Ultimate Fiordland

with Island Escape Cruises

This amazing 10-night adventure starting in Queenstown, then travelling by private coach to Te Anau before boarding the helicopter for the spectacular flight into Doubtful Sound. Explore Pickersgill Harbour, Dusky and Breaksea Sound, Wet Jacket and Vancouver Arm before sailing north to enter Nancy, Charles, Caswell, George, Bligh before the mighty Milford Sound. On the final day depart the ship by helicopter for a once-in-a-lifetime flight out of Milford Sound to Queenstown.

Queenstown return Departures December 2022 - March 2023

About Island Escape Cruises
Island Escape Cruises is a New Zealand based luxurious super yacht operator with a 15-year history in operating small ship voyages in New
Zealand and the remote South Pacific Islands. 

In 2021 we launched our brand-new yacht, the Island Escape . She is a 53.5 metre yacht designed by Vard in Norway and with the interior designed by well-known Tillberg Design of Sweden and will offer a new standard of yachting to our guests. With just 32 guests on board, Island Escape will provide an exclusive
experience that is supported by our professional crew of 14 who love to over deliver on personalized service.

We invite you to explore the wonders of New Zealand and Australia with Island Escape Cruises.

Itinerary

Day 1 Queenstown
An arrival in Queenstown is always spectacular. Especially by air. Please find your way to your comfortable room and a warm welcome at the Heritage Hotel. Tonight you are free to explore this alpine village at your leisure. Be that dinner in the hotel, or one of the many lakeside restaurants.

Day 2 Doubtful Sound
You have time for a relaxed breakfast before the private coach departs at 10am to Lake Te Anau. Please be ready in the lobby 15 minutes prior. You’ll have time to explore Te Anau township and have lunch at one of the many cafes before boarding the helicopters for a 20-minute scenic flight to the ship. The helicopter flight is an experience-of-a-lifetime, a chance to take in the panoramic grandeur of Fiordland, before descending into the wild solitude of Doubtful Sound – and the helipad on Island Escape. Remember to have your camera ready. Crew will introduce you to your suite before the ship layout and safety briefing. Your cruise begins. We make our way along Doubtful Sound then down the coast to anchor for the evening in the sheltered and beautiful Dusky Sound. Chef has prepared your welcome dinner.

Day 3 Dusky Sound and Pickersgill Harbour
Your journey starts to delve into the early history and exploration of Fiordland. Whales frequent the waters near the fiord entrance and a great place to spot them is from the bridge observation foredeck. As we enjoy lunch in Dusky Sound, the Captain will give an orientation of the history of the area and on the life of Captain James Cook and his visits to this part of New Zealand. After lunch we head ashore in Pickersgill to explore the area Captain Cook beached his ship Resolution here in 1773 to repair her hull. Nearby is the famous Astronomers Point, the site of a temporary observatory set up during Cook’s six-week stay here in Fiordland.

Day 4 Dusky Sound
Wake to the smells of a hearty breakfast, following which we track inland to the head of Dusky Sound and Supper Cove. This cove is the western trailhead for one of New Zealand’s greatest wilderness hikes – the Dusky Track. Further we visit Cascade Cove, Cook Channel, Fanny Bay and Nine Fathom Passage. The captain continues his talk over lunch where you will be acquainted with the long-running moose story. In the afternoon we take the Zodiacs ashore to visit the Seaforth Hut and perhaps can explore the Seaforth River by Zodiac or on foot.

Day 5 Wet Jacket Arm
After breakfast we proceed to peaceful Sportsman’s Cove for morning tea and more history from the captain. The focus remains on Cook and his journeys of exploration and the ongoing Fiordland moose story. Lunch served underway, and with a renewed taste for adventure, we take the Acheron Passage north and head up Wet Jacket Arm to Herrick Creek. There have been moose sightings reported in this area so have your cameras ready. We anchor off Oke Island for the night.

Day 6 Breaksea Sound
We follow the inland Acheron Passage heading for Disappointment Cove at the mouth of Breaksea Sound. Look out for seals close to shore and dolphins approaching the ship. Today’s lunch time talk focuses on conservation and the history and efforts to mitigate the impact of introduced fauna to Fiordland. We stop at Sunday Cove for afternoon tea and an introduction to the local venison industry. We stay overnight further up Breaksea Sound in Third Cove, below Mount Kellard at the mouth of Vancouver Arm.

