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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fiordland Navigator

Wanted to do a quick review of the ship we sailed overnight on- the Fiordland Navigator, owned by Real Journeys. We rode their buses to Manapouri & then across the lake and down to the ship at Deep Cove in Doubtful Sound.

The boat has some sails & a very nice deck out front that has plenty of room for those willing to brave the wind and rain that pretty prevalent in the sound. The naturalist sat up on the deck & talked so much about the falls, the geology, the history, the animals, the flora and fauna of the area.

The crew was friendly & helpful- they welcomed us on board & always had hot tea to warm you up after being outside in the chilly, wet air. The boat took off at a good pace and we went through the sound the first few hours seeing some great sites without getting too wet.

Just about the time the activity boats went out, the rain started falling.

Hubby was much more interested in his new book on his Kindle. I still regret not going out on one of the boats, but I was already pretty tired & wet from being out on deck so much.

They kayakers looked like they had a great time & got an up-close encounter with the shoreline.

This group went out on the smaller boats & I imagine they got a little bit better tour as they had a guided explaining things to them.

We scored a room right next to the captains area on the lower deck.

The room was tiny, as usual on a ship, but very clean & really all we needed for just one night. The windows were great, the towel warmer was an added luxury. The bathroom was big enough & the shower was nice and hot, in case you decided to go swimming in the sound!

The dining area was large & there were booths around the outside where you could enjoy the view passing by. There were a few large, long tables in the center. We usually ate here & sat with whoever happened to plop down next to us. The food was excellent & we always had plenty to eat and plenty of variety. There was a mini-bar type of area where you could buy alcohol or little snacks (candy bar or chips), which we frequented.

The captain was very cool & his bridge was open to visitors at all times. It was neat to watch the maps and check out all his gauges.

There was also a large parlor room in front of the dining area and below the bridge where people could hang out and watch the fjords from a warm, dry area. We typically hung out on the back decks- we didn't get nearly as wet & the wind was a little better back there. Going out overnight on the ship isn't cheap, but it's an amazing way to see Doubtful Sound & I highly recommend it to anybody that has the time and money to do the excursion.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Taking a mini-vacation in Washington State. Went to Mt Rainer National Park yesterday & going home today.

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