Overnight Cruise on the Milford Sound
We decided to do it properly and get more time in the Milford Sound, so we opted for an overnight cruise with 'Real Journeys' on their Wanderer vessel. We drove ourselves to Milford; the trip from Queenstown was breathtaking. There was so much to see and many interesting places to stop off at on the way, like The Chasm and Mirror Lakes.
We got ourselves checked in and they called us for boarding shortly after. We headed aboard and found our rooms, which were lovely. Then again, anything beats spending another night in our wee campervan. Nonetheless, it was an excellent standard of accommodation. They called us back upstairs and welcomed us on board; we met all the crew and we got information about what to expect on the cruise, including a safety briefing. It was all very professionally done. Before heading out they fed us some soup, a really tasty vegetable one. We headed out on deck to take in the breathtaking scenery. One of the crew members gave us commentary along the way, which was very interesting.
We had an option to go out either kayaking or in their little craft to get up closer to the water and interesting bits of the shoreline. We went for the kayaking option and as a group we paddled around the bay, hearing different stories and things about what was around us. We jumped back on to the big boat and got a chance to get ourselves sorted before dinner. Not a lot of relaxing time to be had, they keep you on the go. When it comes to meal times, they are very accommodating in terms of special dietary requirements, which I was very pleased about, and they altered the menu to suit my needs. Get ready for your taste buds to start to work overtime. Served was slow-roasted lamb shank, creamy mashed potato, roasted squash, steamed vegetables and topped off with gravy. It doesn’t stop there either. There were also sides of salad, potato salad and two choices of dressings, with plenty of everything left out for you to help yourself to more. Not that I could have as it was a decent-sized portion in the first place. Also, you definitely wanted to leave room for pudding, a sticky date cheesecake with cookie ice cream and a really tasty sauce over the top. It was a meal to die for; I couldn't fault it one bit. The meat was cooked perfectly; it just fell off the bone. It's almost worth doing the whole cruise again just for the food.
It was a beautiful still evening so they took us out of the Milford Sound into the Tasman Sea, where you could see along the coast line. It was just magical sitting and savouring your pudding whilst gazing out the window at the amazing view passing along side. We headed out on deck for a better view as the sun went down. When we went back inside there were cards and board games left out for us to use. After chatting to a few others on board, we turned in for the night as it was up early for breakfast at 7am in the morning.
We decided to get up earlier to see the sunrise. The morning light is always so beautiful. There was a lot to choose from: cereal, toast and fresh fruit. They also served up a cooked breakfast with sausages, bacon, tomato, scrambled eggs and hash browns. It was all washed down with a choice of tea, coffee or fruit juice. By 7.30am, we were out cruising around again, with the crew showing and telling us about parts we hadn't seen yet, before heading back into port for the end of our cruise.
I just wish we could spend more time out here; it’s such an amazing place, and an amazing experience I highly recommend it. Real journeys definitely made it an unforgettable experience. If you want to book with them, visit www.realjourneys.co.nz.