Discover Marlborough Sounds + Pre Cruise Land Package

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0800 500 732

8 Nights/ 9 Days
Departures : April, May, November & December 2022
Start: Christchurch
End: Blenheim

An In-Depth Exploration of the Marlborough Sounds

DEPARTURES 13 Apr 2022 / 20 Apr 2022 / 26 Apr 2022 / 9 May 2022 / 20 Nov 2022 / 17 Dec 2022

  • Pre Cruise Land Package: NZ$2635 per person
  • Cruise From Price: NZ$4950 per person

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.

Package Highlights/Inclusions
Cruise Includes:

Landing fees, pre and post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities. GST, house drinks and expert on board naturalist guides. Pricing per person in NZ$.

Cruise Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, domestic flights, extensions and travel insurance.

Pre Cruise Land Package Inclusions:

• Car rental hire, 3 days, Toyota Rav4 or similar
• 2 nights accommodation at Hapuku Lodge, Lodge room
• Scenic Whale watching by plane
• Kaikoura scenic Heli-Picnic on Mount Fyffe

Start & Finish Location

Christchurch to Blenheim

Departure & Arrival Info

Own arrangements to Christchurch & from Blenheim


Heritage Explorer


Days 1-3Pre Cruise Land Arrangements

Day 1: Christchurch to Kaikoura (D)

  • Collect your vehicle upon arrival at Christchurch Airport. Drive North on SH1 to Kaikoura.
  • Included: Whale Watching: Whale watching by plane offers a unique perspective and the opportunity to view whales and dolphins in their natural environment. From the air passengers can experience the true magnitude of the world’s largest mammal, the whale. These animals can reach an impressive 18 meters in length and weigh up to 60 tons!
  • Overnight at Hapuku Lodge, Lodge Room/Suite

Day 2: Kaikoura (B,D)

  • Included: Kaikoura Heli-Picnic on Mt Fyffe—enjoy a heli-picnic, on top of our favourite Kaikoura spot, Mt Fyffe. Enjoy a locally prepared and organic picnic hamper and a bottle of Marlborough wine, whilst surrounded by breath taking 360 degree views of the towering mountain ranges, the Kaikoura peninsular and the Pacific Ocean will be sure to delight you.
  • Overnight at Hapuku Lodge, Lodge Room/Suite

Day 3: Kaikoura to Blenheim (B)

  • Check out of your accommodation and drop off your vehicle, make your way to the designated meeting point in Blenheim for your Heritage Expedition cruise.

Day 3Blenheim (Cruise Embarkation)

  • 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 4-5Queen 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 6d'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 7-8Pelorus 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 9Blenheim

  • 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.

Package Terms and Conditions

Sales by 30 July 2022

  • Contact New Zealand Traveller for full details of this specific itinerary, inclusions and area highlights.
  • Package fares are NZD, per person, share twin, based on current promotional fares which are subject to change without notice, based on two people travelling together and share accommodations.
  • Deposit required: Deposit of 25% is due within 7 days.
  • Completed booking form required with deposit.
  • Final balance must be paid no later than 90 days before departure.
  • If you book less than 90 days before departure, full payment is due immediately.
  • Heritage Expeditions have their own specific Terms & Conditions. Full details provided at the time of quoting/booking confirmation.
  • All New Zealand Traveller packages are subject to General Terms & Conditions.

Covid 19 policy

Where cancellation is due to NZ Government restriction on travel because of Covid-19 outbreaks either nationally or regionally, the following cancellation policy applies: 

If Covid-19 is present within the NZ community, and NZ Government travel restrictions result in the guest being unable to travel, the booking will be postponed and rescheduled where possible.  NB: Covid-19 policy does not apply for voluntary cancellations by individuals.

All guests are  required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and provide confirmation at time of booking.  Refer to full quote for detailed terms & conditions.