On March 29, 2013 our cruise ship arrived at the Paihia Wharf. After taking the ferry to Russell Wharf, we boarded the R. Tucker Thompson for a wonderful day. The morning started out cool so the scones with strawberry jam along with tea or coffee was a welcome treat. Those who wanted to be involved raised and lowered the sails and took the helm to steer the ship. After taking a dinghy to one of the islands, we returned to the aroma of BBQ. One of the hands on board had made BBQ chicken, potato salad, and a green salad, which was served with some delicious bread. Liquid refreshment was available for purchase. There was opportunity to climb the mast (tethered of course) and swim if we desired. I booked my trip through Viator and not only enjoyed my cruise, but realized it benefited a not -for-profit trust that takes young people on a weeks sailing voyage, which helps them develop confidence, leadership and teamwork. A great time and the opportunity to help others. What more could you ask....and reasonable too?
It was a long bus trip from Auckland to Opua but well worth it. The boat and its crew did a great job despite some equipment problems. The main improvement they might make would be to add a bit of entertainment for the evening session (even a movie would do). Also, the boat returned to Opua at about 10.00 am but the bus didn't leave Paihia until 4.30 pm so perhaps the tour should be expanded to include a visit to some other nearby attraction (e.g. Russell or the Waitangi site).
Doing what: Bay Of Islands Overnight Cruise
This was a totally enjoyable experience. We travelled by coach to Paihia and were transferred to Ipipiri for a delightful sail around the Bay of Islands. Afternoon tea, dinner and breakfast were all of a very high standard. The crew on the boat were friendly and professional. Activities, for those inclined, looked great. On return to Paihia there was plenty of time to explore, visit the Treaty Grounds before returning to Auckland by coach.
Doing what: Bay Of Islands Overnight Cruise
Great tour. Loved going through the whole in the rock and being lucky enough to see the dolphins.
Great trip, despite the weather, which prevented us from swimming with the dolphins although we did get to see them. Beautiful scenery and really well-informed crew. Fantastic way to see the Bay of Islands.
Was very good. Enjoyed it a lot. The captain was very knowledgable and the sights were beautiful
We loved it! Great experience with a wonderfully happy and helpful crew. They love their jobs and it shows. The captain smiled when we boarded and that smile was on his face the entire time. An obviously happy man who loves to sail! He encouraged any of the passengers who wanted to take the helm, to do so - including two young boys who had the time of their lives. The BBQ chicken lunch was very good and plentiful. This trip included ages from 8 to 72 and all enjoyed it. The 20-something young people climbed the mast and swinging from a rope, jumped into the water from the side of the ship (not the mast!). This day turned out to be the highlight of our South Pacific trip.
We had a great cruise. The pilot was excellent in explaining the history of each island as we headed to the "Hole in the Rock". He had a great sense of humor and he was speaking distinctly over the intercom. The weather was sunny and warm and we had a number of great photo ops. The sea was a bit too rough to navigate through the hole but we were able to get very close to it for photos. A great value compared to what we would have had to pay if we had booked a similar cruise through our cruise liner.
Five Star +
What an excellent day! We helped put up and take down the sails, took our turn at the wheel and even climbed out on the bow spit! We climbed the hill when the ship anchored and were able to see across the Bay of Islands. On the way back we saw dolphins. The crew were brilliant in explaining what we were doing and why and with the other visitors being fun and friendly we had a wonderful day.
The weather was wind and rain so we were unable to go to the Hole in the rock. However the cruise around the islands was interesting and informative by providing plenty of local history. We also had the opportunity to closely observe dolphins who joined us for about fifteen minutes.
A very pleasant day but from a sailor's point of view not exactly a full day's sailing . Anchored for lunch and then had to go walking on an island for an hour while extra crew were transferred and briefed from another activity . Then sailed home. Could have done with more sailing but you cant please everyone.
Doing what: Bay of Islands Full-Day Sailing including Lunch
Great day, crew on boat wonderful , would reccommend as a must do in the Bay of Islands.
The Cream Trip was the only experience we booked ahead of our arrival in New Zealand. We had high expectations and were not disappointed. Fantastic commentary from the (female) skipper. Lots of laughs - not intrusive, and very interesting. We loved our lunch time stop on the island: lots of options, and we thought our fish and chips were the best we've had in ages. I am prone to sea sickness and had no problems on this well sized vessel - not too big, but spacious, light, smooth and everyone had a good view. Being on the water and getting out onto the bay to see all the islands will remain one of my favourite holiday memories. I would do it again!
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