Water activity

From Queenstown: Lake Wakatipu TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Activity provider:RealNZ
Water activity

From Queenstown: Lake Wakatipu TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Activity provider:RealNZ

From US$ 48.47 per person


Climb aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage Edwardian steamship, for a relaxing cruise from Queenstown. Watch the stokers feed the coal fires, explore the historic vessel, and soak up the mountain views.

About this ticket

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 1.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Host or greeter
Wheelchair accessible


  • Sail aboard the historic, coal-powered TSS Earnslaw on a scenic 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 cruise across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown. 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. 

  • Sightseeing cruise
  • Captain
  • Crew
  • Food and drinks

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Meeting point

Meet at the TSS Earnslaw steamship.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Jacket
  • Weather-appropriate clothing

Know before you go

  • Please advise at time of booking if wheelchair assistance is required
  • Cruise is subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or a full refund
  • If you require more information on the wheelchair accessibility on the Tss Earnslaw, please do not hesitate to ask
  • Parking is not available, so please leave your car at your accommodation
  • Non-slip shoes are recommended

Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 520 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Service
  • Organization

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Star rating:

The TSS Earnslaw was great! The whole family enjoyed it. I think there could be better communication between staff though as the announcement said we could hop off the boat to take pics at the Station at the far end of Lake Wakatipu, but the staff at the door seemed unsure. One person let me off only for me to be told off by another staff member on the way back in that “I shouldn’t have been allowed off”. Minus that, great trip. Not on the trip, but didn’t enjoy having to download an app for the trip. Would prefer to just pull up the tickets from the email.

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April 20, 2023

The cruise on the Earnslaw was delightful and an opportunity to see and appreciate the lake and the area’s topography from a different perspective. It was also interesting to see the engine room and watch the crew at work keeping the coal-fired engine going.

April 5, 2023

Very picturesque, relaxing cruise with great coffee and food from the cafe! Beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu along the way! We enjoyed seeing the workings of the boat and views of Walter Peak Station. We did not stop over this time because of our time, but fully enjoyed the cruise and would recommend it to others.

March 6, 2023

Product ID: 181334