trip
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5 Days$2595USD

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

Trip highlights


  • Hike sections of the Queen Charlotte Walk
  • Visit Motuara and Blumine Islands
  • Watch for wildlife including bottlenose dolphins and New Zealand Fur Seals
  • Cruise the inner reaches of Queen Charlotte Sound

Specially designed for more active travellers looking to explore the remote waterways, coves and coastlines of Marlborough Sounds which can only be accessed by sea this voyage gives walking and hiking enthusiasts the opportunity to trek sections of the iconic Queen Charlotte Walkway, discover the rich whaling history of Perano, and experience thrilling island explorations of renowned conservation success stories Motuara and Blumine Islands, the latter also featuring WWII gun emplacement ruins. In addition to excellent opportunities to explore one of New Zealand's wildest, remote and beautiful destinations by foot, your adventure includes daily Zodiac cruises, opportunities to explore by kayak and, for avid fishers, the chance to try your luck fishing.

Trip Code: HEN

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 fellow travellers and your expedition team as we set sail along Queen Charlotte Sound this afternoon.

Meals:  B,D

We have three full days to explore the waterways, islands, walkways and tracks of scenic 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. Today we plan to explore Tory Channel where the skeletal remains of the Perano Whaling Station provides a reminder of the region’s early whaling history and perhaps follow in their footsteps up to the lookout on Arapawa Island where epic views across the channel can be enjoyed. We also plan to visit Ship Cove to explore the region and learn of its history visiting Captain Cook’s memorial inaugurated in 1913 and perhaps walking through ancient, native bush to Ship Cove Waterfall.

Meals:  B,L,D

A true expedition day, today we look to explore sections of New Zealand’s famed Queen Charlotte Walkway, once a network of pioneer day bridle paths. One of the country’s most diverse coastal tracks, we will make several stops to experience its peerless coastal views, native bush, historic bays, endless skyline ridges and unsurpassed views of the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Set your own pace with opportunities for drop offs and pick ups at various bays. Enjoy shorter walks and lunch on board or collect a packed lunch and spend the day immersed in nature.

Meals:  B,L,D

Conservation and exploration go hand in hand today as we explore the rarely-visited island sanctuaries of Motuara and Blumine Islands. Fascinating history abounds on Blumine Island where WWII military ruins await exploration, native species flourish and stunning views combine along the Oruawairua Track of this former Pilot and Signal Station Reserve, sheep farm and now scenic reserve. Several rare bird species including the once widespread Orange-fronted Parakeet, now New Zealand’s rarest parakeet, were translocated to the island between 2011 and 2012 which is also home to 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 Motuara Island journey along the scenic loop track flanked by native bush and accompanied by the soundtrack of flourishing birdlife to the island’s summit for spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding islands, Cook Strait and the North Island (on a clear day). Predator-free since the early 1990s, the island is now a haven for Saddleback, South Island Robin, Yellow-crowned parakeet and Maud Island frogs which have all been relocated here. Motuara also serves as a crèche for Rowi Kiwi.

Meals:  B,L,D

Sailing into Picton this morning we enjoy a final breakfast and farewells before you are transferred to a central Blenheim drop-off point or the airport. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Blenheim until after midday. 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

  • 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 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


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Priceper person from

$2595USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Premium Drinks PackageUSD$90
  • Salvin Double or Twin Cabin supplementUSD$300
  • Wandering Double or Twin Cabin supplementUSD$400
  • Royal Suite supplementUSD$1200
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Unseen Queen Charlotte Sound 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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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.

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Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

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 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.

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