Tours and Tickets

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise provided by Beachcomber Cruises

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise
4.5
Book in advance
from
RM 305.93
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
93% of travellers recommend this experience
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Duration:
4h
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
70
Stroller accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    4h
  • Taking Covid-19 safety measures
  • Group size:
    70
  • Stroller accessible
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
About
The Mail has been delivered by boat for over 150 years in the Queen Charlotte Sounds, we are the only official licensed New Zealand Post Rural Delivery Service by water in the Queen Charlotte Sound making this a truly unique tour! Come along on the Mail Boat Cruise and share the excitement of Mail Day as the skipper delivers the Rural post bags, groceries and freight to the residents that call the Queen Charlotte Sound waterways home. If time allows the Mail Boat Cruise will take a short stop at one of the brilliant locations within the Queen Charlotte waterways, you route will shown upon check in. Available to purchase for $6 in the office before you depart are Beachcomber Cruises keep cups, we no longer use single use cups on board our vessels due the huge environmental impact. Upon purchase of a Beachcomber Cruises keep cup guests can enjoy tea and coffee onboard for the duration of the tour.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 4h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 4h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 6607MAILBOAT
Important information
Inclusions
  • Live commentary on board
  • Restroom on board
Exclusions
  • Food
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
4h
Departure details
  • 1 London Quay, Picton 7220, New Zealand Please meet us at the Beachcomber Cruises Office on the waterfront - the Corner of Wellington Street and London Quay, we are a black building with Blue Signage.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks to consume on board
  • Closed-toe walking shoes suitable for walking are recommended
  • Not accessible for motorized wheelchairs
  • Please Note: The stop at Ship Cove only occurs during Summer months of 1st Oct to 30th April
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infant seats available
  • We are not able to pick up / drop off at the Cruise Ship Terminal - you must make your way to our booking office
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Please note that this tour departs sharply on schedule at 1:30pm
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 70 travellers
Inclusions
  • Live commentary on board
  • Restroom on board
Exclusions
  • Food
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
  • 1 London Quay, Picton 7220, New Zealand Please meet us at the Beachcomber Cruises Office on the waterfront - the Corner of Wellington Street and London Quay, we are a black building with Blue Signage.
Duration
4h
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks to consume on board
  • Closed-toe walking shoes suitable for walking are recommended
  • Not accessible for motorized wheelchairs
  • Please Note: The stop at Ship Cove only occurs during Summer months of 1st Oct to 30th April
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infant seats available
  • We are not able to pick up / drop off at the Cruise Ship Terminal - you must make your way to our booking office
  • Most travellers can participate
  • Please note that this tour departs sharply on schedule at 1:30pm
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 70 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
Last updated: 30 Nov 2021
A note from Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise
Beachcomber Cruises follows the current guidelines given by Tourism New Zealand and the New Zealand Government. Please call our office if you have any questions around the current requirements.
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    1 London Quay
    1 London Quay, Picton 7220, New Zealand
    Please meet us at the Beachcomber Cruises Office on the waterfront - the Corner of Wellington Street and London Quay, we are a black building with Blue Signage.
    See address & details
  • Pass by
    Queen Charlotte Sound
  • You'll return to the starting point
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
75 reviews
Excellent
62
Very good
8
Average
3
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Jeannette B
36 contributions
Ryan gave us outstanding commentary.. it was a rainy day and not the best for outside viewing but Ryan was interesting, informative and entertaining. We highly recommend this trip if you would like a closer view of the Marlborough sounds.
Written 21 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Jeannette B Thank you for your review, we are really happy to hear that you enjoyed your time on the Mail Boat with Ryan - rain or shine we always think its always a great experience. Many Thanks Becky
Written 3 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Susan S
Richmond, VA16 contributions
Mar 2022
An excellent way to view the Queen Charlotte Sounds with engaging commentary from a local resident Postie. The mail recipients were also friendly. The boat was safe and comfortable, with viewing options inside and outside, top and bottom levels, and one could move around throughout the tour and hear the commentary clearly everywhere. Hot instant coffee and tea were available, too. The cashier, Donna, was informative and gracious to us as walk-on's; we did not book online with a reservation, yet she honored the 10% discount "FRIENDLY 10" code. Four stars only because we did NOT stop at Ship's Cove as we had expected, and the boat was due to return at 5:30 to 6:00 PM--yet, we were docked and back on the pier at 4:45 PM; we felt a bit shortchanged. The weather was beautiful, but we had no opportunity to get off at any stop and walk around.
Written 21 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Susan S Thank you for your review, we are really happy to hear that you enjoyed your time on the Queen Charlotte Sounds with us and glad that you could enjoy the discounted ticket. Im sorry to hear that we arrived back to Picton earlier than was expected, this can happen in some cases where we have less mail bags to deliver and less passengers to pick up and drop off along the way.
Written 3 May 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

