Milford Sound, a sparkling jewel in the crown of New Zealand's South Island, beckons countless explorers each year with its majestic fjords and stunning natural beauty. Cruises are the popular choice for traveler's, promising an unforgettable journey through the serene waters of the Sound. However, the fear of getting sea sick can often cast a shadow over the anticipation of the journey. But fear not! This quick guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need to enjoy your two hour voyage without the worry of sea sickness.
Understanding sea sickness.
Before we delve into specifics, it's crucial to understand what sea sickness is. Essentially, it’s a form of motion sickness characterised by a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo experienced when one is out at sea.
Sea sickness occurs when there's a conflict between what your eyes see and what your inner ears, which help with balance, perceive. If your inner ear senses the motion of the waves but your eyes don't see it (usually when you're in a cabin without windows), you can start feeling sea sick.
Milford Sound weather and sea conditions.
The weather conditions in Milford Sound can vary quite dramatically, which can impact the sea conditions. The Sound is a fjord, meaning it's a narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs.
Typically, the waters within the Sound are calm, almost mirror-like. However, the Sound opens up into the Tasman Sea, where the sea conditions can be more unpredictable with long sea swells. Most cruises venture just far enough into the Tasman to offer a view back to the mouth of the Sound.
This part of the journey usually lasts about 30 minutes or less, depending on the weather. In the event of very rough weather, cruises are careful and stay within the Sound to ensure passenger comfort and safety.
Likelihood of getting sea sick on Milford Sound cruises.
The good news is that most traveler's report little to no sea sickness while on Milford Sound cruises. Given that the majority of the cruise takes place within the sheltered waters of the Sound, the boat does not sway excessively.
However, sensitivity to sea sickness varies from person to person. Some people may feel nauseous at the slightest hint of motion, while others might not be affected at all. If you're prone to motion sickness, you might experience some discomfort when the cruise ventures into the Tasman Sea.
How to combat sea sickness.
Before the Cruise.
If you know you're prone to sea sickness, it's best to take precautions. One of the most effective ways to combat sea sickness is by taking anti-motion sickness medication, such as 'Sea-Legs', before you set sail. These non-prescription medications can control the symptoms of motion sickness and are generally most effective if taken at least one hour before your cruise.
Another tip is not to consume a heavy meal before your cruise. A full stomach can increase the chances of feeling nauseous. Opt for a light meal or snack instead, and avoid alcohol, which can exacerbate sea sickness.
During the Cruise.
Once on board, there are several strategies you can employ to minimise the chance of sea sickness:
Choose a good spot: If possible, stay in the middle of the boat, where the motion is usually at a minimum. If you're inside, try to sit near a window so you can maintain a visual connection with the horizon.
Fresh air: If you start to feel queasy, get outside in the fresh air if you can.
Focus on the horizon: Fix your gaze on the horizon. This can help your brain reconcile the discrepancy between the motion your body is feeling and the stillness it is seeing.
Avoid eeading: Reading can make motion sickness worse, so it's best to avoid it while the boat is in motion.
Hydrate: drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, as dehydration can exacerbate feelings of nausea.
Choosing a reputable cruise operator.
For those concerned about sea sickness, choosing a reputable cruise operator can make a difference. For example, the company we partner with for our cruise leg of the Luxe Tours Milford Sound day trip, RealNZ, is a well-regarded choice for Milford Sound cruises, noted for their attentive crews and comfortable boats. They prioritise passenger safety and comfort, ensuring that the journey is as smooth as possible, especially during rough weather.
Embracing the adventure.
Embarking on a Milford Sound cruise is a relaxing adventure, a chance to witness nature's grandeur up close.
While the prospect of sea sickness might seem daunting, remember that it's a minor, manageable concern against the backdrop of this incredible journey.
So gear up, step aboard, and embrace the adventure that awaits on the serene waters of Milford Sound. With the right preparations, you'll be well-equipped to make the most of this unforgettable voyage.
Sea sickness need not be a deterrent to exploring the majestic Milford Sound. So why wait? Start planning your day tour today!