Southern Discoveries Limited(SDL) is a wholly owned New Zealand company which has operated for over 50 years and are the original Milford Sound Cruise operator.

1. General Terms and Conditions
2. Terms and Conditions for all experiences
3. Cancellations/Amendments/Refunds
4. Cancelled Sailings
5. Road Closures
6. Online Privacy and Personal Information
7. Passenger/Guest Information
8. Passengers with Disabilities
9. Children and Infants
9a. Kids Go Free
10. Online Promotions
11. Health & Safety
12. Insurance
13. Liability & Indemnity
14. New Zealand Law
15. Local’s Introductory Offer

1. General Terms and Conditions

  • SDL reserves the right to amend timetables, cancel cruise departures and substitute vessels at any time for safety or operational reasons including due to unsafe weather conditions or vessel maintenance.
  • Minimum numbers apply on all trips.
  • Milford Sound is a natural environment so wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.
  • All prices are listed in New Zealand dollars (NZD) and are inclusive of GST. Unless otherwise specified, prices are valid as of the dates specified on the website and may change without notice.
  • To reduce credit card fraud activity customers must show the credit card that was used for booking online when they check-in.

2. Terms and Conditions for all experiences

Milford Sound Coach & Cruise experiences
Southern Discoveries Ltd reserves the right to amend prices, timetables, arrange alternative transport and provide alternative routes without prior notice.

  • Coach & Cruise departures and itineraries are subject to sea, road and weather conditions, Southern Discoveries Ltd reserves the right to cancel departures when necessary for safety, weather and/or road conditions.
  • Cancellations must be received by Southern Discoveries Ltd no later than 24 hours prior to the coach departure.
  • Cancellations made within 24 hours or on the day of travel are not entitled to a refund.
  • Passengers who do not check-in for departure will be considered “no shows” and no refunds are available.
  • Disabled passengers who require assistance on and off the coach must arrange for this assistance at pick up and drop off points.
  • For health and safety reasons, drivers are not permitted to participate in physically lifting or carrying of passengers.
  • The coaches are unable to store and/or carry motorised wheelchairs or motorised mobility scooters.
  • Minimum numbers are required to operate.
  • Children are aged 5-14 years inclusive. A Child fare must be purchased for travel on our Coach & Cruise products.
  • Infants are aged 0-4 years. An Infant fare must be purchased for travel on our Coach & Cruise products.
  • As the Coach & Cruise experiences are returning day excursions our luggage storage capacity is limited. Please call reservations to confirm availability on 0800 264 536.

Milford Sound Kayak

  • All passengers must be able to swim and wear an approved life jacket in accordance with weight.
  • Double kayaks are available and must be requested at the time of booking.
  • Single kayaks are only available for adult passengers.
  • Double kayaks are available for children accompained by an adult – each child must be accompanied by an adult in the kayak.
  • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must sign on behalf of a child.
  • Minimum child age outlined in point 7 above.
  • SDL reserves the right to cancel or modify any kayaking trip due to unsafe weather conditions or not meeting the minimum number requirements. In the event of a kayaking trip being cancelled by SDL, passengers will receive a part refund for the kayaking portion only.
  • Detailed risk management and strict safety procedures are observed, however there still remains an element of risk.
  • Risks in Milford Sound include extreme weather and water conditions which can change rapidly, cold water and limited kayaking landing sites.
  • SDL accepts its legal responsibilities but cannot be held responsible for personal injury or loss, theft or damage to passenger belongings outside of any legal liability.
  • SDL cannot absolutely guarantee passenger safety.
  • All passengers will be required to sign a liability form to this effect before commencing kayaking.
  • Passengers on kayaking trips must follow guide instructions and adhere to safety requirements.