niamhs456
Auckland Central, New Zealand573 contributions
Super trip with the little one
Such an accommodating friendly cruise around the sounds . The staff are so bubbly and friendly, helping and answering all questions we had
Such an easy going cruise to see how everyone lives in the sounds with insights from the driver and also just looking out of the boat.there is also a half hour stop where we could grab coffee and walk around of the beaches .
We were also able to bring our pram for our six month old with staff help
Honestly can't sing higher praises for the trip
Written 23 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beryl N
9 contributions
Jan 2021
It was all great, no favourite part. Ryan was a brilliant commentator. Tea & coffee cost $5 if you've brought your own cup with you & $5 if you buy a Beachcomber cup. Weather was perfect & trip a great way to see some of the Sounds when visit to the area was limited.
Written 9 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HummingAlong
18 contributions
Mar 2021
Mixed feelings about this tour. It is as advertised: the Sound is beautiful and spending a half day out on it (if it happens to be a nice day) is very enjoyable. The mail was delivered to locals and the boat skipper told us about each one. It was a little voyeuristic to see everyone stand up and take pictures of these people and their homes and docks. Our trip was much shorter than advertised. Fine print does mention route changes are possible. But our trip was only one third the distance it should have been. We were let off the boat (to kill time) at probably the ugliest spot on the entire Sound - a former whaling station. Just an eyesore. Not a suitable substitution from the cruising we did not do. Another negative is the hard sell we got to purchase reusable cups for coffee and hot drinks on the boat. We did. The coffee was make-it-yourself instant, not what we were picturing. But worse: it was free to everyone. The cup purchase was a ripoff and really but the icing on our negative feelings about the cruise.
Written 12 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeachcomberPicton
Thank you for your review, we are sorry to hear that you did not fully enjoy your cruise experience with us. We endeavor to make every trip an enjoyable one regardless of weather or route, and we feel both our on board and reservations staff do there best to ensure every customers experience meets and exceeds expectations. Majority of the time we receive excellent reviews on the Mail Boat Cruise, usually the opportunity to see the small bays and coves and watch as the mail is exchanged in this unique way with our residents is entertaining for our passengers on board, as It not only gives you the best sightseeing opportunity but also the chance to have an insight into how life is lived in remote areas. The Tuesday and Friday Mail Boat delivers the Mail in the Tory Channel of the Queen Charlotte Sounds, if needed we do venture into the Endeavour Inlet to collect people who have been walking the Queen Charlotte Track, On the day of your cruise we didn’t need to travel into this area, so rather than returning to Picton the skipper thought it would be interesting to take our guests to the Historic Perano Whaling station instead to give guests the opportunity to go onshore. I do apologies that you did not enjoy this part of the tour, the skipper did have good intentions at mind as the whaling station is a crucial part of the New Zealand whaling history that was prominent in the Tory Channel and a visit to the station is a quite unique and rare opportunity and from previous encounters our guests have really enjoyed this visit. In response to your comments about our Keep Cups – in efforts to reduce the environmental impact of single use items we have implemented the use of re-usable cups available on board for customers to purchase at a small cost. There is absolutely no pressure to purchase a cup as guest are welcome to bring there own food and drinks as a packed lunch, the cups are available for those who wish to purchase and keep as a souvenir, in purchasing of these cups we provide tea and coffee on board for guests to enjoy during the cruise. We are sorry to hear that the tour was not up to your expectations, as stated our staff makes the upmost effort to ensure the enjoyability of every passenger but we apologise that it was not totally enjoyable for yourself. We hope you enjoyed the rest of your time here in Picton and hope to have you cruise with us again one day Kind Regards
Written 14 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

macshonz
Taranaki Region, New Zealand46 contributions
A thoroughly enjoyable experience, Ryan's mail run commentary gave a great insight to life in the Sounds for the families that have no road access. Getting alongside a pod of dolphins was the icing on the cake. A wee mishap at one pier delayed the trip slightly but was handled well and professionally. Highly recommended.
Written 5 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David P
Blenheim, New Zealand44 contributions
Took the boat trip leaving 9am went to Cooks Cove for half hour to see Captain Cooks monument. And then to Furneaux for lunch. Took about 1.5 hours. Picked up at 4pm for mail trip home stopping punga cove and couple of other bays. Also stoped to watch the Hetcor Dolphins at play.
Grat trip and captain gave coffee on board, burned to bring your own cup or could buy a reusable one on board for 5 dollars.
Great trip would recommend to every one.
Written 3 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

