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Ultimate Queenstown

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Book - TSS Earnslaw Lake Cruise

A cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the iconic steamship the TSS Earnslaw is undoubtedly one of the best ways to experience Queenstown’s famed scenic beauty.

The leisurely 90 minute cruise across the lake showcases some of Queenstown’s spectacular alpine scenery while offering you plenty of time to explore a piece of Queenstown’s living history – the 100 year old TSS Earnslaw.

You can visit the engine room and see its giant steam engines at work, view the collection of historical photos in our mini-museum, check out the bridge or even join a sing-along with the pianist. Or if you’d much rather, kick back and enjoy a wine or beer or some café-style food at our on-board Promenade Café and Bar.

Cruises depart regularly throughout the day. You can choose to do a cruise, or a cruise, combined with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a guided farm tour, horse trek, barbecue lunch or evening dining.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, President Bill Clinton, and the Japanese Emperor and Empress among other famous people have enjoyed their TSS Earnslaw experience. We’re sure you will too!

INCLUDES: 

Scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu to/from Walter Peak.

DEPARTURE:

Real Journeys Visitor Centre on Steamer Wharf, Queenstown Bay.

DURATION: 1 hour and 30 minutes

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Shoes/boots (non-slip)
  • warm clothing/jacket
  • sunscreen/sunglasses
  • camera

YOU NEED TO KNOW:

TSS Earnslaw Cruise only passengers do not disembark at Walter Peak. If you wish to get off the boat you will need to purchase a Walter Peak Farm or activity tour.

ABOUT THE TSS EARNSLAW:

The TSS Earnslaw is an integral part of Queenstown’s pioneering history and to this day a Queenstown icon.

She was commissioned by New Zealand Railways to service the communities around Lake Wakatipu. Launched in the same year as the Titanic, the TSS Earnslaw’s maiden voyage was on 18 October 1912. 

TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship, 1912

Known as The Lady of the Lake, she provided an essential link between the isolated farming communities along the lake and the outside world.  At 48 metres long, she was the biggest boat on the lake and carried passengers, sheep, cattle, mail and supplies. 

Nearly scrapped in 1968, she was rescued and purchased by Real Journeys and put to work once again carrying passengers around the Lake. Since then the TSS Earnslaw has been painstakingly restored to its original condition – everything you see is pretty much like it was a 100 years ago. Today, the TSS Earnslaw is the only coal fired steamship in operation in the southern hemisphere, making her one of the most unique experiences in the world. 

The TSS Earnslaw has featured in several movies including a cameo in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as an Amazon River Boat. Parts of the trawler SS Venture in Peter Jackson’s King Kong were inspired by the TSS Earnslaw. Famous composer Ron Goodwin composed a piece of music inspired by the rhythm of the TSS Earnslaw’s engines.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise: Year Round:
Available at 10:00AM | 12:00PM (noon) | 2:00PM | 4:00PM 1.5 hour Lake Cruise only. Please note: You are not able to disembark at Walter Peak

  • Adult $70.00
  • Child $30.00

TSS Earnslaw Cruise + Farm Tour: Year Round:
Available at 10:00AM | 12:00PM (noon) | 2:00PM. This is a 3.5 hour round trip allowing time to visit Walter Peak with Farm Tour.

  • Adult $95.00
  • Child $35.00

TSS Earnslaw Lake Cruise Location

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