Always popular, the annual Sounds, Salmon & Songbirds cruise gives locals and visitors alike a chance to see and taste a slice of the Marlborough Sounds including a New Zealand King Salmon farm.
On 7 and 14 October, Marlborough Tour Company will host the cruises, which are suitable for all ages, on its premium launch MV Odyssea and take visitors to a Queen Charlotte Sound NZKS farm and Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. Passengers will be treated to Regal salmon and a Whitehaven wine tasting on board.
NZKS community sponsorship and events coordinator, Chelsea Yates, says New Zealand King Salmon has been part of the family-friendly event since its inception, and will again be on hand this year to show NZKS’s Ruakaka farm in Queen Charlotte Sound, at the entrance of Tory Channel.
“We really enjoy this annual opportunity to host groups of locals and visitors to Marlborough on this special tour. It’s always a delight to show people how salmon are raised and where, and introduce them to a rare close-up view of what is an important industry for Marlborough.”
Of course, the cruise is as much about learning a bit about the salmon and the Marlborough Sounds as it is enjoying the stunning surroundings, Chelsea adds.
“While everyone is taking in the beautiful scenery of Queen Charlotte Sound after visiting the farm, our onboard NZKS representative, who is on hand to answer any questions, will also provide passengers with delicious samples of locally grown Regal salmon paired with Whitehaven wine as part of an onboard tasting.”
Marlborough Tour Company sales manager Ben Godsiff says passengers on the well-appointed MV Odyssea will be able to watch from the bow of the catamaran as the salmon are fed.
“As the salmon come up, it’s a great chance to take some photos and ask questions. After that we’ll cruise to the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary where people can expect to hear lots of native birds and enjoy the bush.”
Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary project coordinator Rachel Russell says visitors will be free to explore the peninsula’s regenerating native bush and recommends checking out the stunning views from the northern lookout to Mabel and Allport Islands.
She says people might be lucky enough to see little blue penguins which are currently nesting in the sanctuary or encounter the local seals, who like to recline on the jetty. “On a really lucky day you might even get to see dolphins go past the jetty.”
A Kaipupu representative will be onboard the MV Odyssea to talk about the project and answer questions, Rachel adds.
Ben says the Whitehaven wine tasting on board is a new feature on this year’s Sounds, Salmon & Songbirds cruise. “They’ll be doing a tasting of different varietals. We’ll also have beer for sale onboard.”
Ben says the tours normally attract “99% Marlborough” people, with a scattering of visitors including from Nelson, but, being a reduced rate from peak tourist time cruises, they are always popular. “We want locals to be able to see their Sounds.”
Although the MV Odyssea is licensed for up to 99 people, most tours take around 40, says Ben. “That’s a nice number for everyone to spread out and put their feet up”.
3 hours approx
2pm Picton Marina – Town Wharf 5 (check in 1.45pm)
$49 per adult
$22 per child (5-15 years)
$120 per family (2 adults & up to 3 kids)
FREE 0-4 years
Sunday 7 October & Sunday 14 October
MV Odyssea – luxury 20 metre catamaran