1. New Zealand
  2. Otago
  3. Queenstown
  4. Lake Wakatipu

TSS Earnslaw: 1.5-Hour Cruise From Queenstown

Product ID: 181334
Climb aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage Edwardian steamship, for a relaxing 1.5-hour cruise. Watch the stokers feed the coal fires, explore the historic vessel, and enjoy stunning mountain views.
About this activity
Duration: 90 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Spanish, Thai, Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese
Wheelchair accessible
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

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  • Sail aboard the historic, coal-powered TSS Earnslaw on a 1.5-hour cruise
  • Admire spectacular alpine scenery from the vantage point of the lake's waters
  • Explore the engine room below decks where stokers feed the roaring coal fire
  • Discover a fascinating collection of historical photos in the small onboard museum
Full description
Join the TSS Earnslaw for a 1.5-hour cruise across Lake Wakatipu. Admire spectacular alpine scenery and enjoy plenty of time to explore a piece of living history. Listen to engaging commentary from your experienced captain who will highlight points of interest throughout your cruise.

Make your way to Steamer Wharf at Queenstown’s waterfront. Climb aboard the oldest working coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere and feel free to explore! View the collection of historical photos in the small onboard museum and check out the skipper’s wheelhouse. Visit the engine room to feel the heat of the giant steam engines at work and see the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes. 

Soak in the dramatic mountain views surrounding Lake Wakatipu and relax at the cafe where you can enjoy a wine or beer and snacks are also available for purchase. 
  • 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise
What’s Not Included
  • Food and drinks

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf, 88 Beach Street, Queenstown

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Important information
What to bring
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Jacket
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
Know before you go
• Upon check-in, you must exchange your ticket for a boarding pass at the visitor center
• Your cruise departure time may be different from the one requested. The local operator will confirm your cruise details by email after booking
• Please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
• TSS Earnslaw is undergoing annual maintenance between the 2 June and 3 July, 2020. If you are traveling between these dates, your cruise will be held on a different boat
• Cruise is subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund
• Parking is not available, so please leave your car at your accommodation
• Non-slip shoes are recommended
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 46 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.1 / 5
  • Organization
    4.3 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.2 / 5
  • Safety
    4.2 / 5
Sort by

Doing the ferry without the farm was great especially if you book the 10am trip as this means that although the front of the boat is packed with people with cameras and selfie sticks on the way out it is far quieter on the way back and you can get your pictures and enjoy the scenery in peace. I doubt this is the case for any other trip as they bring people back on the other journeys.

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11 February 2020

What a magnificent old boat. The ride was so relaxing and the views magnificent. You’re able to buy food and alcohol, it’s a little expensive but worth having a glass of wine while taking in the views of the snow capped mountains. I recommend everyone experiences the TSS Earnslaw when visiting Queenstown.

23 October 2019

Smooth ride on a lovely old vessel. Quite a crowd on the outward trip however we enjoyed the more quiet return with a coffee and a wonderful raspberry muffin which, apparently they make themselves. It also was a good chance to go down to see the engine room and the museum. It was lovely to have Ellinor playing the piano as she played some lovely old tunes.

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2 October 2019

Organized by

Real Journeys

Product ID: 181334