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Top Bay of Islands Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

The best place to be in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, a sheltered bay strung with more than 140 subtropical islands, is out on the water. From dolphin and whale-watching expeditions to sightseeing boat tours that follow scenic routes through the bay, here are just a few of your cruising options in the Bay of Islands. 

Half-Day Cruises
A half-day cruise in the Bay of Islands might take a form of a catamaran sail through the famous Hole in the Rock, a natural archway carved into the cliffs of Motukokako Island, followed by a stop at Urupukapuka Island, the largest in the archipelago, where you can go birdwatching, swimming, or trekking. Some half-day cruises incorporate Maori cultural experiences where you can learn about Maori crafts and culture. Passengers also have the the chance to spot the marine wildlife species that live in the bay, from penguins and seals to dolphins and whales. 

Full-Day Cruises
During full-day cruises around the Bay of Islands, you can expect to cover more ground, see more wildlife, reach more secluded parts of the bay, and have additional time for extra activities. Many full-day cruises include stopovers at two remote islands or sheltered coves, where passengers can kayak, swim, sunbathe, paddleboard, hike, or snorkel. Most full-day cruises incorporate a meal either on board or at one of the islands. 
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23 Bay of Islands Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

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Did you know?You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.
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Did you know?
You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.Learn more

Island Hopper Day CruiseDay Cruises

Island Hopper Day Cruise

star-5
The Bay of Islands is made up of 144 islands, and the best way to explore them is by boat. On this island-hopping day cruise, you can relax on board a comfortable catamaran while admiring the beautiful views of the sea, islands, and maybe even some dolphins. Snorkel, swim, or paddle board, and stop on land to visit a wildlife sanctuary. This is the easy way to see the bay, as it’s difficult to travel here independently without a boat.
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  • 6 hours
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From  
$91.11 
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Day Cruise:The Cream TripDay Cruises

Bay of Islands Day Cruise:The Cream Trip

star-5
Follow the century-old tradition of delivering mail and supplies throughout the Bay of Islands—called a ‘cream trip’—on this full-day cruise by catamaran from Paihia or Russell. See the Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett, spend time on one of many islands that make up the Bay of Islands, and search the waters for whales, seals, and other marine life. Onboard the multi-level vessel, an informative crew points out natural landmarks, local homes, and secluded bays. Enjoy time to stroll on a local island or relax on the beach.
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  • 7 hours
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From  
$85.66 
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  • 7 hours
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Bay of Islands Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock Day Cruises

Bay of Islands Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock

star-4.5
Slip through the famous 'Hole in the Rock' in New Zealand’s Northland during this half-day Bay of Islands cruise by high-speed catamaran. Pass rocky outcrops, sandy beaches and an array of islands as you make your way out to the Cape Brett Lighthouse, and Motu Kokako Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins and other marine and birdlife.
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  • 3 hours
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  • 3 hours
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Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock with Island StopoverDay Cruises

Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock with Island Stopover

star-4.5
Meet your boat at the Maritime Building in Paihia or The Strand Wharf in Russell to start your 4-hour Bay of Islands cruise, from 9.00am - 1.00pm Soaking up the varied landscape of some 144 islands, you'll make your way out to the remote Cape Brett Lighthouse and before visiting the famous Cape Brett Hole in the Rock at Motukokako Island. You will also have the chance for an Islands visit. Listen as your experienced crew share local history and ecology via an informative commentary, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales, and other marine and birdlife as you cruise through and past many of the 144 islands that make up the Bay of Islands Don't want the journey to end? Hop off in Russell or Paihia after your cruise for more exploring before using your complimentary Russell/Paihia ferry ticket to get back.
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  • 4 hours
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From  
$62.82 
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from PaihiaDay Trips

Half-Day Bay of Islands Discovery Tour from Paihia

star-4.5
Explore subtropical islands, Maori heritage sites and golden beaches on this cruise around the Bay of Islands from Paihia. Soak up the scenery as you float between the bay’s 144 islands, sail straight through the iconic Hole in the Rock (weather permitting) and tuck into a BBQ lunch or dinner at the stunning Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island. Along the way, spot dolphins swimming and playing alongside the boat.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
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From  
$98.35 
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  • 4 to 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike, Swim, Paddleboard, WildlifeDay Cruises

Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike, Swim, Paddleboard, Wildlife

star-5
Let seafaring experts show you the best of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands by land and by water on this adventure cruise. With 144 different isles, it can be hard to know where to start, but your captain and crew know all the best spots to swim, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, and spot marine life. Hop off at two hand-picked islands for a hike to panoramic lookout points and beachside tea with biscuits.
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  • 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$71.59 
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  • 5 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sundowner SailingSailing Trips

