Even these canines were to travel on the ferry on the same August day we did. Both guarded Dads luggage whilst waiting on him to return outside. Today we would travel from Picton to Wellington on the Interisland Ferry.
As the trip was a bit over three hours, we had decided to trial the Premium Lounge. Advertised as comfortable, over 18 only, with food and beverage supplied for the duration of the trip, the concept certainly appealed.Certainly comfortable, we were actually impressed with what the lounge provided. Plenty of seating choice, from comfy lounge to dining suites, and booths next to the portholes.
Today we chose the porthole seating which looked so very inviting as well as allowing enough room to sprawl out a bit. On top of that we at least had a view of the stunning Marlborough Sounds as we glided past. Yes we were lucky on this trip as the infamous Cook Stait was not as rough as it has been know to be. This stretch of water divides the South & North Islands of New Zealand and has a reputation for being challenging to cross at times.
An added bonus of the Premium Lounge, is the location, towards the middle of ship. The bow and stern tend to take most of the motion, whilst the middle stays more stable.
From the time we entered the lounge, to the time we disembarked, there was an endless supply of food on offer. Firstly a buffet hot/cold breakfast, followed by scones, jam & cream, then an assortment which included sandwiches. Help yourself to the bar fridges for water, soft drinks etc. With coffee/tea on offer plus a stocked bar enabling you to enjoy a relaxing drink later in the day, there really was something for everyone’s tastes.All the food we sampled was fresh, hot or cold if were meant to be, and overall, quite nice.Leaving Picton as we headed down through the Marlborough Sounds for around an hour of scenery before hitting the open sea, photo opportunities abound. The location of the Premiun Lounge, is very close to a door which takes you out to deck. Whilst cruising the Sounds, it was no problem to pop out, enjoy the scenery and snap a few shots.A couple of times during the trip, we passed ferries heading in the opposite direction. As we neared the last of the South Islands land mass, the brilliant blue clear waters merged into the the subdued hues of Cook Strait. Surprisingly, there is actually a short distance between the tips of land on each island. In fact for a while during the trip, you can see both islands. Certainly the sea was more choppy through the Strait, however it did not affect us much in the lounge at all luckily. Especially as we heard the staff commenting on the number of seasick travellers in the front viewing lounge.
The weather did deteriorate somewhat as we neared Wellington, and after battling the strong wind outside, I decided it might wise to continue the trip from the comfort of the lounge. Good Choice!One interesting discovery upon booking these tickets a few months previously, was the online booking choice of laybying your tickets prior to the trip. Not something I had come across before but certainly something which could well appeal to others, particularly those travelling on a budget.
A mention to the staff onboard and at the Picton Ferry Terminal. All staff we encountered were friendly, helpful and professional. Certainly no problems there at all.
A ferry trip between the islands is something you should try. With any luck you too will be lucky enough to have a nice smooth sailing. For that little bit extra why not add the Premium lounge. We found it well worthwhile.
Watch for the Wellington and North Island blogs still to come. Thank you also to all the Dine Live Travel followers on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat!