News & Media
The latest news on Marlborough Tour Company and Marlborough...
UPDATE 13 May 2020:
- Fri 15 May - Boatshed Café, Punga Cove reopens (open 9.30am, serving food 11am-6.30pm daily)
- Thurs 21 May - Punga Cove reopens for accommodation
- Sat 23 & Sun 24 May - Furneaux restaurant opens for lunch & dinner (open 10.30am, serving food 11am-7.30pm)
- Thurs 28 May – Mon 1 Jun Furneaux bar & restaurant opens for lunch & dinner for Queen's Birthday Weekend (open 10.30am, serving food 11am-7.30pm)
- Thurs 2 Jul - Furneaux Lodge reopens for dining and accommodation
- Sat 4 – Sun 19 Jul - Both lodges open for dining and accommodation during school holidays
- Mon 20 Jul – Thurs 27 Aug Punga Cove closed for renovations – no dining or accommodation
- Fri 28 Aug Punga Cove reopens for dining and accommodation
COVID-19 UPDATE 23 April 2020:
Good news, there's been no new cases of COVID-19 in the Marlborough region since before Easter - a great result for our local community and great to see a reducing risk for us all. Go Marlborough!
Under Alert level 3 (which will be in place from Tuesday 28 April through until Monday 11 May, when the Government will reassess the situation) our tours and cruises will continue to remain on hold.
Our other businesses under Level 3 continue as per Level 4: Pelorus Mail Boat is doing delivery runs from Havelock to Pelorus Sound residents Mondays and Fridays; Cougar Line is doing Queen Charlotte Sound deliveries Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and our lodges - Punga Cove Resort and Furneaux Lodge in Endeavour Inlet - remain on hold.
In the meantime, we're working on lots of ideas for when you're able to get out and about again with us, plus helping support Marlborough as a region grow in these changing times.
We'd love to hear from you, please email us | +64 3 577 9997
Warm regards and we look forward to seeing you in person soon,
The MTC Team
COVID-19 UPDATE 21 March 2020:
Prime Minister Jacinda Adern today strongly advised businesses to immediately take further steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 - see the speech.
As a result, all Marlborough Tour Company tours and cruises have been cancelled for two weeks until Sunday 5 April. We will make a decision on bookings beyond 5 April as the situation evolves. We will keep you informed of changes to schedules/extended cancellation period as the need arises.
Cougar Line's water transfer and cruise winter schedule has been brought forward - to commence from the morning of Monday 23 March.
Pelorus Mail Boat's winter schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Friday mail runs) has been brought forward to commence from the end of today, Saturday 21 March, until the end of October.
Both Furneaux Lodge and Punga Cove in the Marlborough Sounds remain open.
We are monitoring the constantly changing COVID-19 situation closely. Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our customers and staff is a priority for us while we continue to deliver safe, quality tourism experiences. We appreciate your patience and flexibility during this time.
Please contact us with any concerns, questions or suggestions - we welcome your queries.
Helping Visitors Have it All - Gateway South magazine, Christchurch Airport
Marlborough Tour Company is highlighted in the latest issue of Gateway South as providing authentic visitor experiences. Read the full article (pg 8)...
Take in the magic of Marlborough - The Newspaper, Singapore
Ryan talks summer boating - Bayleys magazine
Our own Ryan talks about why he thinks that summer boating in the Marlborough Sounds is the perfect pastime. Read the full article...
A new chapter for Marlborough Tour Company - Chris & Sue Godsiff retire
Maia Hart reports on the recent retirement of foundation owners of Marlborough Tour Company, Chris and Sue Godsiff and their recent retirement from the booming 25 year old business. Read more...
Train Trekkers - New Weekly Magazine
Rosie Levine visited Blenheim and Kaikoura by train and wrote this article in NW magazine that's sold across Australia and NZ. About connecting from CHC to WLG with stops in Marlborough and Kaikoura along the way.
Marlborough Tour Company buys Pelorus Mail Boat
We are pleased to announce the purchase of Pelorus Mail Boat, another Marlborough business that fits our strategy of promoting tourism and our beautiful region. Read the article...
Marlborough Tour Company a finalist in Qualmark Experience Awards
Our Seafood Odyssea Cruise has been selected as a finalist int he Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards 2019. In the words of Qualmark, "This is an outstanding achievement in being shortlisted amongst 41 of your industry peers in a highly competitive field that the judges called both inspiring and of the highest quality." See all the finalists...