Milford Sound Underwater Observatory

  • The Milford Sound Underwater Observatory is an add-on to a cruise.
  • Passengers will be dropped off by one vessel and will be collected by a second vessel for the last portion of the cruise to the Milford wharf.
  • Allow an additional 30 – 60 minutes for a visit to the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory.
  • The Milford Sound Underwater Observatory is located on a floating platform in Harrison Cove.
  • SDL reserves the right to cancel the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory at any time due to unsafe weather conditions, maintenance, or not meeting the minimum passenger numbers.
  • The Underwater Observatory is located in a natural environment so SDL cannot guarantee visibility or viewing of marine life.
  • In the event of the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory being cancelled by SDL, passengers will receive a full refund for the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory if they have purchased the Underwater Observatory as an add-on to a cruise.
  • If passengers have booked the Discover More, Milford Sound Cruise & Kayak, Milford Sound Coach & Cruise + Kayak, Coach & Discover More Cruise or a Small Coach & Cruise Day Trip from Te Anau, passengers will receive a partial refund for the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory only.
  • No refunds will be given for cruise, transport or food.

Spirit of Queenstown Dinner Cruise

  • To guarantee your best chance of making a reservation (dependent on availability), we strongly recommend booking at least 24 hours ahead of departure. Southern Discoveries will only have a very limited number of spaces available for booking on the same day as departure.
  • Prices are applicable to all ages, including children. Seating is not suitable for infants.
  • Due to our menu being designed for sharing, we only accept bookings for groups of 2 or more people.
  • Our maximum table size is 6 people. If you wish to book for a group larger than 6 people, we will do our best to ensure your group is seated on tables adjacent to each other, but we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
  • Guaranteed window tables are only available for groups of up to 4 people.
  • Unless you have paid for a guaranteed window table, you will be seated at our best available table, which may include a shared table.
  • While we take the utmost care to minimise the risk of cross contamination, we cannot guarantee that our vegetarian, vegan and gluten free alternative menu is free of gluten or contamination from animal products such as meat, milk and eggs.
  • In accordance with New Zealand law, alcohol will not be served to minors under the age of 18 years old. Southern Discoveries reserves the right to request acceptable proof of age identification such as a New Zealand driver licence, current passport or Kiwi Access Card. Please note that overseas or international driver licenses are not deemed acceptable.
  • Prices are valid mid-December 2019 to mid-April 2020.
  • Price, days and dates of operation are subject to change.

Station 2 Station Cycle Trail

  • Cyclists take part in the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail at their own risk.
  • Southern Discoveries is not responsible for the safety of cyclists on the road between Mt Nicholas and Walter Peak Stations
  • All cyclists need to be aware of the New Zealand Road Code.
  • Southern Discoveries reserve the right to amend timetables, cancel departures, substitute plant or equipment or alter ticket prices at any time.

Scenic Fixed Wing Flights or Fly/Cruise/Fly

  • Prices include return flights from Queenstown and SDL Milford Sound Cruise.
  • Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • Flight routes, itineraries and cruises are subject to weather conditions.
  • Child age is outlined above in point 7.
  • Infant age is outlined above in point 7. Maximum one infant per couple.
  • The Milford Sound Underwater Observatory add-on is only available on selected flights.

For full terms and conditions, please contact reservations@southerndiscoveries.co.nz or phone +64 3 441 1137 or 0800 264 536.
Helicopter Flights or Heli/Cruise/Heli

  • Prices include return flights from Queenstown and SDL Milford Sound Cruise.
  • Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • Flights are dependent on weather conditions.
  • Flight routes, itineraries and cruises are subject to weather conditions.
  • Child age is outlined above in point 7.
  • Infants age is outlined above in point 7. Infants fly free of charge if sitting on adult knee. Maximum one infant per couple.
  • Milford Sound Underwater Observatory add-on is not able to be included when flying into Milford Sound.
  • Maximum six passengers per helicopter.
  • Individual personal weight is required at time of booking.
  • Flight times are approximate and flight paths/landings may change at the pilot’s discretion.

