Queenstown’s newest tourism attraction Spirit of Queenstown will take to the waters of Lake Wakatipu next Monday November 11 carrying her first official passengers.
The launch of Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruises is the latest milestone in Southern Discoveries expansion over the past five years and will complement their extensive Milford Sound offering.
Spirit of Queenstown is already a familiar site in central Queenstown and is set to become an iconic activity in town. With the stunning backdrop of The Remarkables the boat is sure to become of the town’s most photographed activities.
Spirit of Queenstown’s maiden cruise will depart at 11.30am on Monday November 11 from her berth at O’Regans Wharf, followed by a 1.45pm and 3.45pm sailing that day.
The full summer timetable of four departures per day will commence on Tuesday November 12 and bookings can be made by visiting Discover Queenstown information centre at the top of The Mall in Queenstown, at O’Regans Wharf or online at www.southerndiscoveries.co.nz.
All passengers who are lucky enough to be aboard the maiden cruise on Monday will each receive a certificate commemorating the historic first trip.
Spirit of Queenstown’s Scenic Cruise will travel across the lake towards Mt Nicholas and up towards Glenorchy, mimicking the trip that it will take on Mt Nicholas services which will start operating from late November.
Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson said it was a great opportunity for people to “be a part of history”.
“It’s a great feeling to be preparing her for her first public voyage. It’s a wonderful chance for people to be one of the first to travel aboard Spirit of Queenstown.”
“Spirit is a beautiful boat with sensational viewing from large windows inside and the two outside decks. The team has been working hard over the last few weeks and she’s in tip-top condition, ready to host people on-board,” said Mr Robson.
“No other Wakatipu lake cruise goes further or sees more than the Queenstown Scenic Cruise. It’s a truly special experience getting out on the water on a brand-new catamaran taking in all the stunning scenery.”
“The experienced skipper and host team are very knowledgeable about the boat and the area and we offer a relaxed, informative and interactive way of experiencing Queenstown.”
The Queenstown Scenic Cruise includes detailed commentary provided by the experienced skippers and the open bridge enables passengers to talk to the skipper and ask questions as they go.
With a capacity to carry up to 150 passengers Spirit of Queenstown has an enclosed interior area with seats and a café and bar for passengers, while the sheltered open top deck is perfect for capturing those ‘postcard perfect’ panoramic photo opportunities.
The 1hr 45minute cruise offers visitors and locals the chance to enjoy the lake and surrounding scenery, while also learning a little about the history of Queenstown, as well as the abundance of flora and fauna.
In addition to offering daily cruise services Spirit of Queenstown is available for private charter for functions.
In late November Southern Discoveries will be opening the next stage in their Queenstown tourism product range with experiences on offer at the normally inaccessible Mt Nicholas Station. Visitors can choose from a woolshed experience, half day high country walks and 4WD musterer safari trips into the high country.
Spirit of Queenstown has had quite a journey over the last few months. Built in Australia, she took to the open seas off Brisbane in July this year, making her way across the ocean to Bluff, Southland.
Once partly dismantled she successfully navigated the narrow streets of Invercargill en route to Kingston at the edge of Lake Wakatipu.
Spirit of Queenstown made a striking sight as she made her way through the city and country roads, bringing traffic to a halt and capturing the attention of the general public.
She was lowered into Lake Wakatipu in August and is now firmly ensconced in her new home at O’Regans Wharf, Queenstown