Cruise Highlights

  • An eco-marine haven for seals, penguins, dolphins & birds
  • Safe, spacious, modern, smooth riding vessel
  • Skipper's commentary on local history & natural world
  • Free tea & coffee served by your friendly boat crew
  • Easy access on board suits all ages
  • Historic sites including Captain Cook's anchorage.
Queen Charlotte Sounds with the Cougar Line
Department of Conservation, New Zealand

Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Watch permit

Cougar Line has a Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Watch permit. The Queen Charlotte Sound is an Eco-Marine haven. There is a good chance of viewing dolphins, seals and other marine mammals and birds on the boat trip to the start of the track. We can arrange guided tours of Motuara Island a bird sanctuary near Ship Cove as an added extra to your trip.

For further information on the Department of Conservation Marine Mammal Action plan visit: The Marine Mammal Action plan

Cruising the Sounds with Cougar Line

Sometimes it is not possible for people to walk the Queen Charlotte Track. The Cougar Line will transfer you each day to meet up with friends at the next place of accommodation. This way no one misses out on the fun at the end of the day.

Sit back and soak up the natural world of the Marlborough Sounds as the Cougar Line catamaran sweeps you into hidden coves and historic inlets in a relaxing three hours we’ll cruise up to 80 km (50 miles) of coastline, revealing an unspoilt haven you can never discover by road.

From our stylish 16.5m (55’) vessel, you’ll experience the charm of remote New Zealand, as we deliver passengers and supplies to resorts, homes and hideaways. Walkers disembark for the Track while locals greet you at their jetties as they collect daily supplies.

Bring your camera for the abundant wildlife – seals, penguins, rare Hector’s dolphins, nesting spotted shags and other native birds. Our marine mammal watch permit enables us to interact with the dolphins who love to ride the bow wave.

Enjoy free tea and coffee, relax with a fine Marlborough wine or simply drink in the scenery with family and friends.

3 hour Sounds Delivery Cruise

Enjoy the comfort of our luxury catamarans as we cover up to 120 kilometres of sheltered waterways and bays. See seals basking in the sun, shags and gannets diving for fish, and a working salmon farm.

Share in the fun of delivering passengers and freight to the Sound's resorts, holiday homes and permanent residences as we cruise throughout the Queen Charlotte Sound

Departs Picton: 10:00 am & 1:30pm (October – April) / 9:00am & 1:30pm (May – September)

Ship Cove Picnic

A perfect outing for the day. Pack your picnic basket and rug and take a trip through the Queen Charlotte Sound to Ship Cove (view map). A 20 minute walk to a waterfall is an additional activity.

This area was recently redeveloped by The Department of Conservation and has been acknowledged at a recent architectural awards event for the sensitive portrayal of an area where the confluence early explorers from two cultures is significant. Newly updated information about the Maori occupancy of the area illustrates a broad picture of what it was like to live in this area several hundred years ago. The whole area is dominated by a magnificently carved Maori Pouwhenua.

Large well trimmed grassy areas are surrounded by virgin native bush. Waka shaped picnic tables are set amongst the reserve area and there is a path across a bridged stream to a monument of Cook’s four visits. State of the art toilets and a shelter are neatly tucked into the bush.

Our boat will drop off at 11:00 am approx and pick up again at 2:30pm for the return cruise home via Endeavour Inlet.

Departs Picton: 10:00 am (October – April) / 9:00am (May – September)

Cruise & Cuisine

Cruise to a resort - Furneaux Lodge or Portage Resort Hotel - for lunch in a dreamy cove.

Savour fresh salmon, mussels and regional specialties, from café style to fine dining, matched by Marlborough’s renowned wines.

NB. Lunch is not included in this price

Departs Picton: 10:00 am (October – April) / 9:00am (May – September)

Twilight Salmon & Sauvignon Cruise

Discover the essential Marlborough experience!

Indulge in a little luxury at sunset. As day slips into evening, relax on board our stylish catamaran with a glass of Marlborough’s world famous Sauvignon Blanc, perfectly partnered with Marlborough sounds salmon. Drink in the natural idyll of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds as the summer twilight lingers on the water.

Savour a complimentary glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from the award winning Allan Scott Winery. Sample delectable appetizers of fresh smoked Regal Marlborough Salmon. Learn about salmon farming - Marlborough Sounds Style, watch out for the fur seals lazily circling about as we cruise by the Regal Salmon Farm.

On return at 8:30pm approx., dinner is just a few steps away at several excellent cafés and restaurants in Picton town.

Corporate and group charters welcome.

For more detailed information contact the Cougar Line directly or visit our Cougar Line website ».

Departs Picton: mid December – until February: 6:00pm

Corporate Cruises

Professional tailored packages - business meetings, special occasions, or a day out for up to 66 people. Competitive quotes, group discounts may apply.

Savour a complimentary glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from the award winning Allan Scott Winery. Sample delectable appetizers of fresh smoked Regal Marlborough Salmon.

For more detailed information contact the Cougar Line directly or visit our Cougar Line website ».

Departs Picton: mid December – until February: 6:00pm