Water activity

Milford Sound: Boutique Small-Boat Cruise

4.9 / 5

82 reviews

Activity provider: Cruise Milford NZ
Water activity

Milford Sound: Boutique Small-Boat Cruise

Activity provider: Cruise Milford NZ
Likely to sell out

From US$ 71.34 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.
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

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 82 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Milford Sound was amazing. There are plenty of boats to choose from, the smaller boat option was great. Not too many people on board and it was easy to get around the deck/cabin. The captain did a great job of getting close to the key spots. There was tea/coffee and biscuits on board, no food to purchase, however you can bring your own to enjoy.

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March 27, 2023

It was a good activity overall. The boat is definitely smaller than the other options a Milford, but it's certainly not "boutique" or "small" as the name suggests. There was a good ~50 people on board - but again, it's less than the other cruises from other providers in Milford. The guide and other staff were great, and it was nice that they provided basic tea and coffee without charging extra. The speakers were also clear and audible, not distorted like on other boats. I'd certainly do the cruise again if I was to visit Milford, getting us up and close to a lot of the sights. Would be nice if the captain didn't just point the front of the boat to the view though, as all the people on the sides (particularly for the people inside the cabins) can't see anything with the front deck full. Would be good to show the sights to both the people on the front deck, as well as at least one side of the boat so everyone can easily see. Lastly, bring insect repellant! The sand flies are NO JOKE.

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March 27, 2023

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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March 27, 2023

Product ID: 267522