All our routes guarantee stunning scenery, the chance to spot amazing wildlife and fun, entertaining commentary from our onboard crew.
Which route/cruise is best?
Does the mail boat operate in bad weather?
The Marlborough Sounds is a very sheltered area so it is rare for the Pelorus Mail Boat not to operate.
You are welcome to phone us for a skipper’s weather report, which is the most accurate local weather information you will get for our trip.
If the weather is not to your liking, you're welcome to change your booking to another date up to 24 hours prior to your sailing departure time.
On the very rare occasion that we cancel a sailing due to bad weather, you will be offered the option of an alternate date or full refund.
What’s it like to do a cruise in winter?
Autumn and winter weather in the Marlborough Sounds can be some of the best of the year, with glassy calm water conditions and more marine life including dolphins. Just bring an extra layer or two and a woolly hat, and you’ll enjoy some spectacular light and colours.
Do you actually deliver mail?
Yes. We are a genuine Royal Mail delivery service to the Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere community. We also deliver freight, groceries and transfer residents and holiday makers to and from their properties.
What wildlife are we likely to see?
We see all sorts of wildlife and every day is different. The weather, tide, time of year and luck all play a part in what we see.
We regularly come across little blue penguins, white-fronted terns, fluttering shearwaters, rare king shags, spotted shags and pied shags. We may also see New Zealand fur seals, stingrays and dusky dolphins, common dolphins and bottle nose dolphins, along with very occasional sightings of orca.
An eclectic range of residents' pets also come out to meet us at the jetties – from dogs to chickens, kunekune pigs, ostriches, goats and even llamas.
Can we pay by credit card?
Yes - Visa, Mastercard are welcomed, and we also accept debit card transactions.
What are our lunch options?
Bring your own lunch. Havelock has a number of great cafes, a bakery and a small supermarket where you can stock up before you board our cruise.
We provide complimentary tea, coffee and water onboard.
What do we need to bring?
- Sunhat (we also sell sunhats onboard)
- Camera, memory card and battery
- A raincoat
- Layers of warm clothing – the weather can change quickly
Are there toilets on board?
Yes - there are two toilets onboard.
Do you have wheelchair access?
We do have partial wheelchair access. Some mobility is required and we appreciate prior notice. We can take a maximum of two wheelchairs per cruise.
Where can I park my car before the cruise?
Havelock Marina, where we are based, has a pay and display parking area. We suggest leaving plenty of time for car parking during busy summer months before your check-in time.
Why do return times vary?
Our return time varies quite a bit depending on the number of deliveries on the day, what the tide is doing and also what we see on the day. We run a relaxed schedule to ensure our passengers enjoy what we see on the day, so this can vary our return time.
Do you allow kayaks, bikes and dogs on board?
Yes, we can carry kayaks, bikes and dogs. However, we do have limited space at certain times of year so please contact us with your specific requirements. Dogs are not permitted on the mailrun, only on transfers.
Can you take me to the Nydia Track?
Yes – check our Transfers page and map for more information.
Do you sell vouchers?
Yes we do - you can purchase a voucher here.
Will I get seasick?
The inner Marlborough Sounds is very sheltered and does not experience the large rolling sea swells seen in Cook Strait and the open sea. While the Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere is often calm, the sea can become choppy, particularly in the afternoon. Normally these conditions last only a short time as we move between sheltered bays and inlets.
I have rented a boat-access only holiday home but I’m not sure exactly where it is. Can you help?
Talk to us and we’ll help you find it. The maze of bays and inlets that makes up the Marlborough Sounds can be a confusing place for first-time visitors. Our local staff have many years of in-depth local knowledge to help pinpoint your holiday home location before you go – please ask us when you book.
Are your cruises suitable for families?
Definitely. Our cruises are safe and fun for all ages, and children aged 4 and under travel free. Passengers are advised to always follow the instructions of the skipper and crew.
Can I bring more than one bag onboard?
All passengers can take one bag (20kg maximum) for free but there is a charge for additional bags.
A charge may also be applied for extra freight other than general luggage and groceries, e.g. lawnmowers, boat motors etc. These are loaded at the discretion of the skipper and due to loadings on the boat on the day.
We strongly recommend that all luggage should have a waterproof liner and contents in plastic bags, so your belongings are protected in case of a heavy rainfall when bags are being transferred from our boat to jetties.
Do you accept walk-in passengers without prior bookings?
Yes we do, when space is available. We advise passengers to book earlier than their day of travel to avoid disappointment.
I’m organising a group tour in the Pelorus Sound and need water transport. Can you help?
When do I need to check in?
All passengers need to check in at 9.30am for our 10am departure time. This is to allow enough time for boarding and for the day's mail deliveries to get away on time.