Of the several fiords in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island, Milford Sound is the most accessible and perhaps the most striking. Running nearly 15 kilometers from the Tasman Sea and surrounded by sheer rock, mostly granite, and towering mountains that rise over 1,200 meters high on each side, this fiord is one of New Zealand’s finest.

This morning’s activity included a 90-minute guided Zodiac cruise around the fiord. Most groups headed to Stirling Falls, a 146-meter (nearly 500-foot) drop straight out of a U-shaped glacial valley. Guests felt the spray and watched droplets glisten as the water tumbled down on this perfect and sunny summer day. Considering that the area gets rain over 182 days of the year, we were all very lucky to see this magnificent fiord and these glacier-fed waterfalls on such a delightful day.

The afternoon was spent cruising back out to the Tasman Sea before our final evening and Captain’s farewell. This New Zealand expedition was a wonderful adventure had by all.