thank you for trusting us with your trip for over a decade, milford sound cruise comparison: the best milford sound cruises.

You haven’t been to Milford Sound until you have cruised through its majestic fiord. A cruise in Milford Sound is on almost everybody’s bucket list when travelling New Zealand , but the decision fatigue from choosing a cruise is not what you need on your holiday. Let us reassure you that whatever Milford Sound cruise you choose, you won’t be missing out on anything. Every single day cruise in Milford Sound is around two hours on the water, all of which take almost the same route around the fiord. Whatever cruise you take, you’ll see all of the highlights that we feature in 10 Stunning Sights Seen From a Milford Sound Cruise . However, there are some minor differences between cruises that might make your decision-making a little easier. Take a look at our list of the best Milford Sound cruises below to find your perfect tour.

Unless specified otherwise, all of the cruises listed below depart from the Milford Sound Marina . If you’re looking for a cruise and transport, take a look at our 10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau or the 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown .

1. Pure Milford – The Cruise with the Best Views of Milford Sound

Sail on the only small-ship cruise in Milford Sound with glass roofs overhead, meaning that no matter the weather, you’ll always get magnificent views of the fiord’s towering cliffs and waterfalls with Pure Milford . That’s not to say that when the sun is shining you can’t make use of both the covered and open sun decks to bask in the fiord’s majesty. The skipper and friendly local crew share insights about the glorious UNESCO World Heritage Area you’re cruising through, while the onboard cafe/bar is the cherry on top!

Learn more about the cruise and book your adventure at puremilford.co.nz !

2. RealNZ Nature Cruise – The Best Milford Sound Cruise for Nature Lovers

The most popular of the Milford Sound cruises is the RealNZ Nature Cruise . RealNZ offers the widest range of cruises in Milford Sound, but one of their best offerings is their Nature Cruise. Onboard a characterful ship complete with masts (just like the early explorers of this fiord), you’ll journey through the sounds while receiving insightful commentary from your nature guide. The tour hits all the waterfalls and mountain views of any Milford Sound cruise, as well as having a focus on spotting wildlife. Find out more about the RealNZ Nature Cruise on Viator  or Klook .

3. Southern Discoveries Cruise and Underwater Observatory – The Best Milford Sound Cruise Package

The next cruise on our list of the best Milford Sound cruises includes an underwater observatory. Offering some of the best value-for-money packages for Milford Sound cruises, Southern Discoveries is definitely worth considering if you want to pair your cruise with a visit to their Milford Sound Underwater Observatory or incorporate some kayaking into your experience as an add-on. After a two-hour cruise through Milford Sound, with a picnic lunch included, you’ll get to experience a unique view of Milford Sound and its black coral from the underwater observatory.

Find out more about additional experiences that Southern Discoveries offers in our 15 Best Things to Do in Milford Sound . Plus, check out the full tour details with Southern Discoveries on Viator and Klook .

4. Mitre Peak Cruises – The Best Milford Sound Cruise for Families (and the Cheapest)

Offering a smaller boat experience in Milford Sound, Mitre Peak Cruises is well worth considering if you want to share your cruise with fewer people. The cruise captures all the major highlights of Milford Sound from a smaller vessel to make the landscapes feel all the grander. Tour guides look out for dolphin, seal and penguin encounters for you, while you soak up the scenery and enjoy the free tea and coffee onboard. This is also a good option for families, as children under three years cruise for free making Mitre Peak Cruises one of the best family options when it comes to Milford Sound boat cruises.

Check out Viator  for more information on Mitre Peak Cruises. Plus, plan a family trip to Milford using 10 Things to Do in Milford Sound with Kids .

5. Cruise Milford – The Best Small-Ship Milford Sound Cruise

If you’re the type of traveller who prefers to escape the crowds, then take a serious look at Cruise Milford . The boutique cruise limits its passenger numbers to 50% of the boat’s capacity, so their cruises never feel too crowded. It’s smooth sailing on this catamaran vessel (they also have a smaller monohull boat) that stops at all the essential Milford Sound sights , allows for wildlife encounters and offers complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits on board. Check out the glowing reviews and book your cruise on Viator , Klook or KKday .

6. RealNZ Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise – The Best Overnight Cruise Cruise in Milford Sound

Once you discover Milford Sound, it can be difficult to leave. So spend an extra night in this wilderness paradise on an overnight cruise with RealNZ ! The Milford Mariner Overnight Cruise takes you down the entire length of Milford Sound before anchoring at Harrison Cove. Enjoy a three-course buffet meal, make use of the onboard kayaks, listen to the onboard nature guide, and stay in a private single or twin-share en suite cabin. Check out the tour details on Klook .

7. Fiordland Discovery – The Best Luxury Milford Sound Cruise

Don’t just do an overnight cruise in Milford Sound, do a multi-day discovery tour of several fiords of the Fiordland National Park with Fiordland Discovery . Their multi-day cruise is a small-group experience where you’ll stay on the lavish Fiordland Jewel with its climate-controlled ensuite cabins. Your stay includes cruises of multiple fiords (not just Milford Sound), three-course meals, kayaking, tender boat trips, as well as soaking in the top deck outdoor spa pool. The boat also has a helicopter landing pad, giving you options for cruise-and-flight combos.

Check out the glowing reviews and book your cruise on Viator or Expedia . Plus, see more experiences like this in the 5 Best Luxury Experiences in Milford Sound .

8. Southern Discoveries – The Best Milford Sound Cruise and Kayak Tour

Add an alternative experience to your Milford Sound cruise with the kayaking tour add-on with Southern Discoveries ! Include a 90-minute kayaking excursion gliding under the majestic cliffs of New Zealand’s most famous fiord on your Milford Sound cruise, which includes a “kayak lift” so you don’t even have to get your feet wet! With a maximum of eight guests kayaking, you also ensure a more peaceful experience of Milford Sound.  Check out the full tour details with Southern Discoveries on Viator and Klook .

9. Pure Milford – The Best Milford Sound Coach and Cruise Tour

Need to get to Milford Sound from Queenstown or Te Anau ? Discover even more sights on the “ Coach-Cruise-Coach ” tour with Pure Milford , which includes return transfers to both towns while ensuring an adventure-filled journey! Stop by iconic sights such as the Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Knobs Flat and much more before you embark on an enchanting cruise of Milford Sound (see point #1)!

Learn more about the coach-cruise-coach tour and book your adventure at puremilford.co.nz ! Plus, for more coach and cruise tours to compare, head to our 10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau .

10. Pure Milford – The Best Milford Sound Cruise and Fly Tour

And certainly not to be forgotten is the option to take a scenic flight to Milford Sound! Pure Milford ‘s “ Fly-Cruise-Fly ” tour is not only the most time-efficient way to experience Milford Sound in all its majesty but seeing the Fiordland National Park from the mountains all the way to sea is nothing short of breathtaking. If you’re looking to experience Milford Sound in a more intimate way, perhaps for a special occasion or just because this is, after all, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, then a scenic flight and cruise combo should be a serious consideration.

Learn more about the coach-cruise-coach tour and book your adventure at puremilford.co.nz ! Plus, for more fly and cruise tours to compare, head to our 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown .

10 Essential Tips for Taking a Cruise to Milford Sound

Embark on an unforgettable adventure to Milford Sound, where the breathtaking landscapes of New Zealand await to mesmerise you with their untouched beauty. Here are 10 essential tips to make your cruise in this majestic fjord a once-in-a-lifetime experience:

  • Choose Your Cruise Wisely : From boutique small boat cruises that offer intimate encounters with the fiord’s wonders to comprehensive day trips that include coach transport and nature walks, there’s a variety of ways to explore Milford Sound. Whether you’re departing from Te Anau or Queenstown, select a cruise that aligns with your preferences for adventure and comfort .
  • Meet the Majestic Mitre Peak : Rising 1,692 m (5,551 ft) from the water, Mitre Peak is an iconic symbol of Milford Sound. Capture the peak’s reflection in the fjord’s tranquil waters, especially enchanting at sunrise or sunset . See where to get the best photos in the  10 Best Walks in Milford Sound .
  • Embrace the Weather : Known as one of the wettest places on Earth, Milford Sound’s landscape transforms with the rain, creating countless temporary waterfalls that add to the fiord’s mystical ambience. Pack waterproof clothing and be prepared for any weather .
  • Witness Wildlife Up Close : Keep an eye out for New Zealand fur seals, dusky dolphins and the elusive Fiordland crested penguin. The fiord’s rich biodiversity offers thrilling wildlife encounters .
  • Marvel at Waterfalls : Home to the towering Stirling and Bowen Falls, the Sound’s waterfalls are a highlight not to be missed. They’re especially spectacular following rain, showcasing nature’s raw power .
  • Enjoy Onboard Activities : Many cruises offer unique experiences like guided kayaking, allowing you to paddle close to the cliffs and waterfalls, and stargazing, where you can admire the night sky free from light pollution .
  • Packing Essentials : Remember to bring layers, including a waterproof and windproof jacket, sturdy shoes for the deck, and a camera to capture the scenery. Binoculars are also recommended for wildlife spotting .
  • Early Arrival : Secure a coveted spot on the deck by arriving early to your cruise. Booking in advance is crucial, especially during the summer months, as cruises can fill up quickly .
  • Consider Overnight Options : Staying overnight in Milford Sound, at places like the Milford Sound Lodge , offers a unique opportunity to experience the fiord’s serene beauty beyond the day trips. It’s an excellent way to see a side of Milford Sound that many miss . See the   10 Best Accommodations in Milford Sound to discover all of your options.
  • Travel Smart : If you’re self-driving, remember that there are no services on Milford Road, so fill up on gas in Te Anau and download your maps. Alternatively, many tours include transportation, making your journey stress-free .

Every trip to Milford Sound is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of New Zealand’s landscapes. With these tips, you’re ready to navigate your cruise with ease, leaving you free to absorb the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of this natural wonder. Safe travels, and prepare to be amazed!

More About Milford Sound

That’s it for our guide the best cruises in Milford Sound. Get more advice on planning the perfect trip with the following articles:

  • 10 Best Accommodations in Milford Sound
  • 10 Milford Sound Walks You Can’t Miss
  • 15 Stops You Can’t Miss on the Road to Milford Sound

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in  T he Complete Travel Guide to Milford Sound .

