Saturday, February 18, 2012

On board the Fiordland Navigator on Doubtful Sound

The Fiordland Navigator is designed as a traditional sailing vessel but is equipped with engines for cruising along Doubtful Sound. It sleeps 70 passengers: 18 private cabins with private bath and 8 'quad share" rooms. Also on board is the skipper and a young crew of about 10, the most congenial people you’d ever want to encounter. After our safety briefing in the main saloon (yup, there’s a bar there), we get our room assignments. Peter and I have a “double” with twin beds and a small bathroom; Mark is in a “quad” with bunk beds and three other fellows traveling from Wellington. 

The view from outside our room.

Back upstairs, we’re offered coffee, tea, and fresh muffins as we begin our journey into Doubtful Sound, out toward the Tasman Sea.

We are fortunate to have such a sunny afternoon. A fellow who is leading a group of 24 bikers around southern New Zealand is on board, and he’s been on this overnight cruise many times. He says the weather conditions on Doubtful Sound is only like this about 20 percent of the time. 

I will let the photos speak for themselves:


  1. I'm glad your safety briefing was right up front--no surprises later.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Room assignments? - Does that mean that you didn't get to book your rooms in advance? And since Stephane enjoys sailing, I have to ask if you used the sails at any point or if you used the engines the entire time.

  3. Spoken like a true butler, Joseph! And you are right -- get the rules out the way so everyone can relax and enjoy.

    Mary Kay - actually, Mark booked this trip months ago, and very generously selected the double room for us and the bunk room for him. Sadly, he did not sleep well. you can imagine the snoring marathon that occurred in his room, and the very little sleep he got. (But as he tells it, he was among the "front runner snorers" making all the noise). Luckily, he's been able to catch up on his sleep since then!

    At one point, they did start to put up the front sail, but i think it was just for "show". None of the other sails went up. They are on a pretty tight schedule - because as soon as they drop you off, they clean the ship, restock, and another 70 folks get on. So my guess is they don't have time to take a chance using wind power.



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