weta90
Christchurch, New Zealand5 contributions
Nov 2020
A fascinating cruise up the Sounds with an informative commentary by our captain/driver Ryan. We were lucky to see orca hunting stingrays in a bay, and also dolphins on the way back. Would recommend spending some time up top (make sure you are warmly clothed) as you get a better view and experience of the boat. Personally I would have liked a little longer at Ship Cove but we were aware that the mail boat had a schedule to keep. Next time perhaps!
Written 13 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John A
Aireys Inlet, Australia8 contributions
Mar 2020
Concept of the cruise is great and our skipper did everything required and expected but the cruise was let down by being grossly overpriced and poorly managed. Have had far better organised activities in NZ for half the price - for what you get $70 would be fair. Pathetic excuse for a cup of coffee or tea when briefly stopping to visit Ship Cove - no biscuits or anything to eat. Poor audio on the vessel for the skippers commentary (couldn't hear him). Found it a bit offensive that the company promotes itself as a small family run business as opposed to large corporate operation. Going by the number of vessels under the same company banner (Beachcomber), the facilities at the wharf - it is far from my perception of a "small, family run business".
Written 24 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ParkTNZ
New Zealand20 contributions
Aug 2020
Last minute booking because of another company cancellation. The trip was enjoyable on a gloriously sunny afternoon. Great view of the rare shags and the dolphins appeared on cue. Skipper kept up a good commentary.
Written 9 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 73
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Beachcomber Cruises
Dianne F
Dianne F
00
Fantastic!!
Two of us went on this trip and loved it. Great staff, lots of information available and great to be a part of what
scooby272
scooby272
00
Beachcomber outstanding
Top service from the comfort of a amazing boat and awesome skipper. Great local knowledge and history of the area.
BarbaraH501
BarbaraH501
00
Local knowledge brings the Sounds to life
We enjoyed our mailboat cruise with Phil at the helm. His knowledge and stories of the locals made this a really en
judith f
judith f
00
Relaxing afternoon on the Sounds
Ryan gave a full informative commentary about the history , flora and fauna of the Sounds. His local knowledge was
David R
David R
00
CRUISING WITHOUT A WAVE IN SIGHT
Beachcomber Cruises Ship Cove Cruise is a “ must do” for anyone visiting the Marlborough Sounds. Our 0900 sailing h
ShAll18
ShAll18
00
Great Service
Beachcomber were organised, ‘on to it’, and we’re happy to support our walk on the QC track. It was smooth sailing!
ngaire b
ngaire b
00
Great afternoon.
This cruise is well worth the money. You get nearly 3 1/2 hours of cruising on the Queen Charlotte sounds calling
A7079BPjasonc
A7079BPjasonc
00
Friendly and Convenient
The staff are lovely and the service is great. Nicely spaced seating and convenient drop-offs. A great way to ente
Torythetraveller
Torythetraveller
00
Mailboat cruise
We had the best experience on this trip. We booked the mailboat cruise in the Charlotte Sounds which went into Tory
southseaislandabroad
southseaislandabroad
00
A Great Day Out
We had a wonderful Day out in the Sounds. Loved the commentary from our captain and just so wonderful to be in the
70Elderlee
70Elderlee
00
Excellent experience
This was one of the best trips we've done round nz.the experience .the commentary and local knowledge of the capt
lynettes
lynettes
00
Outstanding experience
Lucky to have done 2 tours with Beachcomber Cruises last week. One being a drop off to Ship Cove so we could walk 1
SimoneKrauel
SimoneKrauel
00
Motuara Island Birdwatching and mail stops along the way, half day
It was actually the many stops along the way that I enjoyed most. A bit of a tour down memory lane, when I hiked th
donyoung2021
donyoung2021
00
Great trip on the mail boat
We went on the mailboat trip - everything was done very professionally and Phil gave an excellent commentary- stopp
Stay502985
Stay502985
00
Great experience
Amazing customer service, we had such a great day at the Queen Charlotte track. Excellent customer service , the st
Frequently Asked Questions about Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise will start at 1:30 PM. Discover and book Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise price starts from RM 302.48. Discover and book Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor

Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise is hosted by Beachcomber Cruises. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Beachcomber Cruises on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise on Tripadvisor