The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

  • Tourism New Zealand (General travel advice - Updated [2024])
  • Adventure Mark (Health and Safety Audit - Updated [2024])
  • Work Safe NZ (Adventure Activities Guidelines - Updated [2024])
  • Department of Conservation (Tracks, hikes, campsites and more - Updated [2024])
  • AdventureSmart (Know before you go - Update [2024])
  • NZ Māori Tourism (Official Māori Tourism platform - Updated [2024])
  • Tourism Export Council New Zealand (Tourism trade association - Updated [2024])
  • TIA (Independent tourism association - Updated [2024])
  • Tiaki Promise (Care for people place and culture - Updated [2024])
  • Council websites and freedom camping maps (Local travel advice region by region - Updated [2024])

Our editorial standards : At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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Milford Sound

Milford Sound Cruises

Once you’ve arrived at Milford Sound, the best way to see the fiord in all its glory is by boarding a cruise and getting out on the water. Milford Sound cruises must be experienced to be believed. The stunning sheer cliffs surrounding you, the inky blackness of the water and the frosty alpine peaks looming over it all combine to create a stunning tableau.

There are Milford Sound cruises departing throughout the day, giving you the chance to experience the fiord in all its different guises. However, most cruises depart in the middle of the day or the afternoon, allowing time to travel from Queenstown or Te Anau.

Choosing a cruise can be daunting, given the wide range of types of Milford Sound cruises and different operators to choose from. We’ve gathered some information to make it easier to research and book your Milford Sound cruise.

Getting to Milford Sound from Queenstown takes approximately 3.5 hrs and a professional coach tour is highly recommended for visitors not familiar with driving in icy alpine conditions. 

Milford Sound Day Tours & Cruises

Milford Sound Day Tours & Cruises

We’ve collated popular milford sound day tours here
and prices start from just $179 including the cruise..

Milford Sound - Maiden of Milford - Day Cruise

Day Cruises

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Milford Sound with a daylight cruise. The daylight cruise on Milford Sound is a great way to explore the fiord and its wildlife, including seals and penguins. The cruise offers stunning views of the towering peaks and waterfalls, and the inky blackness of the water creates a serene atmosphere. Cruises depart throughout the day with the average cruise time of 1hr 45min. You can easily incorporate day cruises into your travel plans, and they are included in most Milford Sound day tours .

GreatSights-Milford-Sound-Coach-Tour

Cruise + Day Tour

Getting to Milford from Queenstown takes round 4hours each way so consider leaving the driving to a local expert and sit back and relax as you travel through the rugged and winding Milford Road.  Tours to Milford Sound from Queenstown  and Te Anau depart daily and offer a range of options to suit travelling styles and budgets. All tours combine the cruise in Milford Sound and many include a lunch option. You’ll also get plenty of opportunities to stop for those iconic photographs en-route and the local drivers provide great commentary to keep you entertained throughout the day.

Milford Sound - Overnight Cruise

Overnight Cruises

Selected tour companies offer overnight cruises in Milford Sound. This can be a great way to experience the fiord at its most peaceful – in the evening and first thing in the morning, before the day trippers arrive. Milford Sound overnight cruises can include dinner and breakfast as well as transport to and from Milford Sound. Guests can also enjoy a variety of additional activities, including kayaking or tender-boat excursions. If you have limited time to view Milford Sound you may wish to choose a day tour instead. 

Milford Sound Cruises

The original milford sound cruise company, and still the best..

Nestled within Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is a pristine haven for birdlife, dolphins, fur seals and endangered species such as the Fiordland Crested Penguin. A marvel at any time of year and in any weather, Milford Sound is rich in geological formations, captivating waterfalls and unsurprisingly, one of the most impressive scenic day trips to do in New Zealand. Discover more and get closer to this world-renowned area with a Milford Sound cruise.

Upcoming Departures

Nature Cruise

Join this incredible Milford Sound cruise with a friendly team and 60 years of local experience. From the open-top deck or inside through full-height windows, you’re about to get closer and see more with Milford Sound’s original cruise operator.

Discover More Cruise

No other Milford Sound experience takes you further. Explore the natural world of the fiord and get closer to one of the most dramatic places on earth. The only experience in Milford Sound that includes a visit to the underwater observatory.

Get in touch

The 5 Best Milford Sound Cruises [2024 Reviews]

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience no shortage of beautiful places in my life, but few have impressed me as much as Milford Sound has.

With a unique water composition that prevents light from penetrating the deep sea water underneath its top freshwater layer, many deep sea creatures can be found just 30 meters beneath the surface.

From breathtaking mountains, lush rainforests, and impressive rainfall, there’s so much to see at this fjord. However, if you want to make the most of your time there, I highly suggest selecting one of the 5 top Milford Sound cruises available today. Let’s jump right in!

Best Milford Sound Boat Tours

Quick answer: the 5 best rated milford sound cruise tours for 2024.

  • Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour from Queenstown
  • Cruise Milford NZ Small Boutique Cruise Experience
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Walks from Te Anau
  • Premium Milford Sound Tour, Cruise and Lunch from Te Anau

Milford Sound Cruise Tour Reviews

1. premium milford sound small group tour from queenstown.

  • Duration:  13 hours
  • Departure: Corner of Shotover & Camp Streets, 25 Shotover Street, Queenstown
  • Departure Time: 6:30 & 7:30 AM
  • Includes:  Small group and fully guided tour, cruise entry, lunch, bottled water, snacks

Located right within New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound appeals to travelers from all over the world with its rugged beauty and pristine wilderness.

I find small group tours to be practically essential when it comes to an intimate and immersive wildlife experience, so as to not disturb the flora and fauna and enjoy the peace and quiet.

The Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour from Queenstown offers all this and more, appreciating the awe-inspiring grandeur of this magical place.

Departing from downtown Queenstown, it is important to mention if you would prefer to be picked right up at your hotel, as both options are available. We chose a convenient hotel pickup so we didn’t have to deal with public transportation or shelling out extra cash for a taxi/Uber.

We then made our way around Lake Wakatipu, where we were able to take in some amazing views of The Remarkables Mountain Range from our comfy coach!

The Devil’s Staircase Lookout is a must-see, with incomparable views along the lake – particularly if it’s a clear day! It’s a really quick stop, though, as that’s all there is to see so you can just snap some photos and head back onto the coach.

Expand To See More See Less

Lake Te Anau is the country’s second-biggest, with a charming little town where we explored the flora and fauna and grabbed a tasty bite to eat!

After departing Te Anau, we went through the beautiful Fiorland National Park, making a stop in Eglinton Valley with Lord-of-the-Rings-esque vistas through an ancient glacier.

Mirror Lakes Walk is up next, which is really just a brief, leisurely walk for you to take in the reflections of the Earl Mountains on the picture-perfect, flat lake!

We even got to stop at Lake Gunn, which is known for its fishing and pristine views. Hollyford River was next, before delving further into the Darran Mountains, where we even got to explore a unique area that’s home to the world’s largest alpine parrot!

Homer Tunnel couldn’t be left off, which was shocking to learn that it was hand-built with such precision!

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience, 2. cruise milford nz small boutique cruise experience.

  • Duration:  1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Departure: 1 Milford Sound Highway, Milford Sound 9679
  • Departure Time: 10:45 AM, 12:45, 1:45 & 2:45 PM
  • Includes:  Complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits on board all sailings

There is no shortage of natural beauty when it comes to New Zealand, so when the Milford Sound was first suggested to me, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

Sitting within the breathtaking landscapes of the legendary Fiordland National Park, the sound is one of New Zealand’s most iconic natural wonders.

The Cruise Milford NZ Small Boutique Cruise Experience  will take you through towering granite cliffs, crystal-clear waterfalls, enormous glacial waters, and so much more!

Lasting just 1 hour and 45 minutes, it’s super easy to fit into even the busiest of schedules and is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re an animal lover like me, I find it to also be one of the best tours for seeing little critters in their natural habitats!

It’s great for the entire family because it’s brief yet still offers you the opportunity to get to see areas of the sound up close and personal!

Start by boarding a comfortable, spacious vessel equipped with viewing decks where everyone can fit, along with large windows for optimal viewing of any area passed.

The captain and crew were very friendly, offering us top-notch customer service, complete with complimentary coffee, tea, and biscuits. We glided across the tranquil waters at Milford Sound, allowing the stress to melt away as I soaked up all of the remarkable beauty surrounding us.

As we cruised along, our captain shared all kinds of insightful commentary about the area’s geology, animals, plants, as well as the region’s rich Maori and European history.

Thanks to the small group size, it was a very intimate and personalized tour that felt more like a professional guide friend was taking us out on the water! Overall, this was a super tranquil, exciting experience that I’ll be sure to do again soon!

3. Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau

  • Duration:  10 hours
  • Departure:  Hotel pickup and drop-off available
  • Departure Time: 8:00 AM
  • Includes:  National Park fees, coffee and/or tea, driver/guide, live commentary on board, local guide, air-conditioned vehicle

Are you on the hunt for one of the most comprehensive all-day tours of its kind? If you have a free day and want to see Milford Sound to its fullest, this is one of the best tours available in 2024.

The Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau  is a fascinating experience that takes you on land and sea to view the most awe-inspiring views around.

Starting off with a convenient hotel pickup right at 8:00 am, you will be able to take advantage of an early departure where you’ll run into very few other people. This is great, as most of the areas we viewed we had to ourselves, which was quite a blast!

Our first stop was at the Te Anau Downs, where we visited the Bluegum Bay sheltered harbor, which was also quite interesting.

One of my favorite portions of the tour was taking a leisurely stroll at the Mirror Lakes boardwalk where we were able to see beech forest, wetland pools, and the halfway point between the equator and South Pole!

I also thoroughly enjoyed walking to Marian Cascade/Lake where we took in amazing views before sipping on some morning coffee or tea at Gunn’s Camp, which overlooks the legendary Chiefs Island.

It’s one of the last few luxury, vintage safari camps in existence and had a kind of “Out of Africa” vibe to it!

We snapped some photos at Fall’s Creek and Monkey Creek, and even got to check out the over 4,000-foot-long Homer Tunnel, following it up with a brief walk to the unique rock formations of The Chasm.

Throughout the entire tour, our guide shared interesting info about the local area’s history, geology, and so much more! While I do feel like the lunch could’ve been a bit more substantial, everything else was perfect!

4. Full-Day Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Walks from Te Anau

  • Duration:  9 hours
  • Departure: 20/22 Luxmore Drive, Te Anau 9600,  (or hotel pickup and drop-off)
  • Includes:  Afternoon or morning tea, local driver/guide, sightseeing boat cruise, guided and self-guided walking tours, modern air-conditioned minivan (max 15), lunch

If you’re looking for one of the most convenient, smooth tour experiences around New Zealand, look no further than this next one!

The Full-Day Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Walks from Te Anau  takes you on various methods of transportation in order to discover this special area in all its glory.

Perfectly balancing scenic drives, leisurely walks, and a captivating cruise along the pristine waters of the Sound, you can’t go wrong here.

You can opt to have your guide pick you and your party up right from your hotel in an air-conditioned minivan, for optimal convenience!

As groups are limited to just 15 participants, everyone has plenty of space to move around while receiving an intimate, customized experience. The tour starts off at 8:00 am, so you can try and beat most of the crowds while making the most of the day out in the wilderness.

As we cruised along the winding roads, our knowledgeable guide shared fascinating commentary about the area’s rich history, geology, wildlife, industry insight, and much more!

Once we reached Milford Sound, we all already had a good background of it, starting off with a beautiful cruise. As we sailed along the tranquil waters, I gazed out at the impressive landscapes that made it feel almost like I was in some epic film!

I wasn’t expecting to see any sea life, but we were so lucky, we even spotted some dolphins splashing around, sweet seals, and even some penguins!

We then went back to shore, stretching our legs with a guided nature walk along the shore with experienced guides. We headed down hidden pathways, checking out the native flora and fauna while stopping to take photos along the way.

5. Premium Milford Sound Tour, Cruise and Lunch from Te Anau

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: 94 Te Anau Terrace, Te Anau 9600
  • Departure Time: Between 7:30 & 10:30 AM
  • Includes:  Small group and fully-guided tour, cruise entry, lunch, bottled water, snacks

There’s a ton of excitement when it comes to New Zealand, from pristine glaciers to gushing waterfalls! However, if you’re looking for a quiet and calm way to escape the city’s madness, I have just the tour for you.

The Premium Milford Sound Tour, Cruise and Lunch from Te Anau  is all that and more, with visits to idyllic towns, brazen wildlife, and everything in-between.

With this tour, you either get the choice of meeting your guide in Te Anau Terrace or having your guide pick you up right from your hotel accommodations.

I always choose the latter, as I like to bring along a small backpack and jacket, and having the guide pick me up eliminates the risk of me forgetting them in an Uber or public transportation.

Our driver/guide was absolutely fantastic – not only informative, but a careful and efficient driver who placed our safety first.

The tour starts off in the charming lakeside town of Te Anau, where we learned all about the endangered takahē birds, underground waterfalls, as well as the rich Maori history.

The road from here to Milford Sound is very smooth, well-maintained, and postcard-perfect. Upon entering the Fiordland National Park, we headed to Eglington Valley, which boasts many different film locations for Lord of the Rings films.

We then went on a Mirror Lakes walk for a short walk, where the reflection was so clear that it really did look like the mountains were upside-down! Lake Gunn and Falls Creek were next, which feature amazing waterfalls, dangerous rapids, and amazing views.

We saw so many more incredible places that there are too many to mention here, but trust that you won’t even be able to think about getting bored!

Boat Comfort

The Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour from Queenstown is our Editors Choice for the best Milford Sound Cruise

Robert Baker

Cruise Milford Sound

Cruise Milford

Experience milford sound the local way.

  • Most Popular

Milford Sound Boutique Small Boat Cruise

Join our boutique small boat cruise and experience Milford Sound the local way. Let us show you our backyard on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

  • Clock 1 Hour 45 Minutes
  • Users All Ages

Other Popular Tours Offered by Our Partners

  • Clock 9 or 12 Hours

Day Tours from Queenstown or Te Anau

Join us for a scenic day tour to Milford Sound from Queenstown or Te Anau. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits while you listen to the skipper’s commentary and marvel at the breathtaking scenery.

3 Reasons to Book Cruise Milford For Your Milford Sound Experience

Uncrowded cruises.

people taking a photo

We are the only cruise operator to limit passenger numbers on all departures to 50% of the boats capacity to be able to guarantee a much more personal experience.

Best Customer Service

a group of people sitting at a train station

Cruise Milford has been rated the #1 cruise operator at Milford on TripAdvisor for 6 years running. We are very proud to have been voted one of the Top 10 Experiences for New Zealand in 2019 & 2020, plus one of the Top 10 Experiences for the entire South Pacific Region in 2020.

Support Local

Elfriede Ott et al. posing for a photo

Cruise Milford is the only local family owned & operated day cruise company at Milford Sound. We love to share our passion about this very special place with all of our guests.

Find Your Date & Book

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Cruise Milford Sound, New Zealand

Immerse yourself in the natural wonder that is fiordland national park.

Experience Milford Sound the local way by joining us on board our award-winning boutique small boat cruise. Cruise Milford is the only family-owned and operated day cruise company at Milford Sound. We guarantee an uncrowded and much more personal experience by limiting passenger numbers on board all cruise departures to 50% of the boat’s capacity. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits while getting up close and personal with local wildlife and cascading waterfalls.

Voted one of the Top 10 Experiences in New Zealand by TripAdvisor for 2019 and 2020 and one of the Top 10 Experiences in the South Pacific Region for 2020

a small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

Milford Sound Info

a sunset over a fire

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Milford Sound and some things you never even thought to ask!

Milford Sound History

a man riding a horse drawn carriage in front of a mountain

Learn the long and interesting history of the Milford Sound.

Getting There

a view of the side of a mountain road

Whether you want to drive, fly or bus there, we show you how.

Should you wish to take a helicopter or a bus to Milford Sound , we can assist with that.

We have over 40 years of experience living and working in the Fiordland area, and we can guarantee that you will be talking about your trip to Fiordland and Milford Sound for the rest of your life. Come and see what you’ve been missing!

a group of people standing in front of a mountain

Explore the Beautiful Milford Sound

With Cruise Milford, you travel on smaller boats, which are less crowded and where our local crew offer a much more informative and personal tour of Milford Sound. We really love showing visitors this amazing place, and we know you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Fiordland is a designated World Heritage Site that takes you back in time to a magical wilderness that you may have thought no longer existed. Driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound, you will see why the Lord of the Rings  was filmed in this stunning scenery.

Please download our free PDF  Guide to driving from Queenstown to Milford Sound  to ensure that you get to see all the best locations on the way. Just getting to Milford Sound is half the experience!

TripAdvisor's #1 Tour in Milford Sound

tripadvisor logo

We had a wonderful time, Rod our tour guide and the skipper were fantastic, they made our journey special. They explained everything and showed us everything there was to be seen, they were knowledgeable and funny. Highly recommend. Thank you guys!

If you are going to book a trip to Milford please use these guys! Such a good experience, Jonno was astounding with the knowledge he could provide over the duration of the trip. We were shown some good points of interest and got to experience the cruise on a good rainy day! Definitely recommend going with Milford Cruises.

What a fantastic day. The experience started when we got in the van and were greeted by Kreig. He really made our trip. Stopped at places with spectacular photo opportunities. Such a wealth of local and NZ knowledge. You can’t go wrong with this company. I chose them as it was a small group tour. I got that and so much more.

We cruised on Friday. It was so spectacular and was so impressed with the staff and the experience they gave us. With getting us close to some waterfalls and wildlife. It was great listening to them talk about the area they were so knowledgeable. Will hopefully be back one day!!

We had an absolutely awesome day with Cruise Milford. Knowledgeable commentary, amazing scenery and the friendly staff, who was happy to talk to us and tell anecdotes about the area, made our day. Thanks so much! We can highly recommend!

earliest milford sound cruise

Experience Milford Sound / Piopiotahi up close and personal

Our small group tours offer the most intimate wildlife and scenery experience, with custom built boats designed for an immersive viewing experience., see this captivating part of new zealand from the water, air, road or milford track., the best way to see the magnificent milford sound ____________.

Our 2-hour cruise takes in the best of Milford Sound and beyond, sailing out into the breathtaking Tasman Sea. Our boats are purpose-built for navigating near the shoreline to get you as close as possible to your incredible surroundings. Plus, with room on board for no more than 75 and spacious open deck viewing, you’ll enjoy unobstructed views when wildlife such as seals, rare Fiordland crested penguins or pods of dolphins when they make an appearance.

Along the journey, our informative guides point out Milford Sound’s scenic highlights, such as Lady Bowen Falls (dropping 160 meters down to the sea), Sinbad Gully (a classic example of a hanging valley). Snowcapped Mount Pembroke, and the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak itself, towering 1692 meters above sea level.

  • Ticket Cruise
  • Map Marker Milford Sound
  • User All ages
  • Hour Glass 2 hours

Cruise Only from Milford Sound

Escape the crowds and experience the beauty of Milford Sound in its true isolation and grandeur with this two-hour cruise. Spot wildlife like seals and dolphins!

FIND OUT HOW TO GET THERE.

Where are you departing from ____________.

MILFORD SOUND

Our tours ____________

  • Ticket Cruise , Walk
  • Hour Glass Full day

Milford Sound Cruise & Milford Track

Walk part of the Milford Track and take a 2-hour cruise – a way to see both the ‘finest walk in the world’ and enjoy the fiord from sea level, including the picturesque Mitre Peak.

  • Ticket Flight , Cruise
  • Map Marker Queenstown
  • Hour Glass Half day

Milford Sound Cruise & Scenic Flight

Fly over snow-capped mountain ranges, ancient glaciers, sparkling lakes, and tumbling waterfalls as you journey to Milford Sound by plane; then see it from the water on an immersive 2-hour cruise.

  • Ticket Helicopter , Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise & Scenic Heli Flight

Discover the beauty of the area from unforgettable perspectives – the waters of Milford Sound, and from the air on a scenic helicopter flight over the Fiordland National Park.

  • Ticket Flight , Coach , Cruise

Milford Sound Coach, Cruise & Fly

Discover the beauty of the area from three unforgettable perspectives – Milford Road, the waters of Milford Sound, and in the air on a scenic flight over the Fiordland National Park.

  • Ticket Coach , Cruise , Walk
  • Map Marker Te Anau

Milford Sound Coach, Cruise & Walk from Te Anau

Experience one of the world’s finest alpine drives to Milford Sound in a small group tour, including scenic stops, walks and guided nature commentary, followed by a stunning 2-hour cruise.

  • Ticket Coach , Cruise

Milford Sound Coach & Cruise from Queenstown

Take a day trip from Queenstown on one of the world’s finest alpine drives to Milford Sound in a small group tour, including scenic stops and guided commentary, followed by a stunning 2-hour cruise.

Mitre Peak Cruises boats and Mitre Peak

Why choose Mitre Peak Cruises? ____________

SEE IT FROM EVERY PERSPECTIVE We offer four unbeatable ways to discover the beauty of one of the worlds most scenic locations: via the Milford Road on a scenic coach tour there and back, from the air either in a plane or helicopter, walking the Milford Track, or from the water on our famous cruises. (Please note, different packages area available out of different locations.)

a group of people standing in front of a mountain

Milford Sound's Premiere Tour Company ____________

a very dark water

"Absolutely loved the tour and the driver was super knowledgeable. Podge gave us enough time to take pictures and didn't feel rushed at all. We had amazing weather and everything ran very smoothly and efficient. Great experience and would recommend to anyone."

"The trip to Milford Sound was an amazing experience, not only the destination, but the whole journey, with excellent commentary from our guide on the luxurious coach. Weather forecast was 10 degrees with rain, which I was worried about, but it was still awesome and beautiful, just needed warm clothes. We’re going to try your Mt Cook trip next time we come to Queenstown."

"We had the most amazing time on the cruise. The sights were breathtaking, really cool to be able to get up close to the waterfalls and learn more about the sounds. Crew member Abbey was wonderful. Super friendly and helpful to everyone on board. This was an experience never to be forgotten for sure."

"The cruise was fantastic - helped of course by the scenery and the great, sunny weather. Another plus was the boat size - small enough to feel cozy and not overcrowded with people, allowing the crew to offer a more personalised experience. This leads me to the second highlight: Abby was great, very kind and caring to our kids (7 and 4 years old) - she even brought them a colouring kit to keep them entertained during the journey, when they wanted to sit and eat something."

"We traveled with Trips and Tramps from te anau and we cannot recommend them more highly. We had a fantastic guide in Geoff who was born in manapouri and knew the area extremely well. The trip along the road, thru the homer tunnel and to the sound was well organized and run. The boat trip went in close to the magnificent cliffs of the sound and was small enough that everyone on board got great views of the waterfalls, seals and flora. The waterfalls were impressive. A great day out."

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Mainly Hiking, Nature, and a little mix of Traveling

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Cruise: Epic Waterfalls Tour In Glacier-Carved Fiord

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most iconic landscapes that attracts many visitors to lay eyes on its beauty. Milford Sound was named (misnamed) by the first European settler who visited the secluded place, who thought the area is a sound (a river valley filled with seawater). However, Milford Sound is actually a fjord (or fiord), which the narrow and steep flooded valleys were carved by glaciers a long time ago. So, technically it’s Milford Fjord but the name remains as Sound (same as another touristic spot called Doubtful Sound).

road to Milford Sound

The road to Milford Sound is a feat by itself. You’ll drive through narrow lanes surrounded by massive glacier carved mountains. If it’s been raining (which will happen more often than not), you’ll see countless waterfalls flowing down the rock faces.

Milford Sound tunnel traffic light kea

While waiting at the traffic light before the tunnel (the only path drilled through the mountain to connect the outside world with Milford Sound), a cheeky kea landed on the side mirror of my car. Remember: DO NOT FEED THE ENDANGERED KEA!

Cruising Milford Sound - Boat Tour

Milford Sound Cruise Tour

There are quite a few things to do in Milford Sound, such as kayaking, snorkeling, diving, flightseeing and hiking the Milford Track , but the most popular attraction is cruising the sound on a boat. While you can buy a ticket at Milford Sound Cruises Information Centre when you arrive, you can find much cheaper deals at BookMe . Alternatively, you should also check out Klook or below to compare the prices and packages.

Milford Sound Free Car Park

Where to park your car: The Milford Sound Public Car Park is very expensive at $10 per hour (only debit/credit card accepted). The best alternative is the free car park at Deepwater Basin Parking . From there, you can either wait for the free shuttle bus (may not be available due to staff shortage) to take you to the info center, or you can take an easy 30-minute walk on foot via the well-laid walkway. (melting Paradise duck)

The cruise departs Milford Wharf, sailing towards the end of Milford Sound fiord into the open ocean of Tasman Sea (if weather permits) and making a turn back to the wharf in a loop. Throughout the journey, the cruise will pass by many points of interest among the beautiful landscapes on both sides of the fiord. One of the features is the towering rock walls of steep mountains surrounding the fiord:

Milford Sound Cruise

Milford Sound Waterfalls

Another highlight is no doubt the myriad of waterfalls flowing down from the huge mountains into Milford Sound:

Milford Sound Waterfall

The best part is definitely when the cruise gets up close to one of the big waterfalls. Be prepared to get ‘glacial facial’ and a taste of the fresh and pure glacial waters from the alps!

Milford Sound Cruise Stirling Falls close encounter

Hiding in the interior deck of the cruise to stay dry is quite a waste of experience, so bring along your water-resistant and enjoy the cool spray of the glacier waterfall!

Seal Rock

At some point of the tour, the cruise will also pass by the ‘seal rock’, the only ‘seal-climb-able’ flat rock around the steep mountains in Milford Sound. More often than not, you’ll see seals, seabirds and even the rare Fiordland crested penguins resting on the rock.

Check out the video version of my Milford Sound Cruise Tour here!

You may also like:

Discover Taupo, Lake Taupo, Huka Falls, Craters of the Moon

*Captain Planet passing by*  Remember, please take care of our environment, and please don’t destroy the Nature. Leave no trash behind and take back only photos and memories (and also some trash if you can). Walk on the designated path and stay in the middle as much as you can, so that the exposed soil doesn’t spread/corrode further. BE ONE WITH NATURE  *flies away*

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Passing Thru Travel

Passing Thru Travel

Exploring 15 of New Zealand’s Majestic Fjords – A Journey Through Natural Wonders 2024

Posted: February 23, 2024 | Last updated: February 23, 2024

<p><strong>New Zealand, a land of unparalleled natural beauty, is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking fjords. These dramatic sea inlets, carved by glaciers over millennia, offer stunning landscapes of towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. This guide takes you through New Zealand’s most picturesque fjords, each offering its unique charm and adventure. From serene cruises to exhilarating hikes, the fjords of New Zealand are a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.</strong></p>

New Zealand, a land of unparalleled natural beauty, is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking fjords. These dramatic sea inlets, carved by glaciers over millennia, offer stunning landscapes of towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. This guide takes you through New Zealand’s most picturesque fjords, each offering its unique charm and adventure. From serene cruises to exhilarating hikes, the fjords of New Zealand are a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

<p><span>Milford Sound, a jewel in Fiordland National Park’s crown, is renowned for its awe-inspiring beauty. With its iconic Mitre Peak, this fjord is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers. A cruise on Milford Sound offers spectacular views of waterfalls, including the famous Stirling and Bowen Falls, and a chance to spot wildlife like seals, dolphins, and penguins.</span></p> <p><span>For the more adventurous, kayaking provides an up-close experience with the fjord’s water and wildlife. The Milford Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, offers an unforgettable hiking experience through stunning landscapes leading to the fjord. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Take an early morning cruise to experience the fjord in tranquil conditions.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Visit during the shoulder seasons (Spring and Autumn) for fewer crowds.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Milford Sound is accessible by road from Te Anau or via scenic flights from Queenstown.</span></p>

1. Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park

Milford Sound, a jewel in Fiordland National Park’s crown, is renowned for its awe-inspiring beauty. With its iconic Mitre Peak, this fjord is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers. A cruise on Milford Sound offers spectacular views of waterfalls, including the famous Stirling and Bowen Falls, and a chance to spot wildlife like seals, dolphins, and penguins.

For the more adventurous, kayaking provides an up-close experience with the fjord’s water and wildlife. The Milford Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, offers an unforgettable hiking experience through stunning landscapes leading to the fjord.

Insider’s Tip: Take an early morning cruise to experience the fjord in tranquil conditions.

When To Travel: Visit during the shoulder seasons (Spring and Autumn) for fewer crowds.

How To Get There: Milford Sound is accessible by road from Te Anau or via scenic flights from Queenstown.

<p><span>Doubtful Sound, often called the ‘Sound of Silence,’ is the second-largest fjord in Fiordland National Park and less crowded than Milford Sound. Its remote location adds to its tranquil and untouched atmosphere. A cruise through Doubtful Sound provides breathtaking views of its deep waters and towering cliffs and the chance to encounter wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and rare Fiordland penguins. The fjord’s isolation makes it an ideal place for stargazing, with overnight cruises offering a unique opportunity to experience the sound under a blanket of stars. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Opt for an overnight cruise for a chance to see the fjord under the stars.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer offers the best weather, but the fjord is stunning year-round.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Doubtful Sound is typically accessed via a boat ride across Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus ride over Wilmot Pass.</span></p>

2. Doubtful Sound, Fiordland National Park

Doubtful Sound, often called the ‘Sound of Silence,’ is the second-largest fjord in Fiordland National Park and less crowded than Milford Sound. Its remote location adds to its tranquil and untouched atmosphere. A cruise through Doubtful Sound provides breathtaking views of its deep waters and towering cliffs and the chance to encounter wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and rare Fiordland penguins. The fjord’s isolation makes it an ideal place for stargazing, with overnight cruises offering a unique opportunity to experience the sound under a blanket of stars.

Insider’s Tip: Opt for an overnight cruise for a chance to see the fjord under the stars.

When To Travel: Summer offers the best weather, but the fjord is stunning year-round.

How To Get There: Doubtful Sound is typically accessed via a boat ride across Lake Manapouri, followed by a bus ride over Wilmot Pass.

<p><span>Dusky Sound is one of Fiordland’s largest and most complex fjord systems, offering a true wilderness experience. It’s a place of historical significance, being one of the first areas in New Zealand visited by Captain Cook. The fjord’s intricate network of waterways, inlets, and islands can be explored by boat, providing opportunities to see an abundance of marine and bird life in their natural habitat. The remoteness of Dusky Sound makes it a perfect destination for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with nature. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Look out for historical landmarks from Captain Cook’s exploration.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>The best time to visit is during the summer for favorable weather.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Access is primarily by boat or floatplane, as no roads lead to Dusky Sound.</span></p>

3. Dusky Sound, Fiordland National Park

Dusky Sound is one of Fiordland’s largest and most complex fjord systems, offering a true wilderness experience. It’s a place of historical significance, being one of the first areas in New Zealand visited by Captain Cook. The fjord’s intricate network of waterways, inlets, and islands can be explored by boat, providing opportunities to see an abundance of marine and bird life in their natural habitat. The remoteness of Dusky Sound makes it a perfect destination for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with nature.

Insider’s Tip: Look out for historical landmarks from Captain Cook’s exploration.

When To Travel: The best time to visit is during the summer for favorable weather.

How To Get There: Access is primarily by boat or floatplane, as no roads lead to Dusky Sound.

<p><span>Breaksea Sound is a hidden gem in Fiordland, offering breathtaking scenery and a sense of untouched wilderness. This fjord is less frequented by tourists, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a more intimate experience with nature. The steep cliffs and deep waters of Breaksea Sound are home to diverse marine life, and its surrounding rainforest is a haven for native bird species. Exploring this fjord by boat or kayak allows for a truly immersive experience in one of New Zealand’s most pristine environments. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Bring your camera for incredible wildlife photography opportunities.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer provides the best conditions for exploration.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Accessible by boat, with tours departing from Te Anau or Manapouri.</span></p>

4. Breaksea Sound, Fiordland National Park

Breaksea Sound is a hidden gem in Fiordland, offering breathtaking scenery and a sense of untouched wilderness. This fjord is less frequented by tourists, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a more intimate experience with nature. The steep cliffs and deep waters of Breaksea Sound are home to diverse marine life, and its surrounding rainforest is a haven for native bird species. Exploring this fjord by boat or kayak allows for a truly immersive experience in one of New Zealand’s most pristine environments.

Insider’s Tip: Bring your camera for incredible wildlife photography opportunities.

When To Travel: Summer provides the best conditions for exploration.

How To Get There: Accessible by boat, with tours departing from Te Anau or Manapouri.

<p><span>Preservation Inlet, the southernmost fjord in Fiordland, is steeped in history and natural beauty. It’s known for its historic sites, including remnants of early European settlements and abandoned gold mines. The inlet’s calm waters and stunning landscapes make it a perfect destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike. Boat tours comprehensively explore the inlet’s history and natural features, providing a unique insight into this remote part of New Zealand. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Visit the historic lighthouse on Puysegur Point.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>The summer months are ideal for visiting.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Access is by boat, with tours available from southern Fiordland towns.</span></p>

5. Preservation Inlet, Fiordland National Park

Preservation Inlet, the southernmost fjord in Fiordland, is steeped in history and natural beauty. It’s known for its historic sites, including remnants of early European settlements and abandoned gold mines. The inlet’s calm waters and stunning landscapes make it a perfect destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike. Boat tours comprehensively explore the inlet’s history and natural features, providing a unique insight into this remote part of New Zealand.

Insider’s Tip: Visit the historic lighthouse on Puysegur Point.

When To Travel: The summer months are ideal for visiting.

How To Get There: Access is by boat, with tours available from southern Fiordland towns.

<p><span>George Sound is a remote and unspoiled fjord, perfect for adventurers seeking a rugged and authentic wilderness experience. Accessible via a challenging multi-day hike or by boat, this fjord offers stunning natural beauty and solitude. The fjord’s untouched landscapes and clear waters are ideal for kayaking, fishing, and hiking. For those willing to make the journey, George Sound rewards with its serene beauty and feeling completely disconnected from the outside world. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Be prepared for rugged terrain if you choose to hike.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer offers the most stable weather conditions for hiking and boating.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>The track to George Sound starts from the Te Anau area, or you can access it by boat or helicopter.</span></p>

6. George Sound, Fiordland National Park

George Sound is a remote and unspoiled fjord, perfect for adventurers seeking a rugged and authentic wilderness experience. Accessible via a challenging multi-day hike or by boat, this fjord offers stunning natural beauty and solitude. The fjord’s untouched landscapes and clear waters are ideal for kayaking, fishing, and hiking. For those willing to make the journey, George Sound rewards with its serene beauty and feeling completely disconnected from the outside world.

Insider’s Tip: Be prepared for rugged terrain if you choose to hike.

When To Travel: Summer offers the most stable weather conditions for hiking and boating.

How To Get There: The track to George Sound starts from the Te Anau area, or you can access it by boat or helicopter.

<p><span>Nancy Sound offers a tranquil escape in one of Fiordland’s lesser-known fjords. Its calm waters are perfect for kayaking, and the surrounding rainforest is rich in birdlife, making it an ideal spot for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The fjord’s isolation ensures a peaceful and unspoiled environment, perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in nature. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Pack all necessary supplies, as there are no facilities in the area.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Visit in the summer for the best kayaking conditions.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Access is typically by boat, with limited services available.</span></p>

7. Nancy Sound, Fiordland National Park

Nancy Sound offers a tranquil escape in one of Fiordland’s lesser-known fjords. Its calm waters are perfect for kayaking, and the surrounding rainforest is rich in birdlife, making it an ideal spot for birdwatchers and nature lovers. The fjord’s isolation ensures a peaceful and unspoiled environment, perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in nature.

Insider’s Tip: Pack all necessary supplies, as there are no facilities in the area.

When To Travel: Visit in the summer for the best kayaking conditions.

How To Get There: Access is typically by boat, with limited services available.

<p><span>Thompson Sound offers a serene and picturesque escape known for its dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife. This less-visited fjord provides a more intimate experience of Fiordland’s natural beauty. Exploring the sound by boat allows for stunning views of its steep cliffs and deep waters and the chance to encounter the diverse wildlife that calls the fjord home. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Keep an eye out for fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer is the best time for wildlife spotting and calm waters.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Accessible by boat, with tours typically departing from Te Anau.</span></p>

8. Thompson Sound, Fiordland National Park

Thompson Sound offers a serene and picturesque escape known for its dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife. This less-visited fjord provides a more intimate experience of Fiordland’s natural beauty. Exploring the sound by boat allows for stunning views of its steep cliffs and deep waters and the chance to encounter the diverse wildlife that calls the fjord home.

Insider’s Tip: Keep an eye out for fur seals and Fiordland crested penguins.

When To Travel: Summer is the best time for wildlife spotting and calm waters.

How To Get There: Accessible by boat, with tours typically departing from Te Anau.

<p><span>Bradshaw Sound, a remote and pristine fjord, offers visitors a chance to experience untouched natural beauty. This fjord is ideal for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with the wilderness. Its cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and clear waters create a majestic setting for exploration by boat or kayak. The sound’s seclusion makes it a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Be prepared for changeable weather conditions, even in summer.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>The warmer months offer more comfortable conditions for exploration.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Access is primarily by boat, with options for guided tours or independent travel.</span></p>

9. Bradshaw Sound, Fiordland National Park

Bradshaw Sound, a remote and pristine fjord, offers visitors a chance to experience untouched natural beauty. This fjord is ideal for those seeking solitude and a deep connection with the wilderness. Its cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and clear waters create a majestic setting for exploration by boat or kayak. The sound’s seclusion makes it a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Insider’s Tip: Be prepared for changeable weather conditions, even in summer.

When To Travel: The warmer months offer more comfortable conditions for exploration.

How To Get There: Access is primarily by boat, with options for guided tours or independent travel.

<p><span>Bligh Sound is a dramatic and rugged fjord, offering a challenging but rewarding experience for experienced kayakers and adventurers. Its cliffs and deep waters create a striking landscape that is best explored by water. The fjord’s challenging terrain is matched by its breathtaking scenery and opportunities for wildlife encounters. Bligh Sound is an excellent choice for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Fiordland. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Experienced kayakers will find this fjord particularly rewarding, but be prepared for challenging conditions.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer offers the best conditions for kayaking and boating.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Accessible by boat, with options for guided tours departing from nearby towns.</span></p>

10. Bligh Sound, Fiordland National Park

Bligh Sound is a dramatic and rugged fjord, offering a challenging but rewarding experience for experienced kayakers and adventurers. Its cliffs and deep waters create a striking landscape that is best explored by water. The fjord’s challenging terrain is matched by its breathtaking scenery and opportunities for wildlife encounters. Bligh Sound is an excellent choice for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Fiordland.

Insider’s Tip: Experienced kayakers will find this fjord particularly rewarding, but be prepared for challenging conditions.

When To Travel: Summer offers the best conditions for kayaking and boating.

How To Get There: Accessible by boat, with options for guided tours departing from nearby towns.

<p><span>Charles Sound is a hidden gem in Fiordland, offering tranquility and stunning natural beauty. This fjord is ideal for multi-day kayaking trips, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in its serene environment. The sound’s clear waters and lush rainforest provide a perfect backdrop for wildlife observation and photography. Charles Sound is an excellent choice for those seeking a peaceful kayaking experience away from the more popular fjords. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Plan a multi-day kayaking trip to fully experience the sound’s beauty.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Visit during the summer for the best weather and wildlife viewing opportunities.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Charles Sound is accessible by boat, with guided kayaking tours available.</span></p>

11. Charles Sound, Fiordland National Park

Charles Sound is a hidden gem in Fiordland, offering tranquility and stunning natural beauty. This fjord is ideal for multi-day kayaking trips, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in its serene environment. The sound’s clear waters and lush rainforest provide a perfect backdrop for wildlife observation and photography. Charles Sound is an excellent choice for those seeking a peaceful kayaking experience away from the more popular fjords.

Insider’s Tip: Plan a multi-day kayaking trip to fully experience the sound’s beauty.

When To Travel: Visit during the summer for the best weather and wildlife viewing opportunities.

How To Get There: Charles Sound is accessible by boat, with guided kayaking tours available.