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sundowner Sailing

star-5
This 2-hour experience aboard a tall ship in the Bay of Islands offers a gentle sail in the afternoon. Step aboard the elegant 'R. Tucker Thompson' and enjoy an antipasto platter accompanied by drinks available for purchase at the bar. Round-trip ferry transfer to Russell is included.
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  • 2 hours
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From  
$42.83 
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  • 2 hours
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Phantom Sailing Bay of IslandsHalf-day Tours

Phantom Sailing Bay of Islands

star-5
We only take 10 guests and offer a unique personal experience with 20 years taking guests on our beautiful live-aboard yacht and we still love it!! We share our passion for what we do and love meeting people from all over the world and sharing stories from our travels and lifestyle. We have sailed to many countries on many different boats, so come along and hear the tales of adventures far and wide. We raised our son on the boat while sailing from the Caribbean and throughout the South Pacific and New Zealand for many years.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From  
$88.83 
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes

Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Russell and Waitangi Treaty GroundsHalf-day Tours

Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Russell and Waitangi Treaty Grounds

star-3.5
Experience the very best of the Bay of Islands on this shore excursion, including tours and exploration of Paihia, Russell, Kerikeri, Haruru Falls and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. While your cruise ship is berthed in the Bay of Islands, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Paihia, the beautiful Haruru Falls, and Kerikeri with its historic Mission House and Stone Store. Following your sightseeing tour, your coach will board a vehicle ferry to Russell where you can explore New Zealand's oldest town on foot. You will then return to Paihia via passenger ferry and be transferred to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds with time for lunch (own expense) and a fully guided tour of the grounds and Maori Cultural Performance. Finally you will be transferred back to your cruise ship tenders where your tour will conclude.
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$98.35 
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  • 6 hours
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Bay of Islands Waterfall Cruise Kayak or Paddle boardOther Water Sports

Bay of Islands Waterfall Cruise Kayak or Paddle board

star-4.5
Experience nature is at its best on a 40-minute Bay of Islands cruise followed by a kayak excursion. Paddle past mangrove forests to a wondrous waterfall, with the option to depart in the morning, afternoon or at sunset. If you’d like, opt for a paddleboard instead. You’ll view birdlife and learn the cultural history of the Maori people with commentary by a knowledgeable guide.
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  • 2 hours 45 minutes
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From  
$43.15 
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  • 2 hours 45 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Full-Day Adventure Cruise with Lunch in Bay of IslandsDay Cruises

Full-Day Adventure Cruise with Lunch in Bay of Islands

star-4.5
Spend the day exploring the Bay of Islands on a full-day cruise from Paihia. Participate in activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, gathering fresh sea food, exploring WWII remains, and trekking across islands to visit ancient Maori fortifications. Refuel with a buffet lunch midday and spend some time relaxing on a secluded beach.
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
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From  
$128.86 
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  • 6 hours 30 minutes
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  • Free Cancellation

Vigilant Yacht Charters - Sailing Bay of IslandsSailing Trips

Vigilant Yacht Charters - Sailing Bay of Islands

star-5
Spend a day cruising through the Bay of Islands aboard a deluxe sailboat that sets sail from Russell. Your captain stops at a picturesque island where you have lunch, and time to snorkel, kayak, swim, and walk to a lookout point. Cruise over to The Black Rocks for photo ops of the volcanic formation, keep an eye out for marine life, and hear commentary from your captain about the region.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From  
$88.83 
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes

Sundowner Evening CruiseDay Cruises

Sundowner Evening Cruise

star-5
Sundowner Evening Cruise, a summertime special! Departing Paihia beachfront at 5pm. The boat pulls right up to the beach where you can step aboard from the shore line. Enjoy a relaxed sail aboard a smooth sailing catamaran in a peaceful setting, while the sun is going down. For those who want to enjoy the beauty of an evening cruise taking in the sights of the idyllic Bay of Islands, the Sundowner Cruise is a perfect start to a good night out with friends and family, a romantic getaway, or just the perfect escape from the daily grind! • Experience sailing at it's best, make the most of the beautiful sea breeze. Watch the wind fill the sails, kick back and enjoy the tranquility. • Enjoy the beauty of a sheltered anchorage for a swim stop, sip on a complimentary drink and take in the scenery. • See the landmarks of historical importance in the Bay of Islands from a different perspective, while under sail.
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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$39.05 
From  
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  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Day Wildlife CruiseSailing Trips

Bay of Islands Day Wildlife Cruise

star-5
Experience with us and help protect our wild dolphins! Surrounded by deep blue waters, vivid green islands and diverse wildlife, sailing on Carino NZ our 50ft catamaran is the best way to experience the stunning bay of islands. We are a small, local family owned and operated wildlife cruise. Join us on our marine wildlife conservation vessel. On board help to set sails or sit back and relax.Time to take a deep breath and unwind. Watch for wild dolphins in their ocean habitat. We are only yacht licensed to view wild dