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Milford Sound Cruise

When we talk about exploring Milford Sound, you'll notice we often describe the pure sirenity of discovering the fjord by kayak. After all, it's the hiking, biking and kayaking that placed us on the map as New Zealand's leading adventure tour operator! However, we understand that kayaking isn't for everyone, and there are other spectacular ways to experience Milford Sound.

Milford Sound Cruise under Waterfall

One such way, of course, is to cruise. We've carefully chosen a cruise that fits nicely with our approach to exploration. We use a smaller boat with fewer passengers, with the very best specialist nature guides - you'll love their lively and informative commentary! 

As with kayaking, you'll get right up close to the towering granite cliffs, where you'll be able to taste the pure glacial water as it cascades down in front of you. And if you're lucky, you'll see seals sunning themselves on the rocks and dolphins riding the bow waves. Milford Sound is also one of the areas in the South Island where you can sometimes see the rare Fiordland crested penguin (tawaki in Maori). The best time of year to see tawaki is during the breeding season from July to November. They may also occasionally be seen during the moulting season from mid-January to early March.  

NZ Milford Sound Cruise

The Milford Sound Cruise also includes:

  • Raincoats on board, so you can stand on the bow under tumbling waterfalls
  • Large, outdoor viewing deck with covered seating
  • Have your photo taken with the skipper in the open wheelhouse
  • Range of lunch options available (must be pre-ordered, at extra cost)
  • Complimentary tea and coffee

dolphin jumping at milford sound

Active trips that include the Milford Sound Cruise:

Trip Reviews

  •   4.70 out of 5 (from 266 reviews)

    Everything we hoped for and MORE.

    This was my first trip to New Zealand, and to the southern hemisphere. We had dreamed of this for many years, and it was so much more than we had even hoped for. So many memories and highlights: Morning alpine glow on Mt. Cook. Any day that it was sunny and you could see those amazing mountains. Turquoise alpine lakes. The day we spontaneously stopped at a deserted beach on the west coast, and saw Hector's dolphins frolicking. The picnic on the hill at Braemar's station. The nights at Braemar, the laughing and wine. Racheal (our guide) encouraging me and talking about growing up on a sheep farm while hiking up Key Pass. The stars at night - the Milky Way and upside down Orion! The mystical drive down to Milford Sound in the fog and light rain, and the clearing while on the boat. Going under a waterfall and just yelling in joy. The amazing, kind, funny and interesting people we met on our tour. If you are even thinking about it - go! You will not be disappointed.
    Jeannie Puglisi Review Image
    – Connecticut, United States
    Kiwi, April 2017
  •   4.70 out of 5 (from 266 reviews)

    Wonderful Trip

    A wonderful experience....Koru and Lauren were fantastic guides and showed us the best New Zealand has to offer. From Maori history to present day sights the tour was constantly informative and inspirational. Although it was "guided" they gave plenty of freedom to hike at your own pace, take in the sights without feeling rushed and allowed ample time to take in all NZ has to offer.
    Brandi Sima Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Kiwi, February 2018
  •   4.44 out of 5 (from 908 reviews)

    Awesome!

    Great hiking, awesome scenery, terrific guides, delicious food and more than comfy accommodations !
    Cal Hoppe Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Manuka, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Great trip! Wonderful guides!

    We loved our Rimu adventure! Tia and Tess were fabulous guides. Always cheerful and wonderful ambassadors for their country. The trip was a great mix of touring and challenging mountain experiences.
    Carl Helmetag Review Image
    – Rhode Island, United States
    Rimu, February 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    A Great Eight Days

    My wife, Shanen, and I had a goal of running a marathon on all seven continents and our seventh took place on March 18, in Rotorua, NZ. So two days after completing our goal, we returned to Christchurch and met up with our guides, Hillary and Dan, along with our fellow travelers. As good fortune would have it we all clicked as a group and off we went.

    For the remainder of our journey it was clear that both Hillary and Dan took great joy in what they do. Furthermore, and of great importance to us, they ensured meals had met our vegetarian and vegan needs. We were never made to feel our dietary needs were inconvenient to them and they were handled in such a way that all of us were able to enjoy our group meals.

    The actual adventure was well planned out and the expectations of each day were always explained. Our group was one that started together, made sure all finished and enjoyed the adventure.

    John Edmundson Review Image
    – Arizona, United States
    Tui, April 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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