Milford Sound Boat Cruises
No visit to Milford Sound is complete without a boat cruise around the fiord. This is an iconic New Zealand tourism experience and a Milford must-do.
Depending on whether you’re after a short scenic cruise or a longer more nature-focused option, there’s a range of boat cruises on offer in Milford Sound to suit your preferences. We work with Southern Discoveries, who are known for their quality vessels and top-notch service.
Nature - A 1hr 45min cruise of Milford on a catamaran style boat
A local favourite, this is the most popular cruise with Milford Sound Lodge guests. Enjoy the knowledge of an onboard nature guide who will provide a running commentary on Milford Sound’s unique marine life and impressive forest-covered mountains.
Expect to get incredibly close to waterfalls and enjoy unhindered views from the open decks or comfy interior cabins.Recommended for: Guests who want an authentic, personal Milford Sound cruising experience.
Discover More – Includes Milford Cruise, Lunch, Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory
An incredible nature cruise with the addition of a visit to the Discovery Centre and gourmet picnic lunch on board the vessel. Located in Harrison Cove, the Discovery Centre is a floating underwater observatory where visitors can experience the magic of Milford Sound’s inky waters. The 3-hour Discover More cruise is the longest and most personal cruise in Milford Sound.Recommended for: Guests looking for a very personal Milford Sound experience that’s the whole package
Ready to Book a Boat Cruise?
You can add activities to your accommodation booking. Click the Book Now button below to book your accommodation and add on your preferred boat cruise.
Looking for an accommodation and activity package? See our Experiences for all inclusive deals.
Whatever the weather
Every cruise on Milford Sound rewards passengers with spectacular scenery and unique wildlife encounters.
- Sunny days provide sensational views of the snow covered peaks and glacial ice fields towering hundreds of meters above you.
- Cloudy / misty days provide moody vistas with glimpses of peaks and waterfalls, creating a totally enchanting feel.
- Rainy days are something to experience with waterfalls plunging from all directions, some sending spray hundreds of metres out into the fiord.
- Learn more about the incredible array of Marine Life that call Milford Sound home.
Things to consider when booking your cruise
- Vessel Size – Boats come in all different shapes and sizes, from small and cozy to large and luxurious and everything in between.
- Length of Cruise – The distance each cruise covers is always the same, but on longer duration cruises there are more opportunities for the vessel to take its time exploring attractions or viewing wildlife. The shortest cruise take just over 1 3/4 hours; the longest is 3 hours.
- Timing of Cruise – Morning and late afternoon cruises almost always have space available. Daytime cruises fill up very quickly. We suggest booking in advance to secure the cruise departure time that you prefer.
- Discovery Centre – There is the option of visiting the Discovery Centre, allowing you to venture below the surface of the fiord to experience the rare marine flora that occurs in these cold, dark waters. (Some cruises include this option in their price while others have an additional cost for the visit.)
Milford Kayaking Trips
Discover a different view of Milford Sound. Paddle the waters of a World Heritage site, glide through a landscape once carved by glaciers.
Lunch @ The Lodge
Enjoy a long, lazy lunch at Pio Pio restaurant. Handmade delicious using local produce. For day visitors or guests, this is a dining experience worth the journey.
Milford Track & Milford Day Walks
Multi-day hikes and challenging alpine passes or opt for a gentle walk through the lush Fiordland forest. A few of our favourite ways to see Milford on foot.
Scenic Flights Milford Sound
Soar over glaciers, towering peaks, hidden lakes and waterfalls for a view of Fiordland and Southern Alps that must be seen to be believed. Light plane or helicopter flights depart from the nearby airport.
Driving the Road to Milford Sound
You don’t have to travel far along the road to Milford before Fiordland’s striking and dramatic features are revealed. Short walks, waterfalls and impressive valleys dot your journey.
Milford Sound Private Tours
Uncover the riches of Fiordland often missed in the guidebooks with a private, local guide. From the time of Gondwana and glaciers to Maori pounamu trails and pioneers of tourism.
Dive Milford Sound
Discover a dive site unlike any other. Milford Sound is renowned by divers as New Zealand’s ‘coral capital’.