For full terms and conditions, please contact reservations@southerndiscoveries.co.nz or phone +64 3 441 1137 or 0800 264 536.
Milford Sound Lodge

  • All cancellations incur a 10% charge (except due to road closures).
  • Cancellation within 7 days of the date of arrival will incur a 30% charge.
  • Cancellation on day of arrival will incur a 100% charge.
  • Cancellations due to road closures are 100% refundable.

For full terms and conditions, please refer to www.milfordsoundlodge.com
KJet

  • All trips require minimum numbers.
  • Minimum age to travel is 2 years.
  • KJet reserves the right to cancel or postpone trips at its sole discretion and SDL will refund the ticket price if a trip is cancelled or postponed by KJet.
  • Once a ticket is purchased, and there is a requirement to cancel, KJet must be notified more than one hour before the departure time.
  • Refunds will be given at the sole discretion of KJet.
  • Tickets cancelled less than one hour before departure incur a 100% charge.
  • No shows are non-refundable.
  • Southern Discoveries Limited have a 50% shareholding in KJet.

Milford Sound/Queenstown & KJet Combos

  • It is not possible do to both products on the same day as Milford Sound is approximately 5 hours each way from Queenstown.
  • The combos may change or be removed without notice.
  • Child age Groups – unless otherwise specified:
  • Children are aged 5-14 years inclusive
  • Infants are aged 0-4 years travel and free on all cruises except Coach & Cruise products.

3. Amendments/Cancellations/Refunds

  • To reduce credit card fraud activity customers must show the credit card that was used for booking online when they check-in.
  • Gift vouchers are non-refundable (other than at the absolute discretion of Southern Discoveries).
  • Pre-paid reservations (bookings) can be altered in accordance with the following:
  • Up until 24 hours prior to the date and time of any pre-paid reservation: you may change (subject to availability) or cancel your booking at no charge by contacting Southern Discoveries directly.
  • Within 24 hours of any scheduled reservation: amendments, partial or full cancellations and ‘no show’ reservations will incur a 100% charge – there will no refund of prepayment. Please note, if  you have cancelled due to illness, we reserve the right to request a medical certificate.
  • In the event that a pre-paid reservation is not utilised by the customer without any communication or notification to Southern Discoveries, this reservation is deemed to have been used.
  • Claims for refunds due to circumstances out of passengers control should be submitted in writing no later than 30 days after the date of departure.
  • Passengers are recommended to insure themselves against cancellation charges and possible loss of personal belongings.
  • Booking amendments, cancellations or refunds cannot be processed online.

Please contact us:
Email: reservations@southerndiscoveries.co.nz
Phone: +64 3 441 1137
Freephone: (NZ only) 0800 264 536
 

4. Cancelled Sailings

  • SDL reserves the right to cancel any cruise at any time due to unsafe weather conditions, vessel maintenance, or not meeting the minimum passenger numbers required to sail.
  • In the event of a cruise being cancelled prior to departure, passengers will receive any pre-ordered food and given the option of an alternative sailing or a full refund on the cruise portion only.
  • If a cruise is cancelled during a sailing due to unforeseen circumstances, adverse weather affecting passenger safety and comfort, unforeseen operational reasons or any other issue, passengers will receive a partial refund.
  • Full refunds will only be given when a cruise is cancelled prior to departure.

5. Milford Road Closure (State Highway 94)

The Milford Road is an alpine road with the highest point at 945 metres at the Homer Tunnel. The road can be closed with no or very little warning from the Land Transport Authority at any time of year. Up-to-date road information is available at milfordroad.co.nz

  • SDL accepts no responsibility for disrupted travel plans as a result of a road closure.
  • SDL is informed of the road status at 7.30am each morning.
  • All agents and passengers can choose to receive a full refund or travel when the road is re-opened.
  • Should the Milford Road be closed on your day of travel and this has disrupted your cruise and Milford Sound travel plans, please contact our Reservations team to discuss refund or travel options by Freephone: 0800 264 536.

