Launched in December 2016, Fiordland Discovery is a family-owned and run business, with the owners having a lifelong connection to Fiordland. The idea behind Fiordland Discovery is to offer visitors up-close-and-personal access to one of New Zealand’s most iconic National Parks, through operators that have a genuine connection to the area.
Rob Swale, Fiordland Discovery’s owner/head skipper, is one of Fiordland’s most experienced and highly respected operators, with Fiordland in his blood having grown up as the son of a commercial fisherman. He has been involved with operating charter vessels in the area for over 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge, experience and very real connection to the area. His vision for our current business evolved from discussions with guests on his previous vessel, when he recognised there was a gap in the market for a boutique-style, purpose-built vessel to showcase Fiordland. With this in mind, Rob designed and built the Fiordland Jewel, a 24m high-spec catamaran that features a helipad, top-deck hot tub, nine climate-controlled cabins all with ensuite bathrooms and majestic fiord and sea views. With an on board chef, comfortable and elegant dining and seating areas, and genuine Kiwi hospitality, Fiordland Jewel provides a truly special way to experience the incredible beauty of Fiordland.
We offer a variety of different trips to cater for both domestic and international travellers. During the busy summer months we host mostly international tourists on our Milford Sound Overnight Cruise catering to a maximum of 20 guests and also our exclusive Milford Sound Heli Lunch Day Cruises, then from April through to October we operate our charter season.
Catering to a maximum of 18 guests we have two options available for our charter guests, we are the only local operator to offer either exclusive private use of the vessel for a group of family or friends or, alternatively, for people to join a group of like-minded guests to explore and experience this extraordinary corner of New Zealand on one of our public charters. Being a boutique-style operator, we also have more flexibility to tailor an itinerary (weather and time-depending) to suit the specific needs or wishes of each group.
Our seven-day Scenic Expeditions are designed for individuals, couples or small groups of family or friends who wish to book a cabin or cabins to join others to experience the extraordinary history and spectacular scenery of New Zealand’s largest National Park, which is also a major part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. The focus is primarily on exploring this remote wilderness and there are opportunities for kayaking, short walks and, weather-permitting, some fishing, depending on people’s wishes.
Alternatively, we offer private charters for groups who wish to have exclusive use of the vessel, specialising in tailored trips to suit specific requirements, whether it be scenic, fishing, hunting or diving expeditions - or a combination thereof - exploring Preservation Inlet and the surrounding Southern Fiords, including Doubtful, Breaksea and Dusky Sounds, and Preservation and Chalky Inlets.
During August we run our charters in Stewart Island. We have found that this incredible island is frequently overlooked by many New Zealanders and all who have travelled with us have been overawed by its stunning scenery and virtually untouched beauty. Our guests to date for these expeditions have been mostly New Zealand residents… with a few Australians over the past two charter seasons.
We will be operating our small group boat expeditions and private charters through COVID-19 - Alert Level 2 from Saturday May 30, the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew is paramount during this time and we will be following NZ Government and Tourism Industry Aotearoa safe operating guidelines, please contact us for an overview of these.