News & Media
The latest news and media items on Marlborough Tour Company and Marlborough
Dennis Burkhart on his fishing family's entry into tourism
6 April 2018
Article on the Burkharts, one of Marlborough’s most successful fishing families, entering Marlborough's thriving tourism sector through investing in Marlborough Tour Company. READ MORE...
Families unite in business
29 March 2018
Two iconic Marlborough families have joined forces to boost year-round tourism to the region.
Half of Marlborough Tour Company, established more than 20 years ago by Chris and Sue Godsiff who still own it today, has been purchased by a company principally owned by Barbara, Cathy, Trevor and Dennis Burkhart Family Trusts along with a smaller holding by Nikki and Tony de Reeper.
Dennis and Trevor will become board directors and Tony will fill the CFO position, but not be actively involved in day-to-day operations, says Chris. “It’s business as usual for us, but what this purchase means is that all the things we have dreamed of doing at Marlborough Tour Company, we can now do.”
Chris says the decision to sell 50% of their successful high-end tourism business stemmed from a desire to bring more of Marlborough to the tourism market, all year round. “We want to make the most of the quieter months in Marlborough, as often these seasons bring the best weather for visitors to enjoy. We want to expose that hidden treasure.”
“While it’s always good when you own 100% of a business, I believe in this case we’re better off owning 50% of something when it means there is a high potential for greater success. This is good for Marlborough Tour Company, and it is great for Marlborough and all the opportunities it brings.”
Already, Marlborough Tour Company have won an important contract with US travel company Tauck, which runs high-end trips through New Zealand, to bring visitors to Marlborough for a two-night stay rather than the more standard one-day tour.
“This would bring about 2,500 additional visitors to Marlborough each year with a guaranteed two-night stay at Chateau Marlborough. This opportunity to host a regular stream of high-end international visitors is very exciting for our entire region,” says Chris.
The Burkharts, widely-known for their local pioneering live lobster exporting company, were the perfect fit as both families have been influential in the community for many years through business, tourism and financial contributions. They also share a background as pioneers in Marlborough’s seafood industry, with Marlborough Tour Company born from tours to the Godsiffs’ mussel farms out of Havelock.
Importantly they have a deep passion for the region and a true willingness to see growth and success for Marlborough’s tourism industry, Chris says.
Dennis Burkhart says his family had previously invested in other areas of Marlborough’s tourism industry and felt Marlborough Tour Company and its crew would fit well with their family and associated enterprises. “We are companies, people and families cut from similar cloths and backgrounds.”
Dennis says the next year will bring a lot of hard work to plan and map out pathways to secure a longer term strategic vision for Marlborough Tour Company to achieve their goals. “We are very much looking forward to working with the Marlborough Tour Company team and relish the opportunity to work alongside passionate families and crew. Together, the future looks very exciting.”
King Shags and King Salmon
Marlborough photographer and blogger - and fishing/boat shop owner - Tamzin S Henderson joined us on one of our annual winter Sounds, Salmon & Songbirds cruises and wrote this fantastic blog post, peppered with a whole host of her beautiful images. READ MORE...
Through the grapevine
Jaymie Hooper from Women's Fitness Magazine was wowed by the beauty of Marlborough as she undertook the Saint Clair Half Marahon, her first half marathon. Her appreciation grows with the discovery of Marlborough wine and food. READ MORE...
Bonnie Tai from Spice Magazine writes a rave review on Marlborough and includes one of our cruises in her must-do list. READ MORE...
Chinese celebrity visit - Ben starring alongside chef Al Brown
13 June 2017
A recent visit from Chinese celebrity Shu Qiao with Tourism New Zealand saw her sampling the wonderful food and wine Marlborough boasts. Our own Ben (onboard Tarquin with Shu Qiao) stars in her video alongside chef Al Brown - from 2:10 onwards: www.newzealand.com/cn/feature/shuqiao/
Also check out the Stuff article on the Chinese campaign Ms Shu will feature in.
Seafood Odyssea Cruise on 'unforgettable' list - Megan Singleton, Skyscanner
17 May 2017
Megan Singleton from Skyscanner visited in March and has just produced a blog with a suggested 4 day travel guide for and unforgettable Marlborough visit. Our 3 hour Seafood Odyssea Cruise - featuring fresh local seafood paired with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - has made the list. Read more...
Hollywood blockbuster filmed in Marlborough: co-stars fell in love with the place & each other - New Zealand Herald
1 September 2016
The secret is out, Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander filmed "The Light Between Oceans" hollywood blockbuster movie at Cape Campbell in South Marlborough last year.
Being released in America this week and New Zealand on 3 November, the film's co-stars were initially sceptical about being on location in such a remote spot. Both gave it a night at Cape Campbell to see how they liked it, and after five days at the beautiful coastal location, neither wanted to leave. And it wasn't just because they became an item onset.
Vikander described her first glimpse of the Marlborough coastline, which was captured on film, as "the most extraordinary sunrise I have ever seen".