6. Passenger/Guest Information

SDL is entitled, at the passenger consents, to the use of any of the passenger’s personal information obtained in relation to a passenger’s use of any SDL service, whether collected directly by SDL from the person concerned or not, for any purpose associated with the operation or marketing of SDL and to disclose any such information to any of its subsidiaries, associated companies, or any other person engaged in business operations with SDL from time to time primarily for the purpose of operations and health and safety.

7. Online Privacy and Personal Information

Find out how we endeavour to protect your privacy and details.

8. Passengers with Disabilities

  • The Milford Sound Cruise Terminal, toilets, promenade decks and wharves are all wheelchair accessible.
  • New Zealand Maritime law dictates that all external vessel doors must be water tight and this includes a door sill to prevent seawater entering the vessel.
  • Southern Discoveries Pride of Milford is the only vessel in Milford Sound that has wheelchair boarding capability. Disabled passengers may need some assistance to negotiate the door sill. Wheelchair accessibility is confined to the main boarding deck only.
  • All vessels comprise either two or three deck levels accessed by internal and external stairs only, there are no elevators.
  • Toilets on the Milford Sound and Queenstown vessels are not wheelchair accessible.
  • The Milford Underwater Observatory chamber is not wheelchair accessible as it is 10 metres below the water and accessed by stairs.
  • For health and safety reasons, staff are not permitted to participate in physically carrying of passengers on and off vessels.
  • Southern Discoveries Spirit of Queenstown vessel has wheelchair boarding capability but does not have wheelchair accessible toilets. 
  • Please seek further advice at the time of booking. Call 0800 264 536.

9. Children and Infants

Milford Sound Coach & Nature Cruise, Milford Sound Coach & Scenic Cruise, Milford Sound Coach, Cruise & Underwater Observatory, Milford Sound Coach, Cruise & Kayak from Queenstown and Te Anau and Small Coach & Cruise trips from Te Anau Child and Infant special conditions:

  • An Infant fare must be purchased to be allocated a seat on the coach 
  • A Child fare must be purchased to be allocated a seat on the coach 
  • In accordance with New Zealand Law, all infants and children aged 7 years and under must be correctly secured in an approved child seat while travelling in any Southern Discoveries coach. 
  • An appropriate child restraint must be provided by the caregiver (adult) in order for an infant or small child to travel on coach trips. If you need to hire an approved child seat, we recommend you contact Tots on Tour on +64 3 442 0409.

Child and Infant age brackets:

Southern Discoveries products age groups:

  • Infants 0 – 4 years (Infants travel free on cruise only products).
  • Child 5 – 16 years inclusive.

Southern Discoveries Fly and Heli partners age groups:

  • Air Milford – scenic flight partners – Infants 0 – 1 yrs, Child 2 – 12 yrs
  • Glenorchy Air – scenic flight partners: Infants 0 – 2 yrs, Child 3 – 14 yrs
  • Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters – scenic heli partners: Child 0 – 11 yrs

 

9a. Kids Go Free

Kids Go FREE applies when travelling at indicated dates and times by product for the following Southern Discoveries experiences:

  • Milford Sound Scenic and Nature Cruises
  • Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruises
  • Mt Nicholas Farm Experience

Conditions:

    • Travel period is valid for speicified periods only
    • Available for online and retail purchases only
    • Children must be accompanied by a full fare-paying adult.
    • Maximum two children per adult.
    • Not valid in conjunction with any other offer.
    • Not available in conjunction with a combo deal (e.g. Milford Sound Cruise and Queenstown Scenic
      Cruise Combo)
    • Milford Sound Underwater Observatory, lunches, coach and flight connections, and experiences other
      than those listed above are not included.

Unless otherwise specified:

  • Children are aged 5-14 years inclusive
  • Infants are aged 0-4 years and travel free on all cruises except Coach & Cruise products.

