An In-Depth Exploration of the Marlborough Sounds
Discover the tranquil waterways, wildlife and rich history of New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds on an unforgettable 7-day Kiwi adventure exploring Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds, French Pass and d'Urville Island.
Famed for the breath-taking beauty of their winding cobalt waterways, iconic landscapes, lush native forests, wildlife and remote coastlines these regions are also rich in early New Zealand history and the location of some of the country's most important conservation efforts.
Day 1: Blenheim
Make your way to the designated meeting point in Blenheim for your transfer to Heritage Explorer in Picton (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The captain and expedition team will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself on board then join the captain on the bridge or fellow travellers on deck as we set sail along Queen Charlotte Sound this afternoon.
***Note: Some voyages will operate the itinerary in reverse.***
Day 2 - 3: Queen Charlotte Sound
First sighted in 1642 by Abel Janszoon Tasman while seeking shelter for his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen from a storm near d’Urville Island, it was Captain James Cook who would first set foot here aboard the Endeavour during his five visits to Ship Cove, his New Zealand base between 1770 and 1777, in what he would call Queen Charlotte Sound. We spend two full days exploring the waterways and islands of scenic Queen Charlotte Sound with opportunities to head ashore and walk a section of the Queen Charlotte Walkway as well as search for birdlife on the predator free islands. A visit to Tory Channel brings the whaling history of the Perano Whalers to life. We also plan to visit Ship Cove and learn of its history, exploring the region and visiting Captain Cook’s memorial inaugurated in 1913. Another conservation success story, Blumine Island has seen the translocation of several rare bird species including the once widespread Orange-fronted Parakeet, now New Zealand’s rarest parakeet, which were translocated to the island between 2011 and 2012. Also thriving on the island are South Island Saddleback, brought back from the brink of extinction last century from just 36 birds rescued in 1964, descendants of these birds were translocated to Blumine Island in 2009.
Day 4: D'Urville Island
Today we sail through the iconic French Pass and the wake of French Explorer Dumont d’Urville and then explore the island named in his honour. The outermost island in the Marlborough Sounds, d’Urville Island features imposing sea cliffs along its west coast, a high mountainous backbone and the fastest moving tidal flows in New Zealand between the French Pass tempered by some of the country’s finest peninsula scenery. Dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals are frequently seen in the waters surround the island and it was here that Pelorus Jack, the endearing Risso’s Dolphin who famously stole the nation’s heart, guided ships across the dangerous waters of Cook Strait between 1888 and 1912.
Day 5 - 6: Pelorus Sound
The largest in the Marlborough Sounds, Pelorus Sound’s main channel winds some picturesque 55 kilometres south between steep verdant hills from Cook Strait to Havelock. Boasting 380 kilometres of shoreline, the endless bays and sheltered coves of Pelorus Sound are perfect for exploration. Venturing into Pelorus Sound we head to Ngawhakawhiti Bay where nature surrounds us and it’s possible to get a glimpse of what the sounds would have been like before the native forest was cleared. The more active are able to enjoy the walking part of the Nydia Track before we explore Nydia Bay. On the final night we will enjoy a farwell dinner.
Day 7: Blenheim
We arrive into the inner reaches of Pelorous Sound this morning. After a final breakfast and farewells, a Zodiac tender takes you ashore at Havelock where a transfer to a central Blenheim drop off point or the airport waits. In case of unexpected delays we ask you not to book any onward travel from Blenheim until after midday today. During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.
- Pre and post cruise transfers
- All on board ship accommodation
- All meals
- All expedition shore excursions
- House Drinks (Beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits)
- All items of a personal nature
- Domestic flights
- Travel insurance.
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Ship: Heritage Explorer
New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board.
Vessel Type: Expedition YachtGuests: 18Accommodation: 10 CabinsLength: 30mEngine: 653 horsepowerCruising speed: 10 knots(one engine)Expedition Staff and Crew: 5
PAYMENTS: A non-refundable deposit of 30% is required at the time of booking. The balance of the tour price is required 100 days prior to your travel date. If you book inside this period, full payment will be required at the time of booking. Payment can be made by bank transfer. If you cancel between 185 and 100 days prior to your travel date 30% of your tour cost will be charged. If you cancel within 100 days prior to your tour departure you will be charged 100% of your tour cost.
Innovative Travel recommends purchasing travel insurance.For full terms and conditions refer to the Heritage Expeditions 2020-2021 Conservation and Adventure Expedition Cruising Brochure
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Full Terms and conditions are listed on the Innovative Travel website. When a booking is made it is accepted that these are agreed to. They include the following: Itineraries are correct when initially published, however are subject to change due to circumstances outside our control.
Flights are the responsibility of the passenger and Innovative Travel takes no responsibility for costs involved for any changes to flights that might be required due to necessary amendments in itineraries.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.