Water activity

From Queenstown: Lake Wakatipu TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Activity provider: RealNZ

From Queenstown: Lake Wakatipu TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Activity provider: RealNZ
Likely to sell out

From US$ 51.52 per person

Likely to sell out

Climb aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage Edwardian steamship, for a relaxing cruise from Queenstown. Watch the stokers feed the coal fires, explore the historic vessel, and soak up the mountain views.

About this ticket

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 1.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Host or greeter
Wheelchair accessible


  • Sail aboard the historic, coal-powered TSS Earnslaw on a scenic cruise
  • Admire spectacular alpine scenery from the vantage point of the lake's waters
  • Explore the engine room below decks where stokers feed the roaring coal fire
  • Discover a fascinating collection of historical photos in the small onboard museum
Full description

Join the TSS Earnslaw for a cruise across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown. Admire spectacular alpine scenery and enjoy plenty of time to explore a piece of living history. Listen to engaging commentary from your experienced captain who will highlight points of interest throughout your cruise. Make your way to Steamer Wharf at Queenstown’s waterfront. Climb aboard the oldest working coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere and feel free to explore. View the collection of historical photos in the small onboard museum and check out the skipper’s wheelhouse.

Visit the engine room to feel the heat of the giant steam engines at work and see the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes. Soak in the dramatic mountain views surrounding Lake Wakatipu and relax at the cafe where you can enjoy a wine or beer and snacks are also available for purchase. 

  • Sightseeing cruise
  • Captain
  • Crew
  • Food and drinks

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Meeting point

Meet at the TSS Earnslaw steamship.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Jacket
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Know before you go

  • Please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
  • Cruise is subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or a full refund
  • If you require more information on the wheelchair accessibility on the Tss Earnslaw, please do not hesitate to ask
  • Parking is not available, so please leave your car at your accommodation
  • Non-slip shoes are recommended
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 384 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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We cruised on the TSS Earnslaw in late November. Enjoyed being on such a historic steamship. The weather was cool and rainy, so not ideal, but it only detracted slightly from the lovely scenery. I just wish there had been more commentary. What commentary there was, was hard to hear. The bar staff were very friendly and pleasant.

December 6, 2022

The trip itself was EXCELLENT! However, where I sat was near 6 blokes who "parked themselves" near the bar where they (at my reckoning), got 3 large mugs of beer each and certainly DID NOT WANT to listen to the commentary and prevented me from hearing it (others???) which 'enriches' the journey! Although they departed the vessel for a luncheon at that elegant mansion at the end of the lake, the commentary for all intents and purposes, WAS OVER!

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December 4, 2022

We like anything mechanical so we were interested in seeing the old steam engines of the Earnslaw. We had perfect weather that day in November and enjoyed the voyage very much. We were able to walk inside the engine room on an upper walkway out of the workmen's way to observe the workings of the engines. We could stay inside or go outside on the front deck. There is a bar onboard for a beer and snacks. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

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November 24, 2022

Product ID: 181334