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Southern Fiords Discovery


DURATION:7 Days/ 6 NightsREGION:Australia, New Zealand & PacificSHIP:Heritage Explorer

Experience the grand scale scenery, untamed wilderness, ice-carved mountains, forests, sounds and unique wildlife of Fiordland's Preservation and Chalky Inlets and Doubtful and Dusky Sounds on this 7-day exploration of the Southern Fiords. Rich in natural history, geology and the location of some significant historical firsts and important restoration and conservation projects, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired our dream for responsible travel.

Maori legend describes how demi-god Tu-te-raki-whanoa carved out the region's fiords with his adze, Te Hamo, from rock walls to create the fiords we know today. Captain Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to visit, landing here aboard HMS Resolution in 1773 and subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook's records of his discovery and maps would attract sealers and whalers not long after, who would go on to form the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country.

Fiordland's Southern Fiords are only accessible by sea, making them some of the most remote areas of New Zealand's mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses while the calm waters are home to Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and New Zealand Fur Seals.

The isolation of the Southern Fiords has been beneficial in ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed. In these calm waters, away from the crowds, we plan to explore some of the most unique and wild parts of New Zealand as we sail though these beautiful fiords and landscapes.


We have multiple departure dates for this cruise. Select a year and month to view itineraries for alternative departure dates.

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Ship Details

Heritage Explorer

Heritage Explorer

Operated by Heritage Expeditions

Built in 2004 by renowned wooden boat-building family Carey's Boatyard in Picton, Heritage Explorer is a 30-metre, 4-deck New Zealand flagged vessel. Features include a contemporary wood-finished interior, ten well-appointed cabins (including two single cabins) across three decks, a dining room boasting spectacular 180-degree panoramas and theatre capabilities, lounge and bar stocked with inclusive regional New Zealand wines, beers and spirits and a local library.

Outside, expeditioners will enjoy ample covered space on the Bridge Deck, or you can adjourn to the Sun Deck which is perfect for wildlife spotting, sunrises and sunsets, or simply enjoying watch your voyage unfold. Kayaks and fishing equipment are available for use during the voyage, while two excursion tenders allow for deeper exploration and the unforgettable wildlife encounters synonymous with all Heritage Expeditions adventures.

Heritage Explorer will have an open bridge policy and a full commercial kitchen, helmed by a talented chef focused on highlighting local produce and any guest catches of the day. You will also travel in the company of an enthusiastic and passionate expedition team, and will be shipped by a New Zealand captain and crew.

The expedition yacht features state-of-the-art technology to provide a comfortable voyage, with high performance dual Scania 653 horsepower engines, bow thrusters, fin stabilisers, full air-conditioning, sound attenuated twin generators and a hydraulic aft ramp, while a comprehensive navigation package ensures the ultimate Kiwi adventure awaits all guests.



Key Facts

New Zealand
98 Feet / 30 Metres
26 Feet
10 Knots
Passenger Decks
New Zealand
Room Grades

Your cruise price includes:

• Voyage on board in selected cabin category

• Pre/Post cruise transfers

• Experienced expedition leader and team

• All meals while on board

• All expedition shore excursions

• Landing fees, pre cruise coach transfer and post cruise helicopter transfer


Your cruise price does not include: 

• International and Domestic flights, both commercial and charter

• Travel insurance (highly recommended - ask us for a quote)

• Passport and visa costs if applicable

• Beverages on board

• Gratuities

• Any items of a personal nature including laundry

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Please note: This cruise is sold in AUD

Some voyages will operate the itinerary in reverse. During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.

By completing this booking request you acknowledge that you have read and accept Expedition Cruise Specialists' and Heritage Expeditions' terms and conditions.

Single travellers are accommodated in the Wandering single cabin at the advertised price.

Photography courtesy of Heritage Expeditions, Andy Woods and L Thorpe.


Southern Fiords Discovery