Stewart Island Discovery Expedition Cruise (7 days)

From $3,485 per person

Wednesday 10 March – ​Tuesday 16 March 2021 (7 days)

Discover New Zealand’s third and most southernmost island, Stewart Island, on a small boat cruise. Each day will bring something new – rambles along deserted beaches, wildlife encounters, kayaking, guided rainforest walks, or perhaps you will simply relax on deck amidst the sensations, scenes and moods that sum up the island. Following your voyage to Bluff, you’ll explore Stewart Island’s eastern shoreline, including the renowned wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island. 

Day 1          Wednesday 10 March 2021
HOME CITIES TO INVERCARGILL          (D)
Today you fly from Auckland to Invercargill (via Christchurch).  You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for your overnight stay before commencing your Stewart Island Expedition Cruise tomorrow. Dinner tonight will be included at your hotel.
Accommodation: Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill

Day 2          Thursday 11 March 2021
BLUFF TO PORT ADVENTURE          (BLD)
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Bluff Ferry Terminal. Take the express catamaran across Foveaux Strait – from Bluff to Halfmoon Bay, where you will board the Milford Wanderer. Designed along the lines of a traditional New Zealand coastal trading scow to reflect Fiordland’s heritage, the Milford Wanderer has been purpose built to accommodate passengers in comfortable twin-share cabins with shared bathroom facilities. The galley is well provisioned and all meals are catered; including morning and afternoon teas. Your first stop on board the Milford Wanderer is Port Adventure. Port Adventure is where oysters were first harvested commercially in the 1800s. Finish the day with an afternoon beach and/or forest walk.
Accommodation: Onboard Milford Wanderer – 5 nights

Day 3          Friday 12 March 2021
PORT ADVENTURE TO PATERSON INLET          (BLD)
This morning visit the historic Norwegian Whaling Station in Prices Inlet. The station was set up in 1926 as a repair site for whaling operations in Antarctica's Ross Sea and operated until 1932. Vessels that docked there would sail to Antarctica to catch whales, before taking the carcasses to factory ships to be processed. It was a small part of the worldwide network of whaling bases run by Norwegian companies, and featured repair sheds, a bunkhouse, a cookhouse and a slipway. In the afternoon we explore Ulva Island Bird Sanctuary - the ultimate for bird watchers.  The island is free of predators and is a haven for plants and native birds, some of which are almost tame.  Since 2000, four species of birds have been released on Ulva Island including rare South Island Saddleback, Yellowhead and the threatened Stewart Island Robin.  Among other species which may be seen here are the Weka, Tui, Robins, the Spotted Shag, the Brown Creeper and the Kiwi.

Day 4          Saturday 13 March 2021
PORT WILLIAM          (BLD)
Today you sail around Port William, the northernmost destination of the expedition, has something for everyone. Learn about the fascinating Maori history and of the attempted European settlement there.  Choose a 1.5 hour walk in beautiful bush to venture to Maori Beach, or arrive via tender craft for a more relaxed option.

Day 5          Sunday 14 March 2021
LITTLE GLORY BAY          (BLD)
The early bird catches the worm, and a chance to see kiwi. Wake up and head to Little Glory Bay where your guide will lead you through spectacular coastal forest to a secluded sandy beach where you’ll have one of the best chances to spot our national bird searching for food. Enjoy a relaxed morning, filled with either a short walk or a gentle kayaking taking in the highlights around the various bays. In the afternoon, a local guide will accompany you to The Neck, a narrow peninsula that separates Paterson Inlet from Foveaux Strait. This a scenic place of historical significance with beaches, caves and graves sites and home to abundant wildlife.

Day 6          Monday 15 March 2021
OBAN          (BLD)
Your final day takes you to explore the quaint Oban village, where a local guide will share their knowledge of the area during mini-bus tour of the Island. Highlights include a visit to the gateway to Rakiura National Park at Lee Bay and Observation Rock with its stunning views of Paterson Inlet. You then board the express catamaran to Bluff in the afternoon, before being transferred to Invercargill for your overnight stay. Dinner tonight will be at your hotel.
Accommodation: Kelvin Hotel, Invercargill

Day 7          Tuesday 16 March 2021
INVERCARGILL TO HOME CITIES          (B)
This morning you will be transferred to Invercargill Airport for the commencement of your journey to your home destination.

