Duration Duration: 2hrs 15mins

Pack your camera and join our expert nature guides on a special cruise that takes you closer to the natural beauty of Milford Sound. Our guides take the time to answer your questions while our smaller boat takes you close enough to catch the eye of a basking seal, dolphin, or even a rare Fiordland crested penguin.

Why choose an Encounter Nature Cruise?

  • Get closer and see more on the longest cruise in Milford Sound
  • Escape the crowds on a smaller boat and visit the open wheelhouse to chat to our skipper
  • Learn about the unique wildlife, geology and history from our expert nature guides
  • Grab a raincoat and get so close to the waterfalls that you can taste the pure glacial water
  • The ideal cruise for close-up photos of seals, dolphins or penguins
  • Freshly prepared picnic lunch available and licensed bar on board
  • Add a visit to the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory to explore the amazing world below the surface
  • FREE tea and coffee on board

Underwater Observatory upgrade:

*Visiting the Underwater Observatory adds up to an additional 1 hour to your cruise duration.



1 October 2019 - 30 April 2020

Departs FromCheck-in
Milford Sound9.15am9.30amEncounter Nature Cruise11.30am$95$30
Milford Sound12.00pm12.15pmEncounter Nature Cruise2.30pm$99$30
Milford Sound2.30pm2.45pmEncounter Nature Cruise5.00pm$95$30


1 May 2020 - 30 September 2020

Departs FromCheck in closesDepartsOptionReturnsAdultChild 
Milford Sound9.30am9.45amEncounter Nature Cruise12.00pm$85$30

Compare Our Milford Sound Cruises

Cruise Map

Click to expand


Travel Options

Click to expand

By Air:

A Fly/Cruise/Fly is the ultimate Milford Sound experience, taking in magnificent views of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and forest. Your trip will take approximately four hours and include hotel pick up, return scenic flight and your cruise in Milford Sound. Your pilot will provide commentary on the untouched wilderness that can only be seen from the air.

View all the Fly/Cruise/Fly options here

By Car or Campervan:

If you’d prefer to make your own way to Milford Sound, New Zealand’s most picturesque drive is a spectacular journey. The road into Milford is an extraordinary passage so allow plenty of time for short walks, photo opportunities and rest stops along the way.

View our Road to Milford Map for some must-see stops along the way.

Food Options

Click to expand

Picnic Lunch

Choose between a Regular, Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten Free picnic option.

  • Sandwich 
  • Cheese and crackers (soup for Vegan option)
  • Seasonal fresh fruit
  • Crisps
  • Cookie
  • Small chocolate bar
  • A fully licensed bar is available on all vessels except the Lady Stirling
  • Passengers are not permitted to bring their own alcohol on board our vessels
  • A selection of snacks are available to purchase on all vessels except the Lady Stirling
  • We only accept credit card or cash payments, we can not acccept eftpos or debit cards
  • Vegetarian alternatives to all of our food options are available – please select them when pre-ordering
  • If you have specific dietary requirements or special group requests please discuss with the reservations team and we will get our chef to provide you a menu and prices
  • Please note that the ingredients and contents of each meal are only a guide and these may be subject to change
  • Adult and child price is the same
  • Complimentary tea and coffee is provided on all cruises

What to Bring

Click to expand

What to bring for cruises

Due to the changeable nature of the weather in Milford, it’s a good idea to bring a warm, waterproof jacket and wear comfortable, non-slip shoes. Don’t forget insect repellent, sunscreen and plenty of memory card space on your camera.