All of the New Zealand Fiords

Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, invites you to join us on the ultimate 10-day exploration of All of the New Zealand Fiords, remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fiordland on board M/S Heritage Explorer.

This treasured natural wonderland, its wildlife, conservation and history inspired our dream for responsible travel with its endless possibilities exploring remote shores, coves inlets and waterways.

The majority of Fiordland’s sounds are only accessible by sea, making them among 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. The isolation of these fiords has been beneficial in ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed.

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.


Te Anau (New Zealand)


20% off selected departures

16 July 2024 – 25 July 2024

18 August 2024 – 28 August 2024

28 Aug 2024 – 6 September 2024

DURATION 10 days/9 nights
PRICES per person

Book before 29 March 2024 and SAVE 20% on Fiordland winter departures

Buller’s Cabin A$7,785
Wandering Cabin A$9,150
Salvin’s Double A$8,700
Salvin’s Twin A$8,700
Royal Cabin A$11,750

GROUP SIZE 18 Guests
Pre/Post cruise transfers 
On board ship accommodation and meals
All shore excursions and activities 
Port fees
International air-tickets and taxes
Pre and Post land arrangements
Vaccination costs
Passport or Visa fees
Travel Insurance
Personal items like drinks and laundry
Any other meals or sightseeing not specified in the detailed itinerary

Additional information

DestinationNew Zealand

Day 1

Welcome to Te Anau/Preservation Inlet

Make your way to the designated meeting point in Te Anau then take in the grand views and awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy a spectacular helicopter transfer to join Heritage Explorer in Preservation Inlet (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The captain and expedition leader will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. Settle into life aboard before we set sail along Long Sound and enjoy your first impressions of Southern Fiordland’s unrestrained landscape.


Day 2

Preservation Inlet

Today is dedicated to exploring Preservation Inlet, rich in history we will delve into the gold mining and forestry attempts that once made this now quiet waterway a bustling hub of activity. The area’s natural bounty saw more than 2,500 gold miners and saw millers flock to the region in the late 1890s, this early settler history at mining towns Cromarty and Te Oneroa, now reclaimed by nature, can still be observed, none more spectacularly than at the failed Tarawera Mine and Smelter, where the ruins of the smelter’s historic three-storey chimney were restored in 2015. Among the activity Preservation Inlet can also lay claim to having New Zealand’s first whaling station at Cuttle Cove and the location of one of the country’s most remote lighthouses at Puysegur Point, which began operation in 1879 perched some 40-feet above the South Island’s south-western most point. Here a great coastal walk, formerly a telegraph track built to connect the lighthouse, leads to the old landing shed at Otago Retreat.


Day 3

Chalky Inlet

The entrance to Chalky Inlet is guarded by the impressive limestone cliffs of Chalky Island, the inspiration behind Captain Cook’s naming of the fiord. One of several important predator-free islands in the inlet including Great Island and Passage Islands, Chalky Island is home to some of New Zealand’s most critically endangered bird species including the Little Spotted Kiwi and Kakapo, and endemic Te Kakahu Skink, discovered in 2002.

The protected harbours at North and South Port offer much to explore as the centres of human history in the inlet with North Port the final resting place of the rusting hulk of purposely grounded GSS Stella while South Port reveals an industrial past with the remnants of once prolific saw-milling activity. Sailing to the head of the fiord the surrounding mountains envelope us with their majesty.


Day 4

Dusky Sound

Our expedition cruise through Dusky Sound visits some of the most significant historical and conservation sites in New Zealand as well as some of the most majestic scenery as we sail deep into the heart of Fiordland. Predator-free Anchor Island homes half of the world’s population of Kakapo and Little Spotted Kiwi and is also the location of historic Luncheon Cove and a number of New Zealand firsts including New Zealand’s first sealing gang, the building of New Zealand’s first European homestead and first European designed ship, the 16-metre Providence built here and launched in 1795. On nearby Pigeon Island learn the history of Richard Henry and his pioneering live transfer of birds to island refuges – an international first in wildlife conservation. While his attempts were unsuccessful due to stoats swimming over to the island, it is heartening to learn the island is now pest- free and a sanctuary for native birdlife, with Henry’s vision fulfilled.


