Water activity

Milford Sound: Boutique Small-Boat Cruise

4.9 / 5

40 reviews

Activity provider: Cruise Milford NZ

Milford Sound: Boutique Small-Boat Cruise

Activity provider: Cruise Milford NZ
Likely to sell out

From US$ 66.33 per person

Likely to sell out

Explore Milford Sound on an award-winning boutique small-boat cruise that will get you closer to the cascading waterfalls and introduce you to the local wildlife. With limited passengers on board, you'll have the space to fully explore this magical place.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 2 - 12 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Pickup optional
Please call us the night before your tour to re-confirm pickup location and time. Freephone (from NZ numbers only) 0800 MILFORD (645367).


  • Explore a fjord that was carved by glaciers over millions of years
  • Cruise past mountains rising straight out of the sea
  • Relax on a comfortable lounge-style sofas onboard
Full description
Your cruise will begin at one of the most scenic points of the journey. You can take in the magnificent view of Mitre Peak (New Zealand's most photographed mountain) and the Sinbad Gully. This place is home to the Kakapo (world's heaviest flightless parrot), which was once thought to be extinct but was rediscovered in 1948. From there you will cruise past seal colonies and feel the spray of the waterfall as you travel directly under the Fairy Falls. Once the cruise reaches the Tasman Sea, you will get to see the hidden entrance to the Milford Sound (which Captain Cook missed twice on his explorations). On your return journey, you will find yourself underneath an even bigger waterfall, the Sterling Falls. If you feel like a world-famous "glacial facial", don't miss the opportunity here to do so. Throughout your tour, nature guides will entertain you with local anecdotes, as well as offer extra information on the passing flora and fauna. They are also there to help you with taking photos and assist with any requirements you may have. Around November you will have the chance to spot the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.
  • Milford Sound visitor levy
  • Coffee, tea, and biscuits
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • Food and drinks
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All required protective equipment is provided
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Please check-in at the Cruise Milford counter (second on the left when entering the visitor terminal).

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Important information

Know before you go

  •  It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from the public car park to the terminal building (from November to March, please plan extra time to find a car park as you may have to park in the "Bus & Ride" area further away)
  • For extra information and tips, you can call or visit the website
  • There is no cell phone reception or WiFi in the Fiordland National Park
  • Free coffee, tea, and biscuits are provided during the cruise and you are welcome to bring extra snacks and drinks along with you
  • The cruise has a duration of 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Please note that from 1 October 2019 there will be a $10 per hour charge for the Milford Sound visitor carpark
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 40 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Star rating:

100% recommended this cruise if you want to see Milford sound. The whole boat ride was magnificent we saw all the incredible sights, the boat even took us up close to some seals on the rocks and even took us into one of the big waterfalls which you can stay outside and get in it yourself but we opted to stay dry inside. The captain was great at telling us what we was looking at and explaining everything were seeing. Overall amazing experience which is what we had hoped for after wanting to tick this off the bucket list!

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November 19, 2022

Take plenty of warm weather gear as standing outside can be freezing! The free car park is about 25 minutes walk around the waterfront but it is a lovely walk and added to the joy! The commentary on the boat was interesting but more importantly the captain and the check in woman were both friendly and welcoming.

May 13, 2022

We left Queenstown at 7 am by car, arrived at 10:30 am, embarked at 11:00 am and it was a spectacular trip! There are several boats, but it is good to book in advance. Everything went as expected, it is very worth it. Those who use parking have to pay at electronic ticket counters and there are few spaces, so parking is sometimes difficult.

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January 25, 2020

Product ID: 267522