Sounds, Salmon & Songbirds

  • MV Odyssea docked at Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Piwakawaka - fantail
  • Regal salmon tastings - NZ King Salmon
  • MV Odyssea cruising the Queen Charlotte Sounds/Totaranui
  • MV Odyssea cruising the Queen Charlotte Sounds/Totaranui

Sounds, Salmon & Songbirds

New Zealand King Salmon, Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary and Marlborough Tour Company have joined forces to offer a fantastic family day out in the Sounds with their popular Sounds, Salmon & Songbirds Cruise.

Onboard our well-appointed MV Odyssea launch, head out from Picton to the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. Hear about the great work this organisation does to protect a whole range of native wildlife and birds, and take a freedom walk around the picturesque reserve.

From there cruise to New Zealand King Salmon’s Ruakaka salmon farm at the junction of Queen Charlotte Sound and the Tory Channel. Hear about what makes king salmon so special, how they are farmed, what they eat and their life cycle, then feed the fish.

Sample delicious local Regal salmon from New Zealand King Salmon’s Marlborough salmon farms along with Greenshell mussels, accompanied by a glass of Allan Scott Marlborough sauvignon blanc. Take in the beauty of the Sounds as you head back to Picton, and keep an eye out for dolphins, penquins and seals.

There’s something for everyone, with lots of spot prizes to be won along the way and plenty of dates to choose from. The cruise runs 1.30-4.30pm on these 2019 school holiday dates:

  • Sun 6 October 
  • Sun 13 October

Tour Overview

3 hours approx
1.30pm Picton Marina – Town Wharf 5 (check in 1.15pm)

NZ$49 per adult

NZ$22 per child

NZ$120 per family (2 adults and up to 3 children - 5-15 years)

Tour operates three dates over the Sept/Oct 2019 school holidays
MV Odyssea - luxury 20 metre catamaran
Minimum 15 people


Depart Picton, visit Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary, visit a New Zealand King Salmon farm & sample their locally-grown Regal salmon along with a taste of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Arrive back at Picton


How do I find Picton?

Picton is a seaport township on State Highway 1, north of Blenheim at the top of the South Island, where ferries from Wellington arrive and depart. Picton is the gateway to the Queen Charlotte Sound, one of the main sounds that make up the Marlborough Sounds NZ. The other two main sounds are the Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound, out of Havelock. Picton is a great little township to explore with lots of arts and crafts, cafe and restaurants. 

Where & when do I board the cruise?

MV Odyssea is docked at Townwharf 5 at Picton Marina. This is at the east end of the Picton waterfront, near the private vessel marina. There is a carpark nearby. 

We depart at 1.30pm, please arrive to check in by 1.15pm.

What’s available onboard?

As part of the Sounds, Salmon & Songbird cruise we serve a sample of locally grown Regal salmon with a taste of Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. There is also a licensed bar facility on board which has a good range of Marlborough wines, along with beers, juice, bottled water. You can also purchase a range of light food items including chips and peanuts, as well as hot tea and coffee. EPTPOS, Visa and Mastercard are able to be used onboard. The launch has a range of indoor and outdoor areas for your comfort and for viewing the beautiful scenery, including booth seats with tables and lounge areas.  

What do I bring along on the cruise?

Bring your camera, a sunhat and sunscreen. It also pays to bring a light windbreaker jacket, in case there is a chilly sea breeze.

Will I get seasick and should I take seasick medication?

No, getting seasick is very unlikely. The Marlborough Sounds is a very sheltered waterway and doesn’t get ocean swells or waves. We generally have fairly flat sea conditions in the inner Marlborough Sounds area that we cruise.  A strong wind can make things choppy but it’s uncommon to encounter rough sea conditions on this cruise. Our luxury launches are very large and stable.

I am travelling by myself – will your cruise still operate?

Our Salmon, Sounds & Songbird cruises have a minimum of 15 people. Send us an email with the date/s you will be in Marlborough, we can let you know the best day/s to come cruising, when we have other guests booked in.

Should we have lunch before the cruise?

Yes, the Sounds, Salmon & Songbird cruise is designed as an afternoon scenic with a delicious tasting of local Regal salmon but we wouldn't call it a lunch, so it is best to have lunch before you come out. Picton has a range of great cafes and eateries on offer.

Do you have group cruise departures?

Yes, if you are travelling with a group and require a group cruise, please let us know. Our group cruises often depart on a morning cruise at 9.30am or we can arrange a time that suits your group itinerary. We have multiple large launches for this cruise so we can be flexible on departure cruise times for group bookings. We operate a range of group cruises and tours.

Terms & conditions

Head to our Terms & conditions page for more info.