Marlborough Tour Compay buys cruise company Cougar Line
"Our purchase of Cougar Line brings us a step closer to creating seamless packages for our visitors across wine touring, road transport, water taxi, and cruising into the Queen Charlotte and Pelorus Sounds," says general marketing manager Scott McKenzie. Read more...
Media Release: Offering visitors the full Marlborough experience
Marlborough Tour Company has purchased well-known Picton water transport company Cougar Line. General marketing manager Scott McKenzie says Marlborough Tour Company’s combination of accommodation, water transport and tours is designed to make the most of all Marlborough has to offer to its growing visitor market. Read the Media Release...
From left, past owners Mark and Jill Evans with Marlborough Tour Company’s Sue and Chris Godsiff – the new owners of Cougar Line.
World famous in New Zealand : Queen Charlotte Track
It's not only beautiful: It's entirely do-able for anyone reasonably fit. There are hills, but nothing too daunting; long days but comforts at night.
Why go? Read more...
Marlborough wine region covers scenic slice of South Island
What to do in Marlborough: Cruising down a sound is curiously silent. It's all glassy water, green mountains and blue sky. Read the article...
Exciting tourism times ahead
Wild Tomato featured the Marlborough Tour Company as they welcome more Top of the South guests to come and explore the beauty of their own back yard. Read the article...
New owner for Marlborough Sounds resort and lodge
The Hotel magazine announces the purchase of Punga Cove Resort and Furneaux Lodge by Marlborough Tour Company... Read the full article...
Furneaux Lodge and Punga Cove Resort sold
The Hotel Conversation Australia shared the story of our recent purchases in the Queen Charlotte Sound.... Read the full article...
Marlborough features in Chinese New Zealand Herald
The editor of the Chinese New Zealand Herald wrote in January about the combination of New Zealand seafood, wine and scenery in Marlborough — The JingCai Seafood Cruise... Read the full article...
A Shore Thing - CAA Saskatchewan Magazine
Canadian journalist Waheeda Harris recently visited the top of the South and the bottom of the North. During her travels she enjoyed our Seafood Odyssea Cruise and wrote about it in the CAA magazine... Read the full article...
Sharing a slice of paradise - Preview Magazine
We are featured in the Summer edition of Preview magazine from Bayley's Marlborough. The article focuses on our new launch MV Mantra, our Marlborough Icons Tour and how we offer visitors a glimpse of 'real Marlborough'. Read the article....
Marlborough Tour Company Strikes Gold
We are thrilled to announce that Marlborough Tour Company has been awarded a Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award through Qualmark for our tours and cruises.
Achieving Qualmark Gold shows we are committed to protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing connections with our local communities and delivering quality, safe experiences for all our visitors.
Qualmark Gold puts us among the very best in New Zealand tourism experiences - just 265 of 1,700+ Qualmark-endorsed businesses are awarded Gold.
This recognition is another exciting step in the growth of our company and fits perfectly with our Company Vision of sharing authentic Marlborough New Zealand experiences with the world.
MV Mantra Takes Sail
New Zealand's Meeting Newz magazine featured Marlborough in the November/December issue, including a piece on MV Mantra. Read the article...
New owner for iconic Marlborough Sounds lodges
The lodges are located in Endeavour Inlet, on the world-renowned Queen Charlotte Track.
Marlborough Tour Company General Manager Scott McKenzie says the expansion of the locally-owned company is very exciting for the company and for the future of Marlborough tourism as a whole.
“This purchase demonstrates our confidence in tourism growth in New Zealand, our confidence in Marlborough as a tourist destination, and also our confidence in the Queen Charlotte Track as an iconic tourist trail. Both lodges are an integral part of the overall track experience,” Scott says.
“We know that as an industry, Marlborough tourism will always deliver memorable, unique and first-class experiences, and we are very excited to now be an even bigger part of that.”
Marlborough Tour Company was established by Marlborough couple Chris and Sue Godsiff more than 20 years ago. Earlier in 2018, a company principally owned by Barbara, Cathy, Trevor and Dennis Burkhart along with a holding by Nikki and Tony de Reeper purchased half of the company, with a common view, along with Chris and Sue, to bring more of Marlborough to the international and domestic tourism markets, all year round.
Chris says the company is set to grow tourism in the Marlborough region through strategic investment, solid marketing, and building the capability of Marlborough Tour Company and the region as a whole.
