All of The Fiords: The Ultimate Fiordland Experience

All of The Fiords: The Ultimate Fiordland Experience

From NZD $6,400


Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, invites you to join us on the ultimate 10-day exploration of New Zealand’s remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fiordland. This treasured natural wonderland, its wildlife, conservation and history inspired our dream for responsible travel.

Established in 1952, Fiordland National Park is now over 1.2 million hectares in size and rightly famous for its epic, grand scale scenery, untamed wilderness and unique wildlife including Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and New Zealand Fur Seals. However, Fiordland is also rich in natural history, geology and the location of some historical firsts and important restoration and conservation projects.

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 here, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country.

The majority of Fiordland’s sounds are only accessible by sea, making them among the most remote areas of New Zealand’s mainland ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. Join us as we sail the calm waters of Fiordland in solitude exploring some of the most unique and wild parts of Fiordland on this unforgettable adventure.

Trip Name
All of The Fiords: The Ultimate Fiordland Experience
Vessel Type: Expedition Yacht Length: 30 metres Passenger Capacity: 18 Built: 2004 New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board.Heritage Explorer is a 30-metre, 4-deck New Zealand flagged vessel built in 2004 by the renowned wooden boat building family Carey's Boatyard in Picton. It features a contemporary wood-finished interior, 10 well-appointed cabins across three decks, dining room boasting spectacular 180-degree panoramas and theatre capabilities; lounge and bar featuring a flight of inclusive regional New Zealand wines, beers and spirits; and a well-stocked local library. Outside, guests can enjoy plenty of covered space on the Bridge Deck, or ajourn to the Sun Deck 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 tenders allow for deeper exploration and the unforgettable wildlife encounters synonymous with all Heritage Expeditions adventures. As with as with our other vessels, 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, as well as 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 expedition 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. Accommodation Details Royal: Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal climate control, TV, PABX satellite telephone, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck.Salvin's: Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin's cabins have the option of either a double bed or two lower berths. Both feature ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole. Wandering: Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole. Buller's: Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller's cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth), ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.


