NEW TRIP

Cruise a Magical Waterworld of Bays, Inlets, and Hidden Coves

Exploring New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds

New Zealand

7 Days

From $3,650

Level 1+

Easiest

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Discover the tranquil waterways, wildlife, and rich history of New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds on this unforgettable 7-day Kiwi adventure. The union of three main bodies of water—Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru, and Pelorus Sounds—Marlborough Sounds was formed by a system of submerged valleys carved out following the last ice age around 10,000 years ago. This scenic playground is famed for the breathtaking beauty of winding cobalt waterways and sheltered inlets and bays, many only accessible by sea, iconic landscapes, abundant wildlife, and some 900 miles of forested coastline. This area is also rich in early New Zealand history and the location of some of the country's most important conservation efforts (Marlborough Sounds has more than 50 Department of Conservation managed reserves and several predator-free wildlife sanctuaries). Aboard the intimate 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer, a voyage of adventure and discovery awaits you!

    Arrive: Blenheim, New Zealand

    Depart: Blenheim, New Zealand

    Highlights

    • In Queen Charlotte Sound, search for birdlife and walk a section of the Queen Charlotte Walkway
    • Explore d'Urville Island, a conservation reserve and one of the last strongholds of the critically endangered long-tailed bat
    • Walk part of the Nydia Track in the Pelorus Sound

    Overview

      Contact Us Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days

      Note: This trip is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as an agent in booking your reservation with the operator. Please download the Rate Sheet in the Dates & Pricing section to see the full pricing details and contact our Cruise Collection Specialists to check availability.

      Make your way to the designated meeting point in Blenheim for your transfer to Heritage Explorer in Picton. The captain and expedition team will be waiting to welcome you aboard the ship and show you to your cabin. You will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself on board, then join fellow travelers and your expedition team as the ship sets sail along Queen Charlotte Sound this afternoon. (Note: Some voyages will operate the itinerary in reverse.)
      Queen Charlotte Sound was first sighted in 1642 by Abel Janszoon Tasman while seeking shelter for his two ships from a storm near d'Urville Island, but it was Captain James Cook who would first set foot here aboard the Endeavour during his five visits to Ship Cove, his New Zealand base between 1770 and 1777. You'll spend two full days exploring the waterways and islands of scenic Queen Charlotte Sound with opportunities to head ashore and walk a section of the Queen Charlotte Walkway as well as search for birdlife on the predator-free islands. A visit to Tory Channel brings the whaling history of the Perano Whalers to life. You'll also visit Ship Cove and learn of its history, exploring the region and visiting Captain Cook's memorial inaugurated in 1913. Another conservation success story, Blumine Island has seen the translocation of several rare bird species including the once widespread orange-fronted parakeet, now New Zealand's rarest parakeet, which were translocated to the island between 2011 and 2012. Also thriving on the island are South Island saddleback, brought back from the brink of extinction in the last century from just 36 birds rescued in 1964; descendants of these birds were translocated to Blumine Island in 2009.
      Sail through the iconic French Pass in the wake of French Explorer Dumont d'Urville and then explore the island named in his honor. The outermost island in the Marlborough Sounds, d'Urville Island features imposing sea cliffs along its west coast, a high mountainous backbone, and the fastest moving tidal flows in New Zealand between the French Pass, tempered by some of the country's finest peninsula scenery. Dolphins and New Zealand fur seals are frequently seen in the waters surrounding the island and it was here that Pelorus Jack, the endearing Risso's dolphin who famously stole the nation's heart, guided ships across the dangerous waters of Cook Strait between 1888 and 1912.
      The largest in the Marlborough Sounds, Pelorus Sound's main channel winds some picturesque 34 miles south between steep verdant hills from Cook Strait to Havelock. Boasting more than 235 miles of shoreline, the endless bays and sheltered coves of Pelorus Sound are perfect for exploration. Venturing into Pelorus Sound, head to Ngawhakawhiti Bay where nature surrounds you and it's possible to get a glimpse of what the sounds would have been like before the native forest was cleared. The more active are able to enjoy the walking part of the Nydia Track before exploring Nydia Bay. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner and celebrate the adventure.
      Arrive into the inner reaches of Pelorous Sound this morning. After a final breakfast and farewells, a Zodiac tender takes you ashore at Havelock where a transfer to a central Blenheim drop-off point or the airport waits. In case of unexpected delays we ask you not to book any onward travel from Blenheim until after midday today.

      During the voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

      Dates & Pricing

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: 25% of trip cost
      100 days prior to departure: Balance

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Minimum fee: $750 per person
      91-179 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • All onboard ship accommodation with meals
      • House beer, wine, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
      • All shore excursions and activities
      • Onboard lectures
      • Pre- and post-cruise transfers
      • Landing fees
      Not Included
      • Airfare to/from points of embarkation and debarkation of the boat
      • Pre- or post-trip accommodations other than stated previously
      • Taxes or government fees
      • Passports or visa fees
      • Baggage fees
      • Travel, health, accident, or other insurance (required)
      • Laundry service
      • Any meals or beverages not specified in itinerary
      • Gratuities or other items or services of a personal nature

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Heritage Explorer

      Days 1-6 (6 nights)

      This expedition yacht carries just 18 guests and combines privacy, spaciousness, and an all-important agility that allows you to explore New Zealand's backyard in style and comfort. The contemporary wood-finish interior features 10 well-appointed cabins on three decks, with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV with access...

      What the Trip is Like

      The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Zodiac landing crafts are used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to wildlife sanctuaries, scenic nature areas, and local towns and villages. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts.
      Review Trip Level Details

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

      Hidden

      Hidden


      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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Zodiac landing crafts are used to explore the coastline and transport passengers ashore for walks to wildlife sanctuaries, scenic nature areas, and local towns and villages. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts.","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"","Custom_Accommodations":"","Custom_Cuisine":"","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>At time of reservation: 25% of trip cost<br>100 days prior to departure: Balance <br><br><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Minimum fee: $750 per person<br>91-179 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>90 days or less: 100% of trip cost<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>"}}