He is very pleased to welcome all existing staff from Punga Cove Resort and Furneaux Lodge to the Marlborough Tour Company family.
“We have some fantastic and exciting developments planned for both lodges in the future. For now, it’s business as usual as we head into another busy summer season here in beautiful Marlborough.”
For more information, please contact:
Scott McKenzie | General Manager | Marlborough Tour Company
Ph +64 3 577 9997 | Mob +64 21 658 550 | [email protected]
Chris Godsiff | CEO | Marlborough Tour Company
Ph +64 3 577 9997 | Mob +64 21 904 654 | [email protected]
New Tiaki Promise teaches visitors travel etiquette
Amanda Cropp from Stuff looks at the new Tiaki - Care for New Zealand tourism campaign that Marlborough Tour Company fully backs that "gives visitors a lesson in how to behave properly while travelling here this summer". Read the article...
New Experience: Explore the Marlborough Sounds - Retirement Matters UK
Niki Buskell from UK's Retirement Matters website has written about our Pure Marlborough luxury package - cruise the beautiful Marlborough Sounds by day and stay at the luxurious Bay of Many Coves resort by night. Read the article...
Supporting WildAid alongside ID New Zealand
We are thrilled to be supporting WildAid wildlife conservation alongside our friends at ID New Zealand by contributing a luxury cruise of the Marlborough Sounds onboard our Tarquin Cruises towards a Ker & Downey luxury NZ tour being auctioned off by WildAid, with proceeds going to support their great work.
Check out this video that gives a taste of the fantastic luxury tour being auctioned - what a wonderful country this is...
Toast of the Towns - Kia Ora Magazine
Matt Philp from Kia Ora Magazine recently visited Marlborough and has featured Marlborough's fantastic wining, dining and outdoor adventures - including our own skipper Matty and our Greenshell Mussel Cruise - in the October edition. Download the full article...
Rata Foundation Hall of Fame Business Award
A huge congratulations to our very own Chris Godsiff (with wife Sue), inducted tonight at the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Awards into the Business Hall of Fame - recognised for his contribution to industry and the Marlborough Community.
New trustee for Destination Marlborough
We are very proud that Scott McKenzie, General Manager at Marlborough Tour Company has been appointed as a Council representativeTrustee on the Destination Marlborough Board - Scoop, 24 October, 2018.
24 hours in Marlborough - Vacations & Travel Magazine
Vacations & Travel Magazine recently visited Marlborough and suggested a fantastic 24 hour itinerary, which includes a seafood cruise in the Marlborough Sounds, either onboard our scheduled Seafood Odyssea Cruise or as a charter onboard MV Tarquin, our luxury launch. Read more...
A Walk on the Wild Side - Suitcase Magazine
By Meg Abbott
Suitcase magazine's Meg Abbott recently spent 13 days exploring New Zealand. On day 9 she arrived in Marlborough and enjoyed seafood, scenery and dolphins while on our Seafood Odyssea Cruise. Read more...
A Weekender's Guide to Marlborough
By Stephen Heard
Concrete Playground's Stephen Heard features our Greenshell Mussel Cruise in his weekender guide to Marlborough, calling it "one of the best ways to enjoy the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds". Read more...
By Nikki Marshall
The Guardian's Nikki Marshall enjoyed a visit to the top of the south. Check out day 6 of her itinerary as she takes our Greenshell Mussel Cruise calling it "one of the most memorable seafood experiences of our lives". READ MORE...
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.”
Flavours of the Marlborough Sounds
Waheeda Harris experiences the flavours of the Marlborough Sounds in Taste and Travel magazine, including her time enjoying our Marlborough Icons Tour (wine tour by morning, seafood cruise by afternoon). READ MORE...
Chris Godsiff, Owner/Director of Marlborough Tour Company is featured in Wild Tomato magazine, where he is described - amongst other things - as "a trailblazer in the tourism industry". READ MORE...
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:
Chinese mega-star Huang Lei on Tarquin - Tourism NZ
3 December 2015
Tourism New Zealand's new Chinese site features a great pic of our own Ryan with Chinese mega-star Huang Lei and his wife Sun Li onboard Tarquin when they visited Marlborough to celebrate 20 years of love. Visit the website...
5 Essential Wine Experiences in Marlborough - The Urban List
23 November 2015
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.