Unseen Queen Charlotte Sound: A Walking Cruise of Queen Charlotte Sound

Unseen Queen Charlotte Sound: A Walking Cruise of Queen Charlotte Sound

From NZD $3,995


Discover the tranquil waterways, wildlife and rich history of New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds on an unforgettable, intimate 5-day Kiwi walking adventure exploring Queen Charlotte Sound aboard our luxurious 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer.
Specially designed for more active travellers looking to explore these remote waterways, coves and coastlines only accessible by sea this voyage gives walking and hiking enthusiasts the opportunity to trek sections of the iconic Queen Charlotte Walkway, discover the rich whaling history of Perano, and experience thrilling island explorations of renowned conservation success stories Motuara and Blumine Islands, the latter also featuring WWII gun emplacement ruins.
In addition to excellent opportunities to explore one of New Zealand’s wildest, remote and beautiful destinations by foot, your adventure includes daily Zodiac cruises, opportunities to explore by kayak and, for avid fishers, the chance to try your luck fishing.
Formed by a system of submerged valleys carved out following the last ice age around 10,000 years ago, the scenic playground of Marlborough Sounds encompasses some 1,500-kilometres of forested coastline, sheltered inlets and bays awaiting exploration, many only accessible by sea. The union of three main bodies of water – Queen Charlotte, Kenepuru and Pelorus Sounds – Marlborough Sounds has more than 50 Department of Conservation managed reserves including several predator-free wildlife sanctuaries.
Join us as we discover the breath-taking beauty of Queen Charlotte Sound’s winding cobalt waterways, iconic landscapes, lush native forests, wildlife and remote coastlines rich in early New Zealand history and the location of some of the country’s most important conservation efforts.

Trip Name
Unseen Queen Charlotte Sound: A Walking Cruise of Queen Charlotte Sound
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: Blenheim
 Make your way to the designated meeting point in Blenheim for your transfer to Heritage Explorer in Picton (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The captain and expedition team will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself on board then join fellow travellers and your expedition team as we set sail along Queen Charlotte Sound this afternoon.
Day 2 - Day 2: Ship Cove & Tory Channel
 We have three full days to explore the waterways, islands, walkways and tracks of scenic Queen Charlotte Sound. First sighted in 1642 by Abel Janszoon Tasman while seeking shelter for his ships Heemskerck and Zeehaen from a storm near d’Urville Island, 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, in what he would call Queen Charlotte Sound. Today we plan to explore Tory Channel where the skeletal remains of the Perano Whaling Station provides a reminder of the region’s early whaling history and perhaps follow in their footsteps up to the lookout on Arapawa Island where epic views across the channel can be enjoyed. We also plan to visit Ship Cove to explore the region and learn of its history visiting Captain Cook’s memorial inaugurated in 1913 and perhaps walking through ancient, native bush to Ship Cove Waterfall.
Day 3 - Day 3: Queen Charlotte Walkway
 A true expedition day, today we look to explore sections of New Zealand’s famed Queen Charlotte Walkway, once a network of pioneer day bridle paths. One of the country’s most diverse coastal tracks, we will make several stops to experience its peerless coastal views, native bush, historic bays, endless skyline ridges and unsurpassed views of the stunning Marlborough Sounds. Set your own pace with opportunities for drop offs and pick ups at various bays. Enjoy shorter walks and lunch on board or collect a packed lunch and spend the day immersed in nature.
Day 4 - Day 4: Motuara & Blumine Islands
 Conservation and exploration go hand in hand today as we explore the rarely-visited island sanctuaries of Motuara and Blumine Islands. Fascinating history abounds on Blumine Island where WWII military ruins await exploration, native species flourish and stunning views combine along the Oruawairua Track of this former Pilot and Signal Station Reserve, sheep farm and now scenic reserve. Several rare bird species including the once widespread Orange-fronted Parakeet, now New Zealand’s rarest parakeet, were translocated to the island between 2011 and 2012 which is also home to South Island Saddleback, brought back from the brink of extinction last century from just 36 birds rescued in 1964, descendants of these birds were translocated to Blumine Island in 2009. On Motuara Island journey along the scenic loop track flanked by native bush and accompanied by the soundtrack of flourishing birdlife to the island’s summit for spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding islands, Cook Strait and the North Island (on a clear day). Predator-free since the early 1990s, the island is now a haven for Saddleback, South Island Robin, Yellow-crowned parakeet and Maud Island frogs which have all been relocated here. Motuara also serves as a crèche for Rowi Kiwi.
Day 5 - Day 5: Blenheim
 We 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.
Day 6 - Please note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-11-202408-11-2024NZD $3,995Buller's
04-11-202408-11-2024NZD $4,490Salvin's
04-11-202408-11-2024NZD $4,735Wandering
04-11-202408-11-2024NZD $5,575Royal
05-12-202409-12-2024NZD $3,995Buller's
05-12-202409-12-2024NZD $4,490Salvin's
05-12-202409-12-2024NZD $4,735Wandering
05-12-202409-12-2024NZD $5,575Royal
13-05-202517-05-2025NZD $4,735Wandering
13-05-202517-05-2025NZD $5,575Royal
13-05-202517-05-2025NZD $3,995Buller's
13-05-202517-05-2025NZD $4,490Salvin's
07-11-202511-11-2025NZD $3,995Buller's
07-11-202511-11-2025NZD $4,490Salvin's
07-11-202511-11-2025NZD $4,735Wandering
07-11-202511-11-2025NZD $5,575Royal
09-12-202513-12-2025NZD $3,995Buller's
09-12-202513-12-2025NZD $4,490Salvin's
09-12-202513-12-2025NZD $4,735Wandering
09-12-202513-12-2025NZD $5,575Royal
13-12-202517-12-2025NZD $3,995Buller's
13-12-202517-12-2025NZD $4,490Salvin's
13-12-202517-12-2025NZD $4,735Wandering
13-12-202517-12-2025NZD $5,575Royal


    • Discover the tranquil waterways, wildlife and rich history of New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds
    • Your adventure includes daily Zodiac cruises, opportunities to explore by kayak and, for avid fishers, the chance to try your luck fishing