There’s no better way to see Fiordland than by boat, writes Kiersten Bisset
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.
DISCOVER A WORLD UNDER THE WAVES
RELAX IN 5 STAR LUXURY COMFORT
CATCH SOME SERIOUS FISHING ACTION
SAVOUR MICHELIN STAR CUISINE