Day 7 Vancouver and Broughton Arms
We explore Vancouver and Broughton Arms today. For those who like to fish, one of the Officers is available for fishing trips throughout the day. Fresh fish for dinner is virtually guaranteed. Non-fishers can go ashore to explore the intertidal shoreline and bush at a SW corner of Broughton Arm. Feel free to relax and take in the view from the jacuzzi on Island Escape’s top deck. On clear evenings this is the perfect place for some stargazing into a pure Fiordland dark sky.

Day 8 Nancy and Charles Sounds
The lush vertiginous beauty of Nancy Sound greets you today. From our anchorage, you can relax and enjoy the views from the yacht or join trips to explore the pristine shoreline of the fjord. You may be lucky enough to gather a crayfish with the help of the one of the crew or catch a fish at the head of the sound. After lunch, we set off north to explore the two arms of Charles Sound. It’s one of our favourite spots where the untouched natural beauty is awe-inspiring. You can join the crew in one of our Zodiacs for a trip up the Irene River that flows into the Emelius Arm of the sound. We spend the evening at the head of Charles Sound. Enjoy dinner, spectacular views and sharing some fascinating local history.

Day 9 Caswell and George Sounds
At Caswell Sound we venture ashore to explore the foreshore and the Stillwater River. Shirley falls provides a beautiful backdrop for those who prefer to stay on board, read a book, soak in the jacuzzi or enjoy a chat with your fellow passengers. After lunch we head on to George Sound, the longest fiord in northern Fiordland, to see the beautiful Alice Waterfalls. For those up for a good walk and breath-taking views, you can go ashore and take the track up above the falls to Alice Lake. Halfway along the fiord, we arrive at Anchorage Cove at the mouth of the George River, a great spot to relax and enjoy a stroll along the deserted foreshore. We lay at anchor here overnight, and have dinner with views of the beautiful Alice Falls and the majestic peaks that flank the sound.

Day 10 Bligh and Milford Sounds
Bligh fiord is an interesting Z-shape, named after William Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, and then Governor of New South Wales. We anchor at beautiful Amazon Cove, then head ashore to explore and hear fascinating histories of lost tribes and the Wild Natives River. Then in the afternoon we head for the world-famous Milford Sound, making stops to take in the splendour at some of the sound’s many cascading waterfalls along the way. Circling through Harrison Cove, we reach perhaps the visual climax of our cruise, an iconic New Zealand vista, Mitre Peak. We anchor here for the final evening onboard for the fabulous farewell dinner hosted by the captain and the crew in the heart of Fiordland.

Day 11 Milford Sound and Queenstown
The helicopters arrive after breakfast and we fly through some of the most stunning scenery on earth to reach Queenstown airport.

Includes
*1 night pre cruise in Queenstown at the Heritage Hotel
* Helicopter flights where mentioned in the itinerary
* 9  night cruise as per itinerary
* ll meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea
* All beverages including selected wines, spirits and beer, juice and soft drinks, water, tea and espresso coffee.
* Tours where mentioned in the itinerary.
* Helicopter flights where mentioned in the itinerary
* Unlimited WiFi onboard Island Escape
* Onboard Island Escape enjoy luxurious Bulgari amenities, watersports equipment, fishing equipment, 100% Egyptian Cotton Linen, On Demand Movies , Turndown service
* All taxes and port charges

Travel dates
22 Decenber 2022
01 January 2023
11 January 2023
01 February 2023
13 February 2023  SOLD OUT
24 February 2023
07 March 2023    SOLD OUT
18 March 2023

Book by
Until sold out

Price
Ocean Suite King or Twin $12,950 pp
Ocean Suite – Solo Occupany $16,950
Horizon Suite King $15,950 pp
Owners Suite King $17,950 pp

Terms & Conditions
Prices shown unless otherwise stated are in NZ$, and are subject to currency fluctuations and are for payment by cash, Eftpos, direct deposit or cleared cheque only.  Credit Card payments are also accepted but will incur a small surcharge, please enquire. Airfares not included. Gratuities are optional, and paid direct onboard should you wish to reward your crew. Deposit unless specified is due immediatly upon booking confirmation. Full details of payment terms will be provided.
Please discuss full Terms and Conditions of this offer with Ocean Escapes. IE.

Pricing:
Prices correct as at 10 April 2022, subject to change without notice. We encourage you to check the most current price with our team. While we endeavour to keep our website up to date at all times, please understand due to Covid-19, we may be impacted and price changes may not be reflected immediately. Other conditions may apply. E&OE