Day 5

Acheron Passage & Breaksea Sound

A navigation through Acheron Passage, which separates Resolution Island from the mainland, is sure to be one of the highlights or our time in Fiordland. This iconic scenic waterway is an area where Bottlenose Dolphins are often spotted. Our explorations here may include venturing into Wet Jacket Arm where the crew of Cook’s Resolution ended up with wet jackets during their survey work. It is also the sight where moose were released, and last seen, in New Zealand. The extensive sheltered waters of scenic Breaksea Sound, initially scouted for sheep farming suitability by early setters in the 1850s is also the location of Breaksea Island, an iconic site in New Zealand conservation history as one of the first large islands declared rat-free in 1988.


Day 6

Doubtful Sound

Experience some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Fiordland – Doubtful Sound, or the sound of silence as it’s also known. Spanning some staggering 40-kilometres and holding the title as New Zealand’s deepest fiord, Doubtful Sound with its cloud-scraping wilderness cloaked mountains, sheer stone cliffs, waterfalls, inlets, quiet coves and wildlife presents nature on a scale so grand it’s off the chart. Photographic opportunities abound and our time spent here could include ship cruising Blanket Bay, the Shelter Islands, Pandora River, Deas Cove and Open Bay.


Day 7

Charles & Caswell Sound

One of the southern-most of the northern fiords, Charles Sound, branches into Emelius and Gold Arms at its head with Gold Arm being home to one of the most extensive marine reserves in the inner fiords (Kahukura Marine Reserve) while other sections are included in the Taumoana Marine Reserve. Your captain and expedition Leader will find a suitably sheltered anchorage for Heritage Explorer where activities could include kayaking or joining your expedition guides in a coastal exploration by Zodiac.

Another rarely explored fiord, Caswell Sound is home to the last physical remains of the 1949 New Zealand–American Fiordland scientific expedition, a primitive hut standing on the banks of the Stillwater River used while studying the Wapiti/elk herd introduced earlier in the century. Tiny Styles Island guards the fiord’s entrance to the Tasman Sea while walks include a nature-filled stroll along Stillwater River towards Lake Marchant. Fishing here is good for those interested in securing tonight’s dinner.


Day 8

George Sound

Today we plan to navigate to the largest of the Northern Fiords, George Sound. Stretching 26-scenic-kilometres, George Sound is also the longest of the Northern Fiords and with several arms branching from the fiord we have multiple options for exploration. However the spectacular sight of Alice Falls flanked by dense forest and tumbling over boulders as it thunders out of Lake Alice at the head of fiord is always a strong draw. 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 president Theodore Roosevelt.


Day 9

Milford Sound

We enter the magnificent Milford Sound this afternoon and enjoy a leisurely final cruise of this unforgettable location. Enjoy your final night aboard in the protected waters beneath the towering peaks of Milford Sound and revel in the sensational scenery as you celebrate this unforgettable adventure with a farewell dinner.


Day 10

Milford Sound/Te Anau

After a final breakfast and farewells, head ashore where a transfer to Te Anau, via the historic Homer Tunnel and the lowland beech forests and golden tussocks of scenic Eglinton Valley, awaits. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Te Anau until after 3pm this afternoon.

Please note: 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 poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.


M/S Heritage Explorer

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. Cutting a striking profile in the water, Heritage Explorer boasts a considered design that’s both ahead of its time and showcases a clever balance of privacy, comfort, spaciousness and agility allowing her to explore the best of New Zealand’s backyard while introducing new levels of bespoke comfort.

Heritage Explorer continues Heritage Expeditions proud history as ambassadors for conservation, pioneers of discovery, and leaders in expedition travel to the world’s best-kept secrets. Heritage Expeditions pioneered conservation-driven, authentic small ship expedition cruising in 1984 and has been sharing some of the most wild, least-explored and biologically rich regions on the planet with small numbers of guests ever since.

Heritage Explorer

Technical Specifications:

Vessel Type Expedition Yacht
Expedition staff & crew  5
Guests 18
Cabins 10 
Length 30m
Breadth 7.8m
Draft 1.93m
Engine 653 horsepower
Cruising speed 10 knots
Tenders 2


Deck Plan

Heritage Explorer Deck Plan



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Heritage Explorer_Bullers Cabin_A.Russ
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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.
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Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.
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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.
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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.
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Heritage Explorer will have an open bridge policy and a full commercial kitchen helmed by a talented chef.

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your AUD per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: 25% in A$ per person
Balance due: 90 days prior to departure
If booking within 89 days of departure: Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.


Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 180 days prior to departure A$750 per person
Between 179 and 91 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
On or within 90 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

All of the New Zealand Fiords
Undiscovered Dusky Sound

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