Top of the South Marlborough Sounds /Abel Tasman

Top of the South Marlborough Sounds /Abel Tasman

From NZD $4,785


Many of the areas we visit on this expedition are accessible by (winding) roads or hiking tracks. But there is something special and very relaxing about cruising along the coastline of the Abel Tasman National Park and the drowned river valley systems of the Marlborough Sounds.

The region is synonymous with some of the greatest navigators and explorers the world has known, the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman, the French explorer Jules Sébastien Dumont d’Urville and the great British naval Captain James Cook. On this Expedition we will explore the exploration and exploitation of the region. We will pay special attention to the unique natural history its geology, geography, its botany, birds and marine environment and we will ensure there is plenty of time to simply relax and enjoy each day.

Trip Name
Top of the South Marlborough Sounds /Abel Tasman
Vessel Type: Small Ship Passenger Capacity: Up to 12 overnight in five cabins Lenght: 24 meters Built: 2017 Strannik is a Russian word translated as “Wanderer” or “Pilgrim”. Strannik is a person travelling in search of knowledge and wisdom. There is no better word nor way to describe our vessel, it has been born out of a natural curiosity and love of the natural world, history and travel.  It is designed, equipped and ready to explore the world and southern New Zealand. Cabins include private facilities with a bathroom including basin, toilet and shower. 8 passengers can comfortably fit within 4 twin/double cabins. Up to 12 passengers can be accomdated by prior agreement. Domestic comfort All cabins are fully insulated. Cruseair reverse-cycle systems throughout. Forced suction ventilation and fresh air seagoing vents and opening ports to all cabins. Opening hatches to most cabins. Spacious saloon and dining areas with great views. Each cabin has own entertainment docking station and screen, large theatre in saloon and music to all areas, reference library. Multiple fridge freezers, wine fridge, ice maker, full commercial laundry, garbage compactor, all electric commercial galley with Meile appliances. Navigation System A full double redundancy suite, featuring latest Simrad multinational navigational displays with dual range radars, high definition chart plotters, down scan and forward looking sonars, Satellite compass, Dual autopilots, and weather/climate monitoring instruments. The vessel is also fitted with CCTV and gyro stabilized Flir Night vision technology for added safety underway and on station. Communications System The latest Satellite communications with on-board Wi-Fi to all areas. Email and online connections. Satellite phone and data services Off shore with 4G cellular available in-shore for rapid streaming (location dependent), Long range HF SSB and VHF marine radios. Live online web based tracking system. Safety systems Full watertight compartments and double bottom throughout, automated Fire/smoke monitoring system to all compartments with bridge alarms. Comprehensive firefighting equipment and engine room Auto-fire flood system. All cabins with emergency exits and lighting. 2 x 20 man Solas life rafts, EPIRB’s, SART, Flares and personal emergency equipment including thermal protective aids, Solas approved life jackets and abandon ship supplies. Certified crew to assist and regular safety drills.


Day 1 - Day 1 Joining the Expedition / Nelson
We will arrange a private transfer for you and other members of the expedition from your accommodation to the Strannik which will be moored in picturesque Nelson harbour. Once you are welcomes on board, we will introduce you to our team and the vessel. You will want to be on deck as we sail out through the cut between Haula shore Island and the Boulder Bank out into Tasman Bay.We will cruise across Tasman Bay to the Astrolabe Roadstead behind Adele Island in the Abel Tasman National Park. It was here in 1827 that the French Explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville anchored and replenished his water and food supplies, and named the Island after his wife.
Day 2 - Days 2-8 Expedition Days
We continue our exploration of the Abel Tasman National Park where you will have many choices and opportunities, including short walks, longer walks, swimming, canoeing or simply lying on the beach. We will have a couple days here before heading back across Tasman Bay to D’Urville Island where we want to spend some time visiting Port Hardy and Greville Harbour areas before transiting the iconic French Pass into Admiralty Bay. We will pause our journey at Emslie Bay to allow you to get ashore and view French Pass from the nearby lighthouse.Our goal is to spend the next few days exploring the upper reaches of Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, searching out the history of the exploration and exploitation as well as some of the exciting conservation work that is currently being done. There will be multiple opportunities for short or long walks, or fossicking on the beaches. There is a labyrinth of water ways to explore in this ancient drowned river valley system where there are also some beautiful anchorages to enjoy.We will relocate to Queen Charlotte Sound via the outer reaches and islands of the Sounds, taking in the history and the beauty of the area. Who knows? There might be an opportunity for some fishing along the way – it all depends on the weather.Our final days of this expedition are spent in the beautiful Queen Charlotte Sound. There is a myriad of things to do and see here. There is Ships Cove, made famous by Captain James Cook who made multiple visits in the late 1700’s and Motuara Island, recently declared predator free and restocked with some of our countries rare native birds. There is the remains of the old whaling station near Tory Channel to explore. If you enjoy walking, there are a range of walks to choose from, including sections of the iconic Queen Charlotte track.
Day 3 - Day 9 Farewell
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. We will enjoy breakfast together on board the Strannik before taking you ashore in picturesque Picton. From here you will be able to take the ferry to Wellington or the Coastal Pacific Train to Christchurch, or a coach to Blenheim airport to catch any domestic flights.
Day 4 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-01-202216-01-2022NZD $4,785Twin Cabin
08-01-202216-01-2022NZD $9,570Single Occupancy


    • Hiking
    • Birding
    • Swimming
    • Kayaking
    • Photography
    • Botany
    • Cultural
    • History
    • Cetacean watching