Day 1 - Day 1: Te Anau/Preservation Inlet
Make your way to the designated meeting point in TeAnau then take in the grand views and awe-inspiringscenery as you enjoy a spectacular helicopter transferto join Heritage Explorer in Preservation Inlet (timesand meeting point will be confirmed with your voyagedocuments). The captain and expedition leader will bewaiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer andshow you to your cabin. Settle into life aboard before weset sail along Long Sound and enjoy your first impressionsof Southern Fiordland’s unrestrained landscape.
Day 2 - Day 2: Preservation Inlet
Today is dedicated to exploring Preservation Inlet, richin history we will delve into the gold mining and forestryattempts that once made this now quiet waterway abustling hub of activity. The area’s natural bounty sawmore than 2,500 gold miners and saw millers flock to theregion in the late 1890s, this early settler history at miningtowns Cromarty and Te Oneroa, now reclaimed bynature, can still be observed, none more spectacularlythan at the failed Tarawera Mine and Smelter, where theruins of the smelter’s historic three-storey chimney wererestored in 2015. Among the activity Preservation Inletcan also lay claim to having New Zealand’s first whalingstation at Cuttle Cove and the location of one of thecountry’s most remote lighthouses at Puysegur Point,which began operation in 1879 perched some 40-feetabove the South Island’s south-western most point. Herea great coastal walk, formerly a telegraph track built toconnect the lighthouse, leads to the old landing shed atOtago Retreat.
Day 3 - Day 3: Chalky Inlet
The entrance to Chalky Inlet is guarded by theimpressive limestone cliffs of Chalky Island, theinspiration behind Captain Cook’s naming of thefiord. One of several important predator free islandsin the inlet including Great Island and PassageIslands, Chalky Island is home to some of NewZealand’s most critically endangered bird speciesincluding the Little Spotted Kiwi and Kakapo, andendemic Te Kakahua Skink, discovered in 2002.The protected harbours at North and South Port offermuch to explore as the centres of the human historyin the inlet with North Port the final resting place ofthe rusting hulk of purposely grounded GSS Stellawhile South Port reveals an industrial past with theremnants of once prolific sawmilling activity. Sailingto the head of the fiord the surrounding mountainsenvelope us with their majesty.
Day 4 - Day 4: Dusky Sound
Our expedition cruise through Dusky Soundvisiting the some of the most significant historicaland conservation sites in New Zealand as wellas marvelling at the majestic scenery as we saildeep into the heart of Fiordland. Predator-freeAnchor Island homes half of the world’s populationof Kakapo and Little Spotted Kiwi and is also thelocation of historic Luncheon Cove and a numberof New Zealand firsts including New Zealand’s firstsealing gang, the building of New Zealand’s firstEuropean homestead and first European designedship, the 16-metre Providence built here andlaunched in 1795. On nearby on Pigeon Island learn the history of Richard Henry and his pioneering livetransfer of birds to island refuges – an internationalfirst in wildlife conservation. While his attempts wereunsuccessful due to stoats swimming over to theisland, it is heartening to learn the island is now pestfree and a sanctuary for native birdlife, with Henry’svision fulfilled.
Day 5 - Day 5: Acheron Passage & Breaksea Sound
A navigation through Acheron Passage, whichseparates Resolution Island from the mainland, is sureto be one of the highlights or our time in Fiordland. Thisiconic scenic waterway is an area where BottlenoseDolphins are often spotted. Our explorations heremay include venturing into Wet Jacket Arm where thecrew of Cook’s Resolution ended up with wet jacketsduring their survey work. It is also the sight whereMoose were released, and last seen, in New Zealand.The extensive sheltered waters of scenic BreakseaSound, initially scouted for sheep farming suitabilityby early setters in the 1850s is also the location ofBreaksea Island, an iconic site in New Zealandconservation history as one of the first large islandsdeclared rat free in 1988.
Day 6 - Day 6: Doubtful Sound
Experience some of the most spectacular sceneryin all of Fiordland – Doubtful Sound, or the sound ofsilence as it’s also known. Spanning some staggering40-kilometres and holding the title as New Zealand’sdeepest fiord, Doubtful Sound with its cloud-scrapingwilderness cloaked mountains, sheer stone cliffs, waterfalls, inlets, quiet coves and wildlife presentsnature on a scale so grand it’s off the chart.Photographic opportunities abound and our timespent here could include ship cruising Blanket Bay,the Shelter Islands, Pandora River, Deas Cove andOpen Bay.
Day 7 - Day 7: Charles & Caswell Sound
One of the southern-most of the northern fiords,Charles Sound, branches into Emelius and GoldArms at its head with Gold Arm being home toone of the most extensive marine reserves in theinner fiords (Kahukura Marine Reserve) while othersections are included in the Taumoana MarineReserve. Your captain and expedition Leader willfind a suitably sheltered anchorage for HeritageExplorer where activities could include kayakingor joining your expedition guides in a coastalexploration by Zodiac.Another rarely explored fiord, Caswell Sound ishome to the last physical remains of the 1949 NewZealand–American Fiordland scientific expedition, aprimitive hut standing on the banks of the StillwaterRiver used while studying the Wapiti/elk herdintroduced earlier in the century. Tiny Styles Islandguards the fiord’s entrance to the Tasman Sea whilewalks include a nature-filled stroll along StillwaterRiver towards Lake Marchant. Fishing here is goodfor those interested in joining the chefs in securingtonight’s dinner.
Day 8 - Day 8: George Sound
Today we plan to navigate to the largest of theNorthern Fiords, George Sound. Stretching 26-scenickilometres, George Sound is the longest of theNorthern Fiords and with several arms branchingfrom the fiord we have multiple options but thespectacular sight of Alice Falls flanked by denseforest and tumbling over boulders as it thunders outof Lake Alice at the head of fiord is always a strongdraw. It was at the head of George Sound that Wapiti/elk were introduced to New Zealand in 1905,part of the herd being gifted by American presidentTheodore Roosevelt.
Day 9 - Day 9: Milford Sound
We enter the magnificent Milford Sound this afternoonand enjoy a leisurely final cruise of this unforgettablelocation. Enjoy your final night aboard in theprotected waters beneath the towering peaks ofMilford Sound and revel in the sensational scenery asyou celebrate this unforgettable adventure with afarewell dinner.
Day 10 - Day 10: Milford Sound/Te Anau
After a final breakfast and farewells, head ashorewhere a transfer to Te Anau, via the historic HomerTunnel and the lowland beech forests and goldentussocks of scenic Eglinton Valley, awaits. In caseof unexpected delays, we ask you not to book anyonward travel from Te Anau until after 3pmthis afternoon
Day 11 - Please Note:
During our voyage, circumstances may make itnecessary or desirable to deviate from the proposeditinerary. This can include poor weather andopportunities for making unplanned excursions.Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.Voyages are planned and scheduled pending finalregulatory approval.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
26-08-202104-09-2021NZD $6,400Buller's
26-08-202104-09-2021NZD $8,200Salvin's
26-08-202104-09-2021NZD $9,100Wandering
26-08-202104-09-2021NZD $9,975Royal
21-06-202230-06-2022NZD $7,995Buller's
21-06-202230-06-2022NZD $8,925Salvin's
21-06-202230-06-2022NZD $9,375Wandering
21-06-202230-06-2022NZD $10,595Royal
13-07-202222-07-2022NZD $9,375Wandering
13-07-202222-07-2022NZD $10,595Royal
13-07-202222-07-2022NZD $7,995Buller's
13-07-202222-07-2022NZD $8,925Salvin's
14-08-202223-08-2022NZD $7,995Buller's
14-08-202223-08-2022NZD $8,925Salvin's
14-08-202223-08-2022NZD $9,375Wandering
14-08-202223-08-2022NZD $10,595Royal
28-09-202207-10-2022NZD $7,995Buller's
28-09-202207-10-2022NZD $8,925Salvin's
28-09-202207-10-2022NZD $9,375Wandering
28-09-202207-10-2022NZD $10,595Royal


    • Preservation Inlet
    • Chalky Inlet & Dusky Sound
    • Acheron Passage & Breaksea Sound
    • Doubtful Sound
    • Charles & Caswell Sound
    • George Sound
    • Milford Sound