Kelvin Hotel

Kelvin Hotel is situated in the city centre, only a short walk to major attractions and a 10-minute drive to the Invercargill Airport. The hotel offers rooms with a flat-screen TV, mini bar and free Wi-Fi access. There is an on-site bar and restaurant.

Milford Wanderer

The Milford Wanderer, is a modern motorised vessel that has been purpose built for navigating southern New Zealand. Designed along the lines of a traditional sailing scow, it has old world charm combined with modern facilities and the latest in safety equipment.

The sleeping quarters on board the Milford Wanderer are warm and comfortable (two passengers per sleeping compartment) with a maximum of 32 passengers per departure. All linen and towels are provided. Delicious meals prepared by onboard chef. The galley is well provisioned and all meals are catered; including morning and afternoon teas. In fact Discovery Expeditions are famous for their delicious and plentiful home-cooked meals, so you certainly won’t go home hungry!

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available - refer to flyer for further information
  • 2 nights accommodation at Kelvin Hotel, twin/double rooms (single rooms available with surcharge), all with private facilities
  • Auckland to Invercargill return airfare with Air New Zealand - other ports on application
  • Return airport transfers
  • 4 night cruise around Stewart Island onboard the Milford Wanderer with private cabin but shared bathroom faciltiies
  • On board specialist nature guides who provide informative commentary and evening talks
  • Tender craft and kayaks for exploration of the coastline
  • 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners included
  • Admission to Hokitika Wild Foods Festival

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Club Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost: $3,450.00
Non Member Guaranteed Share Twin Cost: $3,485.00
Single Supplement: $1950.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $1000.00

Full balance of tour payment due by Tuesday 10 November 2020

 

Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? NO

Unfortunately, our guaranteed twin share pricing is not available on this tour. If we do not have a suitable match for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement.

What fitness level is required for this tour? MODERATE LEVEL

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour. 

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Is this tour a guaranteed departure? YES

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Are roadside morning teas included on this tour? NO

No, roadside morning teas are not included for this tour. However, all meals including morning and afternoon teas are provided while on board the Milford Wanderer. 

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today. 

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one medium sized pack or soft suitcase weighing no more than 20kg and one piece of hand luggage. Please carry all medications in your hand luggage & keep them with you at all times, DO NOT pack in your suitcase as you will be seperated from your luggage at times.  

What clothing should I pack?

For your Stewart Island Cruise, we recommend light, quick drying materials (e.g. Thermal or Merino) for wearing next to your skin, covered by warm outerwear and a waterproof layer. We also suggest at least two changes of clothes for both on-board and walking/weather gear.

Essential items to bring for Off-boat activities:

  • Knee high gumboots (for walking in wet weather conditions) - wear on day of departure if you are heli in on the first day
  • Sandshoes/tramping boots (for dry walking conditions)
  • Weather/waterproof jacket - in your hand luggage
  • Weather/waterproof over-trousers - in your hand luggage
  • Walking clothes (e.g. shorts, trousers, long-johns, layers of warm clothing)
  • Warm hat
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm socks (woollen)
  • Day pack
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent

On-boat activities:

  • Casual shoes for inside wear
  • Casual shirts/t-shirts etc
  • Two jerseys and a warm jacket
  • Sleeping attire/underwear
  • Personal toiletries (towels are supplied on board)
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal medication and/or seasickness tablets

Optional:

  • Camera and accessories
  • Binoculars
  • Torch
  • Tramping/walking poles
  • Ear plugs
  • Hot Water bottle/wheat-bag

Booking Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions….
(Applicable for New Zealand Tours from 01 May 2020 - 30 September 2021)

Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
If you book a Packaged Tour with us and pay your deposit, you are deemed to have accepted these terms.  If you booked your Packaged Tour with us through an agent, the agent is deemed to have accepted these terms on your behalf.  We may ask you to sign a copy of these terms when you join your Packaged Tour to provide a record of your acceptance of these terms and you agree to sign these terms on our request.

Itineraries
The itinerary for your Packaged Tour was correct at the time of printing, but it is subject to change without notice.  Your itinerary could change due to road or weather conditions, changes imposed by other tour operators or a range of other factors outside our control.  You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary.

