How do I find Picton?
Picton is a seaport township on State Highway 1, north of Blenheim at the top of the South Island, where ferries from Wellington arrive and depart.
Picton is the gateway to the Queen Charlotte Sound, one of the main sounds that make up the Marlborough Sounds NZ. The other two main sounds are the Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound, out of Havelock.
Picton is a great little township to explore with lots of arts and crafts, cafe and restaurants.
Click here for a map
Where and when do I board the cruise?
MV Mantra is docked at Town Wharf 5 at Picton Marina.
This is at the east end of the Picton waterfront, near the private vessel marina. There is a carpark nearby.
For 1pm departures, please arrive to check in by 12.45pm.
For 1.30pm departures, please arrive to check in by 1.15pm
What’s available onboard?
As part of the Marlborough Sounds seafood tour we serve fresh local seafood with a glass of Marlborough sauvignon blanc.
There is also a licensed bar facility on board which has a good range of Marlborough wines, along with beers, juice, bottled water. You can also purchase a range of light food items including chips and peanuts, as well as hot tea and coffee. EPTPOS, Visa and Mastercard are able to be used onboard.
The launch has a range of indoor and outdoor areas for your comfort and for viewing the beautiful scenery, including booth seats with tables and lounge areas.
What should I bring along on the cruise?
Bring your camera, a sunhat and sunscreen. It also pays to bring a light windbreaker jacket, in case there is a chilly sea breeze.
Will I get seasick and should I take seasick medication?
No, getting seasick is very unlikely.
The Marlborough Sounds are very sheltered waterways and don’t get ocean swells or large waves.
We generally have fairly flat sea conditions in the inner Marlborough Sounds area that we cruise. A strong wind can make things choppy but it’s uncommon to encounter rough sea conditions on this cruise.
Our vessels, such as MV Mantra, are very large and stable.
I am travelling by myself – will your cruise still operate?
Our cruises have a minimum of two people. Send us an email with the date/s you will be in Marlborough, and we can let you know the best day/s to come on a cruise when we have other guests booked in.
Should we have lunch before the cruise?
Yes - the Marlborough Sounds cruise is designed as an afternoon scenic tour with a great tasting of fresh mussels.
You will get plenty of seafood to eat but we wouldn't call it a lunch, so it is best to have lunch before you come out. Picton has a great range of cafes and eateries on offer.
Do you have group cruise departures?
Yes - if you are travelling with a group and require a group tour, please let us know.
Our group cruises often depart on a morning cruise at 9.30am or we can arrange a time that suits your group itinerary.
We have multiple large launches for this Marlborough Sounds cruise so we can be flexible on departure cruise times for group bookings.
We operate a range of Marlborough group cruises and tours, and South Island tours.
What if I don’t have transport?
If you don’t have transport to Picton, consider booking on our full-day Marlborough Icons Tour where you’re collected and taken on a Marlborough wine tour, enjoy a Marlborough Sounds waterfront lunch followed by a seafood cruise in the Marlborough Sounds.
Then we drop you home at the end of the day. What could be more relaxing than that?
What kind of seafood is on offer?
Onboard you will get to enjoy a tasting of fresh Marlborough seafood; usually Regal salmon, Greenshell mussels and Cloudy Bay Clams.
Please note that on some occasions we may substitute this with other Marlborough seafood.