trip
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1
Discovery and Cruising
Activities
  • 6 days expedition cruising
Accommodation
  • 6 nights aboard Heritage Explorer
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 5 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

7 Days$3770USD

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Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally


 
 
Trip Code: HED

Trip highlights


  • Spend two days exploring Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Visit remote d'Urville Island
  • Watch for wildlife including bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals
  • Cruise the inner reaches of Pelorus Sound

Discover the tranquil waterways, wildlife and rich history of Marlborough Sounds on an unforgettable 7-day 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. Formed by a system of submerged valleys carved out following the last ice age around 10,000 years ago, the scenic playground of Marlborough Sounds encompasses some 1,500-kilometres of forested coastline, sheltered inlets and bays awaiting exploration, many only accessible by sea. The union of three main bodies of water - Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds - Marlborough Sounds has more than 50 Department of Conservation managed reserves and several predator free wildlife sanctuaries. Now a possum, rat and weasel-free conservation reserve, d'Urville Island is one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered Long-tailed Bat and provides a respite for the world's rarest shag - the King Shag - and several other species of rare birds and geckos.


Make your way to the designated meeting point in Blenheim for your transfer to Heritage Explorer in Havelock (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 Pelorus this afternoon.

Meals:  D

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.

Meals:  B,L,D

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.

Meals:  B,L,D

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. On the final night we will enjoy a farewell dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a final breakfast and farewells, a Zodiac tender takes you ashore at Picton where a transfer to a central Blenheim drop off point or the airport awaits. 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.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
  • Transfers from Blenheim to boat and vice versa
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
  • House drinks (beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits)
  • Expert on board naturalist guides
  • All sightseeing and shore excursions from the boat
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre-departure information

  • Travel to and from start /end point of trip
  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges, and airport departure taxes
  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as laundry and phone calls
  • Emergency evacuation charges
  • Customary end of voyage tips

Cabins


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


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Total Priceper person from

$3770USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Premium Drink PackageUSD$150
  • Salvin Double or Twin Cabin supplementUSD$430
  • Wandering Single Cabin supplementUSD$660
  • Royal Suite supplementUSD$1445
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Discover Marlborough Sounds trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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