Price Amendments
Prices were correct at the time and date of printing, however Leisure Time Tours reserves the right to amend the price subject to any changes in price imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary or major fluctuation in the exchange rates, or increases in government or other levies. The final tour cost will be guaranteed not to change once the full and final payment has been received. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature. Leisure Time Tours also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to low numbers and in this instance a full refund will be provided.

*Guaranteed Twin Share Prices
Our Guaranteed Twin Share price is available for those passengers willing to share with another single traveller of the same gender. If there isn’t another passenger of the same gender to share with we GUARANTEE our twin share price. Leisure Times Tours accepts no responsibility for the compatibility of passengers travelling under this arrangement. If someone is not compatible with the person they have been matched up with, all additional costs incurred to assist with changing their shared room type to two single rooms will be at the expense of both travellers and will be subject to availability. Acceptance of a guaranteed twin share room is subject to the individual’s medical condition being suitable for this type of arrangement.

Health and Fitness
Passengers should be in good health and able to walk moderate distances to fully participate and experience the sightseeing opportunities within the enclosed itinerary.  All passengers are required to acknowledge that they are of reasonable health and are considered to be fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice.  By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate passengers are indemnifying us from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness.  We reserve the right to remove a passenger from a tour if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day to day running of the tour.  In this instance our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply.  You agree that we have no liability to you for any loss, damage, costs or other effects of health problems you may encounter on your Packaged Tour.

Health and Safety Information Including COVID-19
For the health and safety of all passengers on tour any illness (such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing) will not be accepted onboard the coach unless they can provide us with a negative Covid19 test result received within the past 72 hours.  Should any passenger start to feel unwell on arrival or while on tour, they must immediately advise their tour manager and contact Healthline then visit a medical practitioner/medical centre/hospital.  To return to the tour the passenger must be deemed fit and well to participate fully on a coach tour, obtaining and providing us with a written medical clearance – not just a negative Covid19 test.  Any costs incurred will be at the passenger’s own expense.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
A non-refundable deposit per person is required at time of booking to confirm your seat. All balance payments must be received by Leisure Time Tours prior to the date specified as per itinerary or your booking confirmation. Payments are available to be made by Cash, Cheque, Direct Credit or EFTPOS only –  Credit Card payments are not available without an additional surcharge.  Leisure Time Tours reserves the right to amend or reschedule the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Tours also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers and in this  instance a substitute date will be offered or a full refund will be made available. Tour Price excludes drinks, telephone calls, travel insurance and items of a personal nature.

Travel Insurance
Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. An important part of planning the holiday is to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy as it may prevent passengers from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help passengers feel protected during the holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today.

Land Component Cancellation Policy
By making a booking with us and paying your deposit you agree to pay us the full price for your booking.  If you cancel your booking:

  • 31+ days prior to tour commencement, loss of non-refundable deposit
  • 15-30 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 60% of the holiday price (40% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 8-14 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 80% of the holiday price (20% refund) plus any applicable supplier cancellation fees
  • 0-7 days prior to tour commencement your cancellation charge will be 100% of the holiday price (no refund)

No refunds on any unused portions of any itinerary.  The exception is if a sightseeing service is cancelled by operator due to weather conditions/safety concerns etc and the operator authorises a refund.  Any such refunds will be processed through agent.

Please note that any applicable airline content does not apply to the above refunds – see your airline for their specific cancellation/refund policies.

COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy
COVID-19 has created uncertainty for us all, therefore for cancellations directly related to COVID-19, we have negotiated special terms with our suppliers which would override ‘normal cancellation’ terms as outlined above;

If the New Zealand Government imposes travel restrictions that would impact our ability to deliver your travel package prior to commencing travel, passengers will receive a full credit, less any applicable airline cancellation fees.  If travel restrictions are imposed while on tour, we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.

If a passenger has been tested positive for COVID-19 directly prior to travel or while on holiday with us, then with supporting documentation provided to us (a positive COVID-19 test), we will seek credits on any unused portions of the itinerary from all suppliers.  Any applicable credits will first be applied to any additional costs that our company may have incurred on the passenger’s behalf e.g. if alternative accommodation or transportation to repatriate the passenger to their home city or nearest airport etc is required.  Any remaining refunds will be credited to the booking agent to enable them to pass onto their passenger.

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Two walkers talk to a South Island Robin on their visit to Ulva Island