<p><span>Sutherland Sound, one of Fiordland’s most remote fjords, offers an unparalleled wilderness experience. Its steep cliffs and cascading waterfalls create a dramatic and majestic landscape. The sound’s isolation makes it a haven for wildlife and a peaceful escape from the outside world. Exploring Sutherland Sound by boat allows for a truly immersive experience in one of New Zealand’s most pristine environments. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Bring binoculars for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer is the ideal time to visit for calmer seas and better weather.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Access is typically by chartered boat or helicopter, as no direct road links exist.</span></p>

12. Sutherland Sound, Fiordland National Park

Sutherland Sound, one of Fiordland’s most remote fjords, offers an unparalleled wilderness experience. Its steep cliffs and cascading waterfalls create a dramatic and majestic landscape. The sound’s isolation makes it a haven for wildlife and a peaceful escape from the outside world. Exploring Sutherland Sound by boat allows for a truly immersive experience in one of New Zealand’s most pristine environments.

Insider’s Tip: Bring binoculars for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.

When To Travel: Summer is the ideal time to visit for calmer seas and better weather.

How To Get There: Access is typically by chartered boat or helicopter, as no direct road links exist.

<p><span>Crooked Arm in Fiordland National Park is a stunningly beautiful fjord, characterized by its serene waters and lush rainforests. This less-visited fjord offers a peaceful and unspoiled environment for kayaking and nature walks. Its secluded bays and inlets are perfect for wildlife observation and photography, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Look for hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches as you explore.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Visit in the summer months for the best kayaking and hiking conditions.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Crooked Arm is accessible by boat, with tours departing from Te Anau or Manapouri.</span></p>

13. Crooked Arm, Fiordland National Park

Crooked Arm in Fiordland National Park is a stunningly beautiful fjord, characterized by its serene waters and lush rainforests. This less-visited fjord offers a peaceful and unspoiled environment for kayaking and nature walks. Its secluded bays and inlets are perfect for wildlife observation and photography, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.

Insider’s Tip: Look for hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches as you explore.

When To Travel: Visit in the summer months for the best kayaking and hiking conditions.

How To Get There: Crooked Arm is accessible by boat, with tours departing from Te Anau or Manapouri.

<p><span>Wet Jacket Arm is a unique fjord with a rich history and diverse marine life. Its sheltered waters are ideal for fishing and kayaking, and the fjord’s historical sites, including old whaling stations, add an element of intrigue to its natural beauty. Exploring Wet Jacket Arm by boat provides a relaxing and enjoyable experience, with opportunities to learn about the region’s past and observe its abundant wildlife. </span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Explore the historical sites along the fjord to glimpse the region’s past.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>The best time to visit is during the summer for favorable weather conditions.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Wet Jacket Arm is accessible by boat, with various tour options available.</span></p>

14. Wet Jacket Arm, Fiordland National Park

Wet Jacket Arm is a unique fjord with a rich history and diverse marine life. Its sheltered waters are ideal for fishing and kayaking, and the fjord’s historical sites, including old whaling stations, add an element of intrigue to its natural beauty. Exploring Wet Jacket Arm by boat provides a relaxing and enjoyable experience, with opportunities to learn about the region’s past and observe its abundant wildlife.

Insider’s Tip: Explore the historical sites along the fjord to glimpse the region’s past.

When To Travel: The best time to visit is during the summer for favorable weather conditions.

How To Get There: Wet Jacket Arm is accessible by boat, with various tour options available.

<p><span>Hall Arm in Doubtful Sound is a tranquil retreat offering a quieter alternative to the bustling Milford Sound. Known for its dramatic cliffs and deep waters, it’s a haven for those seeking serenity in nature. Boat cruises here are a peaceful way to absorb the majestic scenery, with chances to spot local wildlife like dolphins and seals. Kayaking offers an even more intimate experience, allowing you to glide through the waters surrounded by towering cliffs. The fjord’s calm and isolation make it ideal for connecting with the outdoors.</span></p> <p><b>Insider’s Tip: </b><span>Take an overnight cruise to experience the fjord’s beauty in different lights.</span></p> <p><b>When To Travel: </b><span>Summer offers longer daylight hours and milder weather, ideal for exploring the fjord.</span></p> <p><b>How To Get There: </b><span>Access to Hall Arm is via a boat ride across Lake Manapouri and a bus ride over Wilmot Pass.</span></p>

15. Hall Arm, Fiordland National Park

Hall Arm in Doubtful Sound is a tranquil retreat offering a quieter alternative to the bustling Milford Sound. Known for its dramatic cliffs and deep waters, it’s a haven for those seeking serenity in nature. Boat cruises here are a peaceful way to absorb the majestic scenery, with chances to spot local wildlife like dolphins and seals. Kayaking offers an even more intimate experience, allowing you to glide through the waters surrounded by towering cliffs. The fjord’s calm and isolation make it ideal for connecting with the outdoors.

Insider’s Tip: Take an overnight cruise to experience the fjord’s beauty in different lights.

When To Travel: Summer offers longer daylight hours and milder weather, ideal for exploring the fjord.

How To Get There: Access to Hall Arm is via a boat ride across Lake Manapouri and a bus ride over Wilmot Pass.

<p><span>As you explore New Zealand’s fjords, you’ll be immersed in some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. Each fjord offers unique beauty and adventure, from serene cruises to exhilarating kayaking. These natural wonders provide a visual feast and a deep connection with the pristine environment. Whether you’re witnessing the dramatic cliffs of Milford Sound or the secluded beauty of Dusky Sound, your journey through New Zealand’s fjords will leave you with memories of a lifetime.</span></p> <p><span>More Articles Like This…</span></p> <p><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/barcelona-discover-the-top-10-beach-clubs/"><span>Barcelona: Discover the Top 10 Beach Clubs</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/top-destination-cities-to-visit/"><span>2024 Global City Travel Guide – Your Passport to the World’s Top Destination Cities</span></a></p> <p><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/exploring-khao-yai-a-hidden-gem-of-thailand/"><span>Exploring Khao Yai 2024 – A Hidden Gem of Thailand</span></a></p> <p><span>The post <a href="https://passingthru.com/exploring-new-zealands-majestic-fjords/">Exploring 15 of New Zealand’s Majestic Fjords – A Journey Through Natural Wonders 2024</a> republished on </span><a href="https://passingthru.com/"><span>Passing Thru</span></a><span> with permission from </span><a href="https://thegreenvoyage.com/"><span>The Green Voyage</span></a><span>.</span></p> <p><span>Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lucheea.</span></p> <p><span>For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.</span></p>

The Bottom Line

As you explore New Zealand’s fjords, you’ll be immersed in some of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. Each fjord offers unique beauty and adventure, from serene cruises to exhilarating kayaking. These natural wonders provide a visual feast and a deep connection with the pristine environment. Whether you’re witnessing the dramatic cliffs of Milford Sound or the secluded beauty of Dusky Sound, your journey through New Zealand’s fjords will leave you with memories of a lifetime.

More Articles Like This…

Barcelona: Discover the Top 10 Beach Clubs

2024 Global City Travel Guide – Your Passport to the World’s Top Destination Cities

Exploring Khao Yai 2024 – A Hidden Gem of Thailand

The post Exploring 15 of New Zealand’s Majestic Fjords – A Journey Through Natural Wonders 2024 republished on Passing Thru with permission from The Green Voyage .

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lucheea.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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A couple clinking champagne glasses on Milford Sound

Milford Sound Premium Cruise

Add more magic to Milford with our premium cruise. From thundering waterfalls and sky-high mountains to lush rainforests, Milford Sound has it all.

  • Explore Milford Sound in an intimate setting aboard our smaller vessel.
  • Greeted with a glass MUMM Champagne 
  • In-depth commentary from our nature expert.
  • Explore Fiordland’s flavor with a local, curated canape menu.
  • Amazing nature and wildlife viewing opportunity

An intimate cruise onboard the MV Sinbad. Not just a smaller vessel, we limit the number of guests to maximize your experience.

Enjoy a curated canape menu while you cruise the world's 8th wonder.

Start your trip with a glass of locally sourced bubbles.

Our nature guide will be on board to share stories about Piopiotahi and help you spot our famous locals wildlife.

Get your photo featured: #RealNZ

More Information

Explore Milford Sound onboard the MV Sinbad. Cruising the length of the fiord you’ll enjoy freshly prepared canapes while you take in the beauty of Milford Sound. Learn about the history of the region and benefit from the knowledge of your specialist nature guide. Experience the cool spray of a waterfall as you move in close to sheer rock faces or watch out for dolphins, seals and, in season, the rare Fiordland crested penguins.

Our experienced skippers tailor the cruise to take into consideration weather and recent wildlife sightings, ensuring you’ll see the best that Milford Sound has to offer on the day.

Informative, participative and relaxed, this is the perfect way to experience what’s been called the “eighth wonder of the world”.

Extra information

  • Great viewing from both the outdoor decks and indoor lounge
  • Full canape menu included
  • Milford Sound is in remote Fiordland, with no WIFI available, the perfect place to unplug and recharge
  • All ages are welcome on our cruises

Getting there

The journey to Milford Sound via the famous Milford Road is just as remarkable as the destination itself.

Milford Sound is around 5-6 hours (one-way) from Queenstown and around 3 hours from Te Anau. 

If you are self-driving from Queenstown, try to stay overnight in Te Anau as the trip to Milford and back from Queenstown can get very tiring.  Also, leave plenty of time to stop at the many scenic trails and lookouts along the way.

What to bring

Non-slip shoes/boots, waterproof jacket, warm sweater/fleece jacket, sunscreen/sunglasses, insect repellent and camera.

Personal medication including for asthma and allergies.

How long does it take to travel to Milford Sound?

If you are travelling from Queenstown it will take around 5 hours to reach Milford. Te Anau to Milford is around 2 hours 30 minutes. This timing allows for toilet and photo stops along the way.  If driving, make sure you fill your vehicle with petrol in Te Anau before travelling to Milford as there are no petrol stations at Milford Sound or en route.  For more details, refer to our Driving Times webpage.

At Milford where do you park and go to check in?

Please allow up to 45 mins - 1 hour to park your vehicle and transfer to the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal, where you must check in for your cruise 20 minutes prior to departure. Car parking at Milford Sound is organised by Milford Sound Tourism (MST). The main parking area is approx. a 10 minute walk to the terminal. Parking in Deepwater Basin is approx. a 25 minute walk from the terminal. 

