Undiscovered Dusky Sound

Discover the primordial majesty of Fiordland on an unforgettable voyage cruising Acheron Passage, Breaksea and Dusky Sounds with New Zealand’s pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions.

Starting and concluding with a thrilling, scenic helicopter flight between Te Anau and Supper Cove, our 5-day voyage sees us exploring the sheltered waters, hidden coves, islands and astounding scenery of World Heritage Area Dusky Sound, one of Fiordland’s largest fiords some 40-kilometres long and studded with more than 350 islands. Only accessible by sea, Dusky Sound is among the most isolated areas on 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. However, it is this isolation that has ensured the pristine, epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed.

Rightly famous for its epic, grand scale scenery, untamed wilderness and unique wildlife including Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and New Zealand Fur Seals, Fiordland is also rich in natural history, geology and the location of several historical New Zealand firsts and important restoration and conservation projects which we plan to visit. Our luxurious 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer is perfect for navigating Fiordland’s narrow waterways, fiords and island clusters off limits to larger vessels. We will also use our two tenders to explore further and make landings, visit historic sites and enjoy a range of walks. On board you will also find kayaks to explore at your leisure and fishing gear to perhaps catch the evening meal.

Discover the calm waters of Dusky Sound in solitude and explore some of the most unique and wild parts of Fiordland on this bucket list voyage.


Te Anau (New Zealand)


13 March 2024 – 17 March 2024

17 March 2024 – 21 March 2024

4 August 2024 – 8 August 2024

16 September 2024 – 20 September 2024

DURATION 5 days/4 nights
PRICES per person

Buller’s Cabin A$4,625
Wandering Cabin A$5,375
Salvin’s Double A$5,145
Salvin’s Twin A$5,145
Royal Cabin A$6,195

GROUP SIZE 18 Guests
Pre/Post cruise transfers by Helicopter
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/Supper Cove

Meet with your fellow expeditioners in Te Anau then take in the grand views and awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy a spectacular helicopter transfer to Supper Cove at the very head of Dusky Sound (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). Your captain and expedition leader will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. Settle into life on board before we set sail alongside Cooper, Long and Indian Islands before finding a suitable anchorage to enjoy your first evening aboard.


Days 2-3

Dusky Sound

After a quiet night aboard surrounded by the nature and wilderness of Fiordland we continue our explorations among some of the most majestic scenery in New Zealand. We have two days to explore, discover and experience the rich history, wilderness, wildlife and grand scale scenery of Fiordland’s iconic Dusky Sound. Our voyage will see us visiting and exploring some of the most significant historical and conservation sites in New Zealand as well as marvelling at the grand scale scenery as we sail deep into the heart of Fiordland. During our time here we plan to walk in the footsteps of Captain Cook and astronomer William Wales at Astronomer’s Point, the site of a temporary observatory in Pickersgill Harbour, where New Zealand became the most accurately located place on the globe when the Resolution was moored here in 1773. Our explorations also expect to visit predator-free Anchor Island, home to half of the world’s population of Kakapo and Little Spotted Kiwi, and 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 we will learn about 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 4

Breaks Sound & Acheron Passage

A navigation through Acheron Passage today, which separates Resolution Island from the mainland, is sure to be one of the highlights of our time in Fiordland. This iconic scenic waterway is an area where the resident 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 settlers 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 and now home to many endangered species. This afternoon you might like to try your luck fishing for tonight’s dinner, or take the kayaks for a shoreline exploration.


Day 5

Supper Cove/Te Anau

This morning Heritage Explorer returns to Supper Cove where we enjoy a last opportunity to bask in the majesty of the fiords during breakfast before boarding your scenic helicopter transfer back to Te Anau. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Te Anau until after 1pm.

Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.


Undiscovered Dusky Sound

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



Heritage Explorer_Bullers Cabin_A.Russ
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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Heritage Explorer_Wandering Cabin_A.Russ
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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.

Undiscovered Dusky Sound
Undiscovered Dusky Sound

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