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About Us

The Appleby family had a dream to own and work on a cruising vessel in New Zealand, so in 1996 the dream began. Along with their daughter Vicky they developed cruises that focused on their passion — cruising Kiwi style!

In the beginning we were doing shorter cruises in the Marlborough Sounds and 7-day cruises in Fiordland, paying attention to mainly fishing and diving charters. We soon realised that these 2 amazing areas had much more to offer — scenery, isolation and relaxation — and that the vessel was suited to couples, friends, and single women and men who wanted to experience these areas.

So new cruises were designed, and Stewart Island was added to the locations that we cruise.

In designing our itineraries, we had to keep in mind what our passengers (who often turn into friends) wanted:

  • Interesting and flexible itineraries.
  • Special requests to visit areas of importance to them.
  • Not to rush around, but to sit back and take in the atmosphere.
  • Good Kiwi food like mum used to make.

We feel that we have all the above and more on our cruises, and are proud to say it. So if you have always wanted to explore these places but never knew how to before, what are you waiting for?

Experience your dream with us!

About the Vessel

The vessel Affinity was purpose-built in Picton by Carey’s Boatyard for the type of cruising that she does. Affinity has 8 guest cabins, a comfortable lounge for dining and relaxing, and a spacious deck.

Affinity Features

  • Accommodation is onboard the vessel in 8 cabins (twin share — bed and bunk or double bed).
  • If you are a sole passenger and require a cabin to yourself, our single supplement is available.
  • All cruises are fully catered and all linen is supplied.
  • 3 bathrooms facilities on the main deck — separate ladie's and men’s — with a good supply of hot water.
  • Air conditioning for summer and central heating for winter.
  • Spacious vessel both inside and out, including a comfortable lounge area.
  • Lots of interesting books to read, as well as a few board games.
  • Easy access both on and off the vessel, with platform steps at the stern of the vessel.
  • 4-metre inflatable tender for shore excursions and for use when divers are in the water.
  • Use of gumboots for on deck and going ashore.
  • First aid certificates held by crew members, plus an oxygen cylinder onboard.
  • Vessel complies with all safety regulations and holds all appropriate licences.

We care

At Affinity Cruises we believe we’re very privileged to operate in 3 amazing cruising locations. We encourage our staff and each-and-every cruising passenger to respect and care for these environments. By doing so, our natural resources will be available for future generations to discover and enjoy.

We design our cruise itineraries to ensure our cruising passenger get the most from the area with minimal impact on the environment and their wallets. In the Marlborough Sounds most cruises will start on the afternoon that the passengers leave home meaning no additional accommodation is required pre- or post-cruise, as the itinerary is also designed to enable passengers to head back home on the day the cruise finishes.

On the Vessel

In 2012 we installed a new Scania engine. Scania has always been at the forefront in the development and production of environmentally safe engines. They have made great progress in reducing harmful exhaust emissions to meet stringent emission standards, without compromising the high quality of Scania marine engines in terms of performance and cost-effective operation.

Fuel efficiency is a priority, with set itineraries that ensure sensible fuel usage and therefore reduced emissions.

We use an environmentally-approved paint system on the hull of our vessel that is designed to reduce drag through the water and save fuel.

All cleaning products used on-board are environmentally-friendly.

We reduce waste as much as we can as all waste is required to go back ashore for recycling.

Passengers are encouraged to bring a water bottle on all cruises and refill their bottle on-board each day.

Cruising in Fiordland — a World Heritage Park with outstanding natural values — requires us to follow strict guidelines as per our consent to operate in this pristine area, to ensure the continued protection in this remote location.

Prior to arriving in Fiordland each year, we are required to take the vessel out of the water to clean-inspect the hull for any unwanted pests or weeds.

We also monitor the number of fish that are caught, kept or returned to the sea. In all 3 locations, we fish for the plate (not the freezer) on our scenic cruises.

We believe in supporting local businesses and prefer to buy local produce when available. In the past we have also supported Marlborough Hospice, Life Flight, Renwick Primary School and Renwick Rugby Club.