Parking fees will apply in the main car parking area operated by Milford Sound Tourism. The cost will be $10 per hour. 

What is the Milford Sound Levy?

The Milford Sound Levy is paid to the Milford Sound Tourism authority and helps to maintain, preserve and develop the Fiord.  For more information, see the Milford Sound Tourism website .

What weather can I expect in Fiordland?

Fiordland’s weather is what gives the region its unique character. Rainfall is what makes Fiordland a land of lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls and fiords. Visitors should always be prepared to enjoy some rainfall during their stay. It is recommended to bring sensible clothing for cool and wet weather to fully appreciate your stay.

The temperatures you can expect in the different seasons are as follows: 

  • Summer  (December-February) 19-23 Celsius / 66 - 73 Fahrenheit 
  • Autumn  (March-May) 8-18 Celsius / 46  - 64 Fahrenheit
  • Winter  (June-August) 5-9 Celsius /  41  - 48 Fahrenheit
  • Spring  (September-November) 10-19 Celsius  / 50   - 66 Fahrenheit

Is it worth going to Milford/Doubtful Sounds on a wet day?

Many say you have not seen Fiordland unless you have seen it in the rain.  When it rains in Fiordland the landscape is dramatic - rock faces stream with waterfalls, mist hangs around the tops of the mountains and rivers and streams rage.  From a dry comfortable vantage point on the bus or boat, this landscape is spectacular for sightseeing.

What is the difference between Milford and Doubtful Sounds?

earliest milford sound cruise

Our places. Our experiences. Milford and Doubtful Sounds, NZ.

Milford Sound at the mountainous north end of Fiordland National Park is the classic fiord - a deep water inlet between steep sided high mountains.  Milford Sound is a middle-sized fiord at around 13 kms in length and it is famous for its dramatic scenery, especially Mitre Peak.  This fiord is the most accessible of Fiordland National Park’s 14 fiords and it can be reached by bus, car or flight connections from Queenstown.

Doubtful Sound is located in the heart of Fiordland National Park where the mountains are still very impressive but not as high as Milford Sound.  Doubtful Sound is three times longer and  has a sea surface area roughly ten times larger than Milford Sound.  Its three arms are Hall, Crooked and First Arm.  It is famous for its wilderness scenery and wildlife sightings.  To get to Doubtful Sound visitors first take a launch trip across Lake Manapouri and drive over Wilmot Pass.

Visitors with enough time choose to visit both fiords as they have different characters.

While we cannot guarantee you will see wildlife, sightings of fur seals are reasonably common in both Doubtful and Milford Sounds.  A pod of bottlenose dolphins resides in Doubtful Sound so you have a good chance of seeing these fascinating mammals, and in Milford Sound dolphins are occasional visitors.  In both sounds the rare Fiordland crested penguin can at times be observed.

What are the driving conditions to Milford like in the winter?

Driving conditions during winter (May to September) can be difficult.  Extreme care is needed as freezing temperatures mean the road can ice over in shaded places.  During the winter it is  mandatory  to carry snow chains in your vehicle as the road can sometimes be covered in snow.  These are available for hire from petrol stations in Te Anau and Queenstown.

If you are not confident about driving in winter conditions then take a RealNZ  coach  to Milford Sound so you can relax and take in the stunning scenery.

Your travel agent or the outlet where you purchased your Milford Sound trip will refund the flight component of your ticket.  You will return to Queenstown by  coach.

Throughout Fiordland the fiords are officially mapped as sounds.  Strictly speaking, they should be called fiords.

A fiord is a glaciated valley - typically narrow and steep-sided - that has been flooded by the sea after the glacier’s retreat.  A sound, on the other hand, is a river valley flooded by the sea following a rise in sea levels or depression of the land, or a combination of both.

Do I need to bring a car seat for my child?

Car seats are not mandatory on our coaches, and we do not have then available for hire. Parents are more than welcome to bring their own car seats. 

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40 facts about elektrostal.

Lanette Mayes

Written by Lanette Mayes

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

40-facts-about-elektrostal

Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.

This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.

So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elektrostal, known as the “Motor City of Russia,” is a vibrant and growing city with a rich industrial history, offering diverse cultural experiences and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • With its convenient location near Moscow, Elektrostal provides a picturesque landscape, vibrant nightlife, and a range of recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for residents and visitors alike.

Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”

Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.

Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.

Boasts a rich industrial heritage.

Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.

Founded in 1916.

The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.

Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.

A popular destination for nature lovers.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.

Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.

Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.

Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.

Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.

Boasts excellent education facilities.

The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.

A center for scientific research and innovation.

Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.

Surrounded by picturesque lakes.

The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Well-connected transportation system.

Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.

Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.

Home to notable architectural landmarks.

Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.

Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.

Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.

Provides a high standard of healthcare.

Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.

Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.

The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.

A hub for sports enthusiasts.

Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.

Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.

Electric power played a significant role in its early development.

Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.

Boasts a thriving economy.

The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.

Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.

The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.

Popular destination for winter sports.

Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

Promotes environmental sustainability.

Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.

Home to renowned educational institutions.

Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.

Committed to cultural preservation.

The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.

Hosts an annual International Film Festival.

The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.

Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.

Offers a range of housing options.

Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.

Home to notable sports teams.

Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.

Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.

Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.

Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.

Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.

Commemorates historical events.

The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.

Promotes sports and youth development.

Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.

Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.

Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.

The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.

Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.

The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.

A city with a bright future.

Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.

In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.

Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?

A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.

Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?

A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.

Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.

Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.

Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?

A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.

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Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.

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Top total solar eclipses to look out for over the next decade

Want to experience totality again? Here are the next seven total solar eclipses across the world, from Alaska to Australia.

map showing the routes of upcoming total solar eclipses and annular solar eclipses across Earth along with their dates.

1. Total solar eclipse of 2026

2. total solar eclipse of 2027, 3. total solar eclipse of 2028, 4. total solar eclipse of 2030, 5. hybrid total-annular solar eclipse of 2031, 6. total solar eclipse of 2033, 7. total solar eclipse of 2034, additional resources.

With the April 8 total solar eclipse over, North America has exactly eight years, 11 months and 22 days to wait until its next one. Although total solar eclipses occur in the same location only every 375 years or so, they are not rare. In fact, they happen on our planet about once every 18 months, on average. 

In the next decade, seven total solar eclipses will occur on Earth , plunging countries as diverse as Australia, Egypt, Spain and Sudan under the central shadow of the moon . The first of these will be on Aug. 12, 2026, and the last will be on March 20, 2034, with maximum durations of totality ranging from 1 minute, 8 seconds to 6 minutes, 23 seconds.

Here are the important details about where, when and how to experience a total solar eclipse in the next decade.

a street lined both sides with houses and buildings with the orange yellow bright glow of a setting sun in the distance.

When: Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2026

Where: Russia, Greenland, Iceland and Spain

Maximum duration of totality: 2 minutes, 18 seconds 

Europe's first total solar eclipse for 27 years will coincide with the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower . The path of totality will pass over Greenland, western Iceland and northern Spain. The place to experience maximum totality will be on a cruise ship off the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland. The chances of a clear sky are much higher in northern Spain, but the eclipse will be much lower, so sight lines will be key. From the Spanish island of Mallorca, it will even be possible to see a "sunset totality" featuring a golden corona (as long as there are clear skies). 

: In an aerial view, a hot air balloon flies over the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut along the West Bank on February 2, 2023 in Luxor, Egypt.

  When: Monday, Aug. 2, 2027

Where: Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia and British Indian Ocean Territory

Maximum duration of totality: 6 minutes, 23 seconds 

Saros 136 is our era's preeminent family of total solar eclipses. It repeats every 18 years, 11 days and eight hours. The next one is on Aug. 2, 2027, with Luxor, Egypt, destined for a clear view of 6 minutes, 23 seconds of totality. Other options include southern Spain; Gibraltar; Tangier, Morocco; Tunisia's Kerkennah Islands; and Jeddah and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. 

However, all eyes will be on Luxor, where an eclipsed sun will be visible from the Valley of the Kings, Karnak, Luxor Temple, the Colossi of Memnon and the Temple of Hatshepsut.  A whopping 89 million people will experience totality in 2027 — far more than witnessed the 2024 total solar eclipse in North America .  

People drinking and eating at the restaurants and bars around the Sydney Opera House and harbor bridge, Sydney, Australia.

When: Saturday, July 22, 2028

Where: Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Australia and New Zealand

Maximum duration of totality: 5 minutes, 10 seconds

This solar eclipse — the second of five in 15 years for Australia — will be visible from remote locations such as the Bungle Bungles and Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, respectively, as well as Dubbo, the Blue Mountains and Sydney, where observers will get to witness 3 minutes, 48 seconds of totality. The South Island of New Zealand — including Milford Sound, Queenstown and Dunedin — will also experience totality close to sunset.  

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Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!

The Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert of Namibia. The granite is more than 120 million years old and the highest outcrop rises about 1,728 metres (5,669 ft) above sea level.

When: Monday, Nov. 25, 2030

Where: Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Australia

Maximum duration of totality: 3 minutes, 44 seconds

This eclipse will occur mostly at sea, but it will cross almost 11 million people on two continents. Totality will occur shortly after sunrise from Namibia's Skeleton Coast before moving across Botswana to Durban on the east coast of South Africa. The path of totality will then stretch across a remote part of the Indian Ocean before a low-setting eclipsed sunset is seen from South Australia and the outback of New South Wales and Queensland. It's the perfect opportunity to explore Namibia or take part in a remote safari adventure in Botswana.

people on the deck of a ship look up to see an eclipsed sun.

When: Friday, Nov. 14, 2031

Where: Cruise ship from Hawaii

Maximum duration of totality: 1 minute, 8 seconds 

For many people, this remote and short eclipse might not be worth the effort. After all, a brief totality during this very remote eclipse will be visible only from inside a narrow path in the North Pacific Ocean, making a cruise ship from Hawaii the most likely way to experience it. 

But this is the most dramatic type of eclipse — a hybrid. A hybrid eclipse, which occurs only seven times in the 21st century, combines an annular (or "ring of fire") solar eclipse and a total solar eclipse. However, the short duration and small shadow are crucial, with informed eclipse chasers destined to enjoy an extended display of Baily's beads and a lingering diamond ring before and after totality. A "ring of fire" will be visible from the coast of Panama for 25 seconds. 