10. Online Promotions

Save 10% Online
The promotion may change or be removed without notice at any time. The online 10% discount is only applicable on adult fares and the discount is applied at the time of booking. The promotion is not available in conjunction with any other offer and is not redeemable for cash.

11. Health & Safety

Health, safety and comfort is SDL’s primary concern. Prior to every cruise departure, the skipper either shows a safety video or gives clear safety instructions over the public address system. Passengers should listen carefully to these messages and comply with all aspects of safety advice. In the unlikely event of an emergency, passengers must obey all instructions from the SDL fully trained skipper and crew.

New Zealand has a ‘no fault’ government-backed medical injury treatment scheme administered by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Under ACC legislation, passengers are prevented from suing the operator for any mishap or misadventure. Should there be a medical incident or injury SDL will do everything in its power to organise prompt medical assistance. In the case of injury the cost of that assistance will be borne by the ACC scheme. The nearest medical centre to Milford Sound is located in Te Anau (120 kilometres away).
All passengers, while in an area controlled by SDL, must:

  • Act in a safe and reasonable manner
  • Cooperate with, and observe all instructions from SDL staff
  • Follow all signs and notices
  • Not smoke
  • Not consume alcohol unless available on SDL service
  • Not interfere with or use emergency equipment or emergency exits except in an emergency
  • Not behave in an unsafe, noisy, violent or antisocial manner
  • Not litter or tamper with or damage any property of SDL

 

12. Insurance

SDL carries full Public Liability Insurance for all passengers travelling on any SDL vessels or vehicles.
 

13. Liability and Indemnity

Passengers travel at their own risk (to the extent permitted by law) and SDL is not responsible for any loss, damage, cost, expense or injury suffered by passengers or loss or damage to a passenger’s property.

Without limiting the foregoing, the following conditions apply:

  • In respect of all passengers, SDL is not liable for any loss, damage or delay caused by or arising from an event beyond the control of SDL, including any act of God, inevitable accident, riot, civil  commotion, strike, lock-out, stoppage or restraint of labour, regardless of the cause and whether partial or general.
  • SDL does not warrant that SDL services are available at any particular time or at all.

SDL is not liable to a passenger or any other person:

  • for any consequences arising from any variation or delay in the time of arrival or departure from any stop of any vehicle;
  • for any loss or damage as a result of a cancellation or any variation of the time of arrival or departure from any stop of any vehicle;
  • for damage to any property of a passenger; or
  • for the death of any passenger or other person or for injury, harm, disease or damage to health, whether physical, mental or otherwise (including mental or nervous shock or distress) suffered by a passenger or any other person.
  • If there is contributory negligence on the part of a passenger or other person, SDL’s liability is subject to the law relating to contributory negligence.
  • SDL may vary or cancel wholly or in part the scheduled services shown in SDL timetable or may vary the point at which SDL will pick up and set down passengers.
  • The passenger indemnifies SDL at all times against any loss, damage or cost suffered or incurred by SDL as a direct or indirect result of a breach by the passenger of its obligations under these terms and conditions.

14. New Zealand Law

These Rules are governed by New Zealand law in every particular including formation and interpretation. Every contract incorporating these Rules is deemed made in New Zealand. Any proceedings relating in any way to these Rules or to any SDL service must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in New Zealand.

15. Local’s Introductory Offer

The following terms and conditions apply to the Spirit of Queenstown Dinner Cruise locals’ introductory offer:

  • One person in the group must be a resident of Queenstown Lakes District (our definition includes Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Wanaka, Kingston and Cromwell). That person must make the booking, be part of the group, and bring appropriate photo ID and proof of address dated within the last 31 days.
  • Only available for bookings of 4 or 6 people.
  • Only available on best available table. Guaranteed window table bookings cannot be made with this offer.
  • Offer subject to availability at time of booking from mid-December 2019 to mid-April 2020, excluding Christmas Day (25 December 2019).
  • Not valid in conjunction with any other discount offers and not redeemable for cash.
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