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Luxury Encounter cruise launched in Milford Sound

Media Release from Tourism Holdings Limited

October 11 2006

Luxury Encounter cruise launched in Milford Sound

A small luxury boat nature cruise has been launched in Milford Sound to cater for visitors looking for a more interactive and natural experience of the scenic icon of New Zealand.

Tourism Holdings Limited has launched Milford Sound Encounter Cruises on the most comfortable and luxurious small boat in Milford Sound.

The cruises are aimed at delivering up close and personal experiences with nature in Milford Sound, a luxurious and intimate way to encounter the Sound’s natural features.

The small and nimble boat can get so close to powerful cascading waterfalls that passengers can catch pure glacial water in a cup. The boat cruises with a roving Encounter guide aboard to provide detailed information about the geology, fauna and flora of Fiordland and Milford Sound. Skippers will adapt to the conditions on the day to ensure passengers see the most interesting aspects of Milford Sound.

“The cruises will appeal to a range of visitors, but especially those looking for that very special experience and who like the appeal of interacting with nature,” said John Robson, Operations Manager for Milford Sound Encounter Cruises.

The Encounter cruise is an authorised marine mammal tour operator, one of only two operators to hold such a permit in Milford Sound.

The Encounter takes passengers to places in the fiord where no other cruise boat goes. It is the only nature cruise to go into Deepwater Basin to view the end of the Arthur River and the Milford Track, and it stops at the Milford Deep Underwater Observatory to view marine life – a highly recommended add-on to the Encounter Cruise.

Mr Robson said the Encounter Nature Cruise was an economic and tourism asset not only to the region, but would enhance the quality of tourism within New Zealand and was a good fit with Tourism New Zealand’s ‘interactive visitor’ campaign.

The THL-owned boat was refitted last year at a cost of half a million dollars. An upper deck has covered seating for year-round unobstructed viewing, and walkways around the entire boat for easy access to photo opportunities.

ENDS

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