Marlborough Tour Company

A locally owned business based on authentic New Zealand hospitality, Marlborough Tour Company has operated since 1993.

From its earliest days offering Marlborough seafood and wine tours, the company, established and owned by Marlborough couple Chris and Sue Godsiff, grew to operate a fleet of buses, vans, luxury cars and cruise boats. 

Early in 2018, Marlborough Tour Company underwent an exciting growth phase, with half the company being purchased by a company principally owned by Barbara, Cathy, Trevor and Dennis Burkhart along with a holding by Nikki and Tony de Reeper.

The new owners are also local and share a common view with Chris and Sue, to bring more of Marlborough to the international and domestic tourism markets, all year round.

This expansion has allowed Marlborough Tour Company to offer new and unique opportunities to provide end-to-end packages to further promote Marlborough as an iconic tourist destination, year-round, and to make the most of this wonderful and diverse region. This has been made possible through the acquisition of Furneaux Lodge and Punga Cove in the Marlborough Sounds, Cougar Line water transportation and cruises in Picton, and Pelorus Mail Boat in Havelock.

Our diverse range of visitor offerings now include a wide selection of premium vineyard and Marlborough Sounds tours, luxury cruising, water transportation, and unique Marlborough Sounds accommodation.

Locally grown

Marlborough Tour Company owners Chris and Sue Godsiff were both born and bred in Marlborough, as were their parents and grandparents before that.

This long line of family connection to the region and a total commitment to quality service defines us as Marlborough’s premium tour company.

Marlborough brothers Trevor and Dennis Burkhart are well-known as active members of the community and seafood industry.

Along with Chris and Sue, the Burkhart family share a common vision to bring more of Marlborough to the international and domestic tourism markets, all year round. 

Marlborough Tour Company expands

In 2018, Marlborough Tour Company added to its existing tours and cruises by acquiring two well-known Marlborough Sounds lodges, Furneaux Lodge and Punga Cove resort, which are both located on the world-famous Queen Charlotte Track.

          

This was followed by the purchase of Cougar Line, Picton’s long-time water transportation company that has had the important job of bringing people and delivering freight to all corners of Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui for nearly three decades. 

Marlborough Tour Company’s expansion has led to a unique and varied selection of wine, scenic and seafood tours, accommodation and water transport options that are designed to make the most of all Marlborough has to offer to its growing visitor market.

Marlborough Tour Company executive director Chris Godsiff says the purchase “opens up new and exciting opportunities to provide end-to-end packages to further promote Marlborough as an iconic tourist destination”.

“Our purchase of Cougar Line demonstrates Marlborough Tour Company’s confidence in tourism growth in New Zealand and in Marlborough. Our tours, the lodges and now Cougar Line are all an integral part of the overall, wonderful, Marlborough experience that we are incredibly proud to market to the world.”

Chris & Sue retire

In November 2019 Chris and Sue Godsiff retired and sold their shareholding to the other business owners.

This signaled the emergence of the new MTC Group. The group brings together under a single umbrella, the ownership and management of the existing businesses of: 

  • Marlborough Tour Company
  • Furneaux Lodge
  • Punga Cove
  • Cougar Line
  • Pelorus Mail Boat

The public face of each business continues unchanged, as does the staff.

The Group’s goal is to deliver a “seamless and unique customer experience” for visitors to the Marlborough region – whether here primarily as guests of MTC Group or other operators. They aspire for visitors to experience the region as guests from their warm welcome to a fond farewell.

From the outset, the Group has a picture of building collaboration across the Marlborough tourism sector.  

Excellence recognised

Marlborough Tour Company was presented with Qualmark’s Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award in 2019 for its tours and cruises, which put us among the top tourism experiences in New Zealand.

This achievement highlights our commitment to protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing connections with our local communities and delivering quality, safe experiences for all our visitors. 

Our history

Marlborough Tour Company began life as Wilderness Express in 1993, operated by pioneer Greenshell mussel farmers Chris and Sue Godsiff, from Havelock.

The idea came from the interest people showed in the mussels that the Godsiffs would unload in Havelock marina. But, when people asked to visit the farms and were told they would be welcome to join Chris at 5am to get the boat from Havelock, they normally declined.

But, a tourism idea was born. Soon the Godsiffs had a small cruise out of Havelock and a van to pick people up from hotels in Blenheim. Today,that’s grown to a fleet of cruise vessels, coaches, tour vans and sedans.

The Godsiffs opened the Marlborough Travel Centre in Havelock which operated as an information centre and booking agency. They ran a small cruise from Havelock, and bought a van to transport people from hotels in Blenheim.

From there they branched out too a range of tours and cruises under the Wilderness Express umbrella which became Marlborough Travel in 2001.

In 2014, the name was changed to Marlborough Tour Company.

That’s a lot of change in nearly 30 years, but what hasn’t changed is the genuine, authentic Kiwi hospitality that the Godsiffs offered then, and continue to offer now on each and every Marlborough Tour Company experience.

Our partners

We now work with a range of trade partners around the world who help us tell and sell the Marlborough Tour Company story.

Unique Stays & Experiences

Louise Frend and her team represent MTC to the travel trade and knock on the doors of Inbound and wholesale agencies internationally to ensure visitors to New Zealand get to experience Marlborough Tour Company and Tarquin luxury cruises.

 

 

More about us

Check out our blog, our news page and our gallery of images of beautiful Marlborough.

Work for us

Work for us

We're always on the look out for new additions to our hard working, happy, customer-focused team.

We own and operate a range of businesses across Marlborough that work together to offer visitors and locals a wonderful Marlborough experience with exceptional customer service. Our businesses include: Furneaux LodgePunga CoveCougar Line, Pelorus Mail Boat and Salt Apartment Picton.

Current positions include:

We encourage you to apply if you feel you're a great fit for Marlborough Tour Company and one of our vacant roles.

Please send your CV with relevant work experience and references to us by email. Any questions, please email us or call on (03) 577 9997.