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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

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    LEGENDARY

    Travelling to New Zealand has been on my bucket list for nearly half my life, and I'm so glad I spent three weeks there with Active! I was a bit worried going by myself, but it turned out to be the best vacation of my life. They took us to so many spots that I probably would have never seen if I tried to organize everything on my own. It was great to have them feed me, drive me, hike me, and take me to our accommodations at night - not once did I have to worry about anything. The accommodations themselves were so fun and unique, staying in them was a highlight of my trip. Our guides, Kim and Ashleigh, were fantastic young ladies. Ash was an amazing chef and Kim rocked the in-bus narration. I also think we had a phenomenal group of people who clicked very well, and absolutely the best weather one could wish for.

    Even when there were a few changes to the itinerary due to road damages, weather issues, or anything else, the guides were on top of it so fast that we barely even noticed there was a problem. We did miss out on snorkeling with the fur seals, and our Franz Josef Heli-Hike was cancelled, but we were still able to see seals and take a helicopter ride to a glacier at another time. No loss whatsoever.

    I'm a fairly active person under thirty, who lives in an mountainous region, and I was still challenged by the hikes and activities they provided. I also have bad knees, and was still able to get up and down the more difficult mountains. For those wondering abut the multi-day hike, it's definitely a work-out, but totally worth it! And be sure to invest in a hydration bladder, you'll really appreciate it! If you're looking for an outdoor adventure with lots of activity and fun, this is definitely one of the better ways to explore New Zealand.
    Janine Carbone Review Image
    – New Hampshire, United States
    Rimu, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Jan 31 2017 Kauri with Andrew and Jo

    Awesome trip. Andy and Jo were excellent guides. Loved Andy's music selection. Themed for the various activities (played Queen Fat Bottom Girls as we drove to mountain biking). He gave us great insight into the history of New Zealand as well as the flora and fauna. And Jo was an excellent cook and companion.
    Ross Gough Review Image
    – California, United States
    Kauri, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Great Trip

    Great trip! Diverse and interesting hikes, bike riding, and kayaking in spectacular landscape. I particularly appreciated having all the trip details covered, so I didn't need to worry about any of the arrangements. A turn-key experience.
    Ian Christoph Review Image
    – California, United States
    Winter Rimu, October 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Last 5 Days Kauri

    So much packed into just a few days. From walking to tops of (several!) mountains to floating through underground tunnels, plus geothermal springs and Maori culture. A whirlwind central North Island adventure!
    Matthew Gonser Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Kauri, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16031 reviews)

    Birthday we'll never forget

    We expected a great trip with where we were going, BUT Active Adventures guides (Michele and Rachael) made it that much more special. Their knowledge, expertise and storytelling abilities made it fun and engaging. Accommodations were better than anticipated, they were great.
    An absolute must for those thinking about this type of a trip.
    Liz Clapp Review Image
    – California, United States
    Tui, February 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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