Fall in love with The Fiord­land Jewel

There’s no bet­ter way to see Fiord­land than by boat, writes Kier­sten Bis­set

Go Travel New Zealand - - Ruapehu -

Lux­ury amidst the fiords is all about sim­plic­ity, style and free­dom.It’s about you be­ing able to en­joy the sim­ple things, like good food and good com­pany, in one of the world’s most mag­nif­i­cent places.

It’s about style. Your way, your style, and in style, whether its fish­ing or hunt­ing, or whether it’s sim­ply rel­ish­ing the his­tory, scenery and sto­ries, that lie within the fiord walls, both above and be­low wa­ter. Lastly, and most im­por­tantly, it’s about free­dom. Free­dom from the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of your daily life, and the tech­nol­ogy that flows with it. The free­dom to fol­low the com­pass, to ex­plore and to see where your dis­cov­ery lies. It could be view­ing wildlife you’ve never seen be­fore or an, as yet, undis­cov­ered species? It could even be a ‘ghost ship’ be­neath the waves?

Fiord­land is revered as one of the south­ern hemi­spheres most stun­ning wilder­ness ar­eas, and is found in the south­west cor­ner of the South Is­land. It is home to New Zealand’s largest na­tional park and a sig­nif­i­cant part of the Te Wahi­pounamu World Her­itage site. It is also soon to be the home of Fiord­land Dis­cov­ery’s new lux­ury 5-star cata­ma­ran, the Fiord­land Jewel, and Fiord­land’s first ever re­mote op­er­ated ve­hi­cle (ROV) and it’s here that you find a small, friendly com­pany, that has its heart and home in the south­ern re­gion of New Zealand: Fiord­land Dis­cov­ery.

Fiord­land Dis­cov­ery’s CEO and head skip­per Rob Swale is a true ‘Son o’ South­land’. Rob’s fa­ther was a com­mer­cial cray, cod and tuna fish­er­man in Fiord­land with his own boat. It was on his Dad’s boat that Rob spent his early years learn­ing and hon­ing his skills as a fish­er­man and ex­plorer. To this day, Rob has a keen sense of ad­ven­ture, a hum­ble na­ture, and an ex­cep­tion­ally quick wit (don’t say you haven’t been warned!). He is pas­sion­ate about Fiord­land and shar­ing it with oth­ers. His wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge is well known and re­spected, and he works closely with those en­trusted to keep­ing it’s fish­eries safe from dec­i­ma­tion.

Rob’s pas­sion for Fiord­land is only ri­valled by his pas­sion for his fam­ily. He and his wife Kate have three chil­dren; a daugh­ter and their two el­der sons, who will both be in­volved in the fam­ily busi­ness. He has guided thou­sands of peo­ple on overnight and multi-day char­ters and has built

up an un­matched rep­u­ta­tion as one of Fiord­land’s top char­ter op­er­a­tors. The Fiord­land Jewel is his fifth boat in a ca­reer span­ning more than 30 years.

Fiord­land Dis­cov­ery’s new lux­ury ves­sel, The Fiord­land Jewel, is be­ing built specif­i­cally for the Fiord­land and South­ern Re­gion. The boat will of­fer the most in­ti­mate and lux­u­ri­ous ex­pe­ri­ence avail­able in the area. She is a mod­ern, fully-equipped, twin-hull, 24-me­tre cata­ma­ran, with on­board he­li­pad and nine lux­ury cab­ins, that can carry up to 20 pas­sen­gers over three decks. She is fully air-con­di­tioned and heated. All cab­ins have a five-star fit out, with en­suite bath­rooms, heat­ing and air-con­di­tion­ing and king size beds. The Fiord­land Jewel fea­tures an on­deck hot tub, as well as kayaks and a small ten­der boat, and brand new state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy in the ROV.

The Fiord­land Jewel is home to Fiord­land’s first ROV, af­fec­tion­ately named Nemo by Rob & Kate’s daugh­ter. The ROV is an un­manned ve­hi­cle that de­scends into the wa­ter and is re­motely con­trolled from the Fiord­land Jewel. With its pow­er­ful high-def­i­ni­tion (HD) cam­era, and lights that at­tract the marine life, it al­lows you to dis­cover more of the marine world from the com­fort of the boat lounge as it feeds live HD footage di­rect to the big screen.

For the first time ever in the Fiord­land Na­tional Park World Her­itage site, you will be able to travel the Fiords and view the world be­neath the waves. With Fiord­land boast­ing 10 marine re­serves, there is plenty

of scope for dis­cov­ery and ad­ven­ture: From view­ing beau­ti­ful black coral to see­ing lob­sters peer­ing out from un­der­wa­ter caves. If you’re lucky, you may even see dol­phins as they glide and play be­neath the boat – or you may even dis­cover some­thing never seen be­fore. On our last ves­sel, in con­junc­tion with NZ’s NIWA sci­en­tists, we dis­cov­ered a brand new species in Fiord­land: The never seen be­fore Gi­ant Seapens. It was an ex­cit­ing find.

Fiord­land Dis­cov­ery will be of­fer­ing day and overnight Cruises in Mil­ford Sound, and then head­ing south to Doubt­ful Sound, Dusky Sound and Preser­va­tion In­let for multi-day cruis­ing and fish­ing, hunt­ing and div­ing char­ters, as well as ex­clu­sive cruises and spe­cial events. Fiord­land is also a stun­ning lo­ca­tion to say “I do”.

Once aboard the Fiord­land Jewel, ac­tiv­i­ties are de­ter­mined by the cho­sen cruise and the weather in Fiord­land. On a day or overnight cruise, you can get up close and per­sonal with the fiords by ex­plor­ing in a kayak, ten­der (a small boat) or with the ROV. Mul­ti­day cruis­ing means the ‘world is your oys­ter’ where fish­ing, hunt­ing and div­ing char­ters are avail­able. Char­ters are fully catered and top qual­ity equip­ment is pro­vided. Land ex­pe­di­tions can be added by ar­range­ment.

“We fished for five hours and got our full four days’ quota in that time! Cod, Groper, Trum­peter … the most fun I’ve ever had on a boat” Norm Mor­gan, from Auck­land

Fiord­land of­fers you a wealth of op­por­tu­nity to re-con­nect with your­self, your friends, and with na­ture.

At the end of the day, the fresh sea air and ac­tiv­i­ties you take part in will leave you hun­gry in more ways than one and the menu pre­pared by our Miche­lin Star chef on board the Fiord­land Jewel is de­signed with this in mind. We pair our cui­sine with some of the best wine Cen­tral Otago has to of­fer, ex­clu­sively sup­plied by Mt Dif­fi­culty Wines.

We in­vite you to share in the unique op­por­tu­nity to be one of the first to ex­pe­ri­ence our new lux­u­ri­ous cruis­ing boat, the Fiord­land Jewel, or per­haps even gift the cruise of a life­time to a loved one this Christ­mas? We look for­ward to wel­com­ing you aboard. Let us share our world with you, while you get away from yours.





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