The Marlborough Lodge - The Marlborough Express & the Blenheim Sun
23 March 2016
We are excited to announce that Marlborough Tour Company has purchased a lodge near Blenheim in Marlborough that will be extensively refurbished and will open on 1 October as 'The Marlborough Lodge' - a luxury lodge set on 6.5 hectares of parkland and vineyards offering, 10 well appointed suites and gourmet dining with a team of chefs.
Read the full article in The Marlborough Express.
Read the full article in The Blenheim Sun below:
Tarquin cruise "a must" - Quest Magazine
2 February 2016
Check out Tarquin featured in Quest magazine - the luxury magazine for world travellers - citing a Tarquin cruise as "a must" for an authentic exploration of the Marlborough Sounds. Read full article...
Huang Lei, Chinese mega-star - Voyage & Cosmopolitan magazines
7 December 2015
A glamous fashion spread in a Comopolitan magazine supplement featured a number of photographs taken on Tarquin:
And, the couple's Marlborough visit was also photographed by Voyage Magazine:
Our own MV Tarquin stars in Tourism New Zealand video
25 October 2015
Our own MV Tarquin luxury launch features in this gorgeous Tourism New Zealand video starring an Australian couple from We Are Handsome swimwear visiting Marlborough for creative inspiration. Onboard Tarquin they see dolphins and enjoy Marlborough wine and seafood, while being inspired by the beautiful scenery. Watch video...
The scarf created from a shot the couple too during their trip is quintinessential Marlborough Sounds...
24 September 2015
Marlborough Tour Company has won funding from the New Horizon Fund offered by Christchurch Airport to tap into the growing Chinese tourism market. Read more...
21 September 2015
15 September 2015
Travel Nation blogger Jess Jenkins recently toured from Christchurch to Auckland exploring luxury gourmet along the way. Marlborough and the Marlborough Sounds got a good look in, including Jess heading out on the Seafood Odyssea. See full blog...
25 August 2015
Prestigious US-based luxury tour operator Ker & Downey recently visited New Zealand and enjoyed cruising the Marlborough Sounds aboard our own luxury launch Tarquin so much that they've named it in their Top 10 Bucket List of things to do in New Zealand. See full Bucket List...
Tarquin in Luxury Magazine
17 June 2015
Our launch Tarquin has made it into uber-luxe Luxury Magazine.
16 April 2015
Marlborough Tour Company's Godsiff family and company luxury launch Tarquin are featured in the Marlborough Express.
Originally mussel farmers, Chris says people thought they were barmy, giving up a stable primary industry to get into a fledging industry like tourism. He says they all laughed and said no-one would come, what was here to see?
Now, 20 year later, he gets to have the last laugh with a thriving business recently renamed Marlborough Tour Company, specialising in seafood cruises and wine tours, and with an impressive fleet of cars, vans, buses and boats providing entertainment for private and corporate guests from New Zealand and across the globe.
According to Chris, the business has just sort of grown by itself over the years; he describes the Godsiff business style as "mostly seat of the pants stuff" with a big dose of hard work and fantastic customer service.
Chris has always been inspired by self-made people and has often modelled himself on them. He says that anything new in the business is usually a result of him being bored and wanting a new project.Chris' latest project is probably the biggest gamble of all; MV Tarquin is a 20-metre luxury launch with three ensuited rooms aimed at the high-end day cruise and overnight cruise market. He says the boat supplements the cruises they already offer in the Marlborough Sounds, but this is the first time they've got into accommodation.
8 April 2015
Alexia Santamaria takes a foodie journey through Marlborough, including indulging in our Greenshell Mussel Cruise:
"Marlborough is the perfect place to farm mussels; cold temperatures, unique nutrient composition and rapid fluctuation of tides. We saw this first-hand on Marlborough Travel's Mussel Cruise. This involved three hours on a boat cruising the serene Marlborough Sounds and visiting mussel beds, eating freshly harvested mussels and drinking local wine.
Our skipper - the son of one of the four founding mussel families in Marlborough - even lifted up one of the one-tonne longlines so we could see the growth in action."
22 June 2014
Rachel Grunwell from the The New Zealand Herald enjoys an escape to Marlborough for the weekend:
"There's so much to see and savour in Marlborough. I managed to fit in a vineyard run, a cruise to glimpse wildlife and see salmon flipping out of the water on a salmon farm in Queen Charlotte Sound, and of course, relish the fine food and wine the area is renowned for.
I'm on the Odyssea launch, bubbles in hand, looking out over the sparkling, aqua-coloured waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound. As the giant double-decker luxury boat pulls up to the salmon and mussel farms, everyone starts to get excited. Not about the seafood but about a group of seals in the sea with their flippers waving out of the water." Read more.
Ben shares his highlights for wine, food and rugged natural beauty with Delicious Magazine:
""Dad sold the dairy business in 1985 and planted grapes in 1988 - that's when I got the bug." Read more.
Drink It In - The Globe & Mail (Toronto)
Kat Tancock writes about her trip along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail from Hawke's Bay to Marlborough:
"As I chat with the clearly knowledgeable and passionate staff, I recall the words of Steve Smith: "Terroir is more than just soil and climate. The third factor is the people." Judging from what I've seen, New Zealand has an abundance of all three." Read more.