Aerial View Top of the World Whale Bone Arch Barrow Utqiagvik Alaska

When: Wednesday, March 30, 2033

Where: Russia and the U.S. (Alaska)

Maximum duration of totality: 2 minutes, 37 seconds

This is the next total solar eclipse for North America. Because it occurs close to the spring equinox, it will be a great opportunity to explore Alaska during peak northern lights viewing season. An eclipsed sun as low as 8 degrees above the eastern horizon will be seen from locations such as Utqiagvik (Barrow), Sagavanirktok (Prudhoe Bay), Kotzebue and Nome.

Iran, Fars Province, Persepolis, World Heritage of the UNESCO, pillars of the Apadane palace. tall stone pillars rise high against the blue sky. There appears to be a horse head carving on the nearest one.

When: Monday, March 20, 2034 

Where: Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China

Maximum duration of totality: 4 minutes, 9 seconds

If you want a total solar eclipse to take you off the beaten path, this eclipse will suit you. The path of totality will envelope 109 million people in 13 countries in Central Africa and South Asia. Chief viewing locations will include the Red Sea Coast, in Egypt; the UNESCO World Heritage site of Persepolis, in Iran; and Leh, in the Indian Himalayas.  

You can read all about these eclipses in the book " When Is the Next Eclipse? A traveler's guide to total solar eclipses 2024-2034 ," by Jamie Carter, and on his website, WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com . Other useful resources for eclipse chasers include Eclipse Wise , a website dedicated to predictions of eclipses; cartographer Michael Zeiler's GreatAmericanEclipse.com and Atlas of Solar Eclipses 2020-2045 ; climate and weather predictions by meteorologist Jay Anderson on Eclipsophile.com ; and Xavier Jubier's Interactive Google Maps. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: [email protected].

Jamie Carter

Jamie is an experienced science, technology and travel journalist and stargazer who writes about exploring the night sky, solar and lunar eclipses, moon-gazing, astro-travel, astronomy and space exploration. He is the editor of  WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com  and author of  A Stargazing Program For Beginners , and is a senior contributor at Forbes. His special skill is turning tech-babble into plain English.

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earliest milford sound cruise

COMMENTS

  1. 5 Best Milford Sound Cruises: Comparing My Favorite Cruises in Detail

    The drive from Te Anau is much shorter but holds my favorite stops on this scenic route, so combined with the cruise makes for an awesome day of exploring! You can book this tour for $264 NZD. Book the cruise and transportation from Te Anau. 2. Milford Sound Nature Cruise (Best for Spotting Wildlife)

  2. 8 Best Milford Sound Cruises Compared & How To Choose

    Cheapest Milford Sound Cruise For Adults: Mitre Peak Early Bird (book your tickets in advance to get a discounted price of approx $69-75 per adult), then Real NZ Nature Cruise, Southern Discoveries Nature Cruise or Mitre Peak (all approx $89 per adult). If you have a vehicle rental with Jucy then you can get a discount on their Milford Sound ...

  3. 9 best Milford Sound Cruises New Zealand

    The Milford Sound Cruises are one of the must things to do on New Zealand's south island. Find here all the best Milford Sound Cruises ... In terms of the best time of the day for a Milford Sound Cruise, I would say to take the earliest option of the day. Opting for a morning cruise in Milford Sound has a couple of advantages. Firstly, there ...

  4. Best Milford Sound Cruise + Tips for Planning your Visit

    Price: $215 NZD (~$125 USD) This excursion from Te Anau is a great way to experience Milford Sound if you're not self-driving. Round-trip transportation from Te Anau is included via a glass-roof bus, which allows you to admire all the beautiful scenery along the way. You'll then embark on a 2-hour cruise of the fjord.

  5. The BEST Milford Sound Cruise and Why + Photos To Prove It!

    Milford Sound has been a tourist attraction for over a hundred years, but in the early days, the journey to Milford was done on foot or horseback. ... Weather on a Milford Sound Cruise. Milford Sound on a cloudy, rainy day is still beautiful! It rains a lot in Milford Sound, up to 250 days per year, and on the days it isn't rainy it is often ...

  6. 10 BEST Cruises in Milford Sound ️ [2024]

    Unless specified otherwise, all of the cruises listed below depart from the Milford Sound Marina. If you're looking for a cruise and transport, take a look at our 10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau or the 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown. 1. Pure Milford - The Cruise with the Best Views of Milford Sound.

  7. Milford Sound Cruises

    The daylight cruise on Milford Sound is a great way to explore the fiord and its wildlife, including seals and penguins. The cruise offers stunning views of the towering peaks and waterfalls, and the inky blackness of the water creates a serene atmosphere. Cruises depart throughout the day with the average cruise time of 1hr 45min.

  8. How to choose the Best Milford Sound Cruise (2023 Guide)

    Day cruise or Overnight cruise. The main difference here is price. Day tours of Milford Sound will run from 1.5 to 2 hours + and will cost on average $109NZD. An overnight cruise however (aside from going longer) will also cost you significantly more - in the range of $800-$1000NZD.

  9. Milford Sound Cruises

    Join this incredible Milford Sound cruise with a friendly team and 60 years of local experience. From the open-top deck or inside through full-height windows, you're about to get closer and see more with Milford Sound's original cruise operator. Book Now Find out more. Discover More Cruise. from $252.00.

  10. Milford Sound Cruises

    The Milford Sound cruise sets off from the Milford Terminal, located at the centre of Milford Sound's small centre. The address is Milford Sound Visitor Terminal, Milford Sound 9679, and the phone number is +64 3 249 6000. If you're getting a coach and cruise with RealNZ, we'll have arranged a coach pickup or meeting location with you ...

  11. The 5 Best Milford Sound Cruises [2024 Reviews]

    Milford Sound Cruise Tour Reviews. 1. Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour from Queenstown. Tour Highlights: Duration: 13 hours. Departure: Corner of Shotover & Camp Streets, 25 Shotover Street, Queenstown. Departure Time: 6:30 & 7:30 AM. Includes: Small group and fully guided tour, cruise entry, lunch, bottled water, snacks. Located right ...

  12. Milford Sound Tours & Cruises

    Piopiotahi Milford Sound. Milford Sound, situated on the west coast of the South Island, is a world-renowned natural wonder with towering peaks, cascading waterfalls and amazing wildlife. Discover this spectacular region of New Zealand with a Milford Sound tour. Choose from an overnight cruise, day cruise, coach and cruise or scenic flight.

  13. Milford Sound Overnight Cruises

    The journey to Milford Sound is just as spectacular as the destination itself. Milford Sound is around 5-6 hours (one-way) from Queenstown and around 3 hours from Te Anau by road. Parking. Overnight parking is available in the Realnz coach area outside of the Milford Terminal for $30, from 3.30pm until 11am the following morning.

  14. Cruise Milford

    Cruise Milford is the only family-owned and operated day cruise company at Milford Sound. We guarantee an uncrowded and much more personal experience by limiting passenger numbers on board all cruise departures to 50% of the boat's capacity. Enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits while getting up close and personal with local wildlife ...

  15. Mitre Peak Cruises

    The best way to seethe magnificent Milford Sound____________. The. Cruise. Start from. NZ$145. Our 2-hour cruise takes in the best of Milford Sound and beyond, sailing out into the breathtaking Tasman Sea. Our boats are purpose-built for navigating near the shoreline to get you as close as possible to your incredible surroundings.

  16. Milford Sound Nature Cruise Review

    Even though this wasn't my first guided cruise on Milford Sound I still learned a lot. Smaller boats can get up close! Smaller vessel than scenic cruises - The smaller the boat the better when it comes to cruises like this. While it's big enough to hold all of its passengers it's still small and able to maneuver up close to waterfalls ...

  17. Milford Sound Cruise: Epic Waterfalls Tour In Glacier-Carved Fiord

    Milford Sound was named (misnamed) by the first European settler who visited the secluded place, who thought the area is a sound (a river valley filled with seawater). However, Milford Sound is actually a fjord (or fiord), which the narrow and steep flooded valleys were carved by glaciers a long time ago.

  18. Short Milford Sound Cruise 2024

    Take in amazing views of the magnificent Milford Sound on this cruise. Sail on the only vessel in Milford with two glass roofs, meaning you get brilliant views from every angle. The skipper and crew are available to share local knowledge or take photos of you and your friends/family. An onboard café-bar is also available, offering the chance to purchase tasty snacks and drinks.

  19. Exploring 15 of New Zealand's Majestic Fjords

    A cruise on Milford Sound offers spectacular views of waterfalls, including the famous Stirling and Bowen Falls, and a chance to spot wildlife like seals, dolphins, and penguins.

  20. THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Elektrostal (Updated April 2024)

    Elektrostal Hotels Things to Do Restaurants Flights Vacation Rentals Cruises Rental Cars Forums. Europe. Russia. Central Russia. Moscow Oblast. Elektrostal. Elektrostal Restaurants. THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Elektrostal. Restaurants in Elektrostal. View map. Establishment Type. Restaurants. Coffee & Tea. Bars & Pubs. Quick Bites. Show more ...

  21. Milford Sound Premium Cruises

    Please allow up to 45 mins - 1 hour to park your vehicle and transfer to the Milford Sound Visitor Terminal, where you must check in for your cruise 20 minutes prior to departure. Car parking at Milford Sound is organised by Milford Sound Tourism (MST). The main parking area is approx. a 10 minute walk to the terminal.

  22. Elektrostal Map

    Elektrostal is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located 58 kilometers east of Moscow. Elektrostal has about 158,000 residents. Mapcarta, the open map.

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    First S-400 bltn, Elektrostal, Moscow. Click to expand... There are no comments to display. Media information. Category SA-21/S-400 Triumf Added by Feanor Date added Oct 18, 2010 View count 2,277 Comment count 0 Rating 0.00 star(s) 0 ratings Share this media. Facebook Twitter Reddit Pinterest Tumblr WhatsApp Email Link.

  24. 40 Facts About Elektrostal

    40 Facts About Elektrostal. Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to ...

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    Maximum duration of totality: 6 minutes, 23 seconds. Saros 136 is our era's preeminent family of total solar eclipses. It repeats every 18 years, 11 days and eight hours. The next one is on Aug. 2 ...