Fiordland - Scenic Cruising

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Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site and includes Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds. Cruise ships take passengers to port, where they can board smaller boats for scenic cruises through the Sounds.

Ironically, Milford, Doubtful and Dusky sounds are all fiords. They were incorrectly named 'sounds' by Captain Cook, who charted the region in the 1770's. The word 'sounds' subsequently appeared on maps and remains to this day.Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori) is perhaps the most famous of all; it was described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world'. Milford’s abruptly carved peaks rise dramatically from the fiord, while myriads of waterfalls tumble downwards (especially when it rains).

Doubtful Sound on the other hand is more subdued. The rounded hills put up a greater resistance to glaciation so are not as dramatically carved into the abrupt cliff faces that appear in Milford, but the scenery is still awe inspiring.

Wildlife is slightly more abundant here so you have a higher chance of seeing the resident pod of dolphins or penguins and seals.

Scenic cruises and onshore activities

As well as boat cruises through the sounds, Fiordland offers incredible walking and hiking in Fiordland National Park. The more active cruise passengers might like to hire a guide and do a short day walk to experience the region's astounding natural beauty.

Some cruise ships offer overland tours to Queenstown, Mount Cook and Dunedin. Ask your cruise ship crew for more information.

The drive into and out of Milford is a journey in itself in terms of the beautiful scenery you will view en route and can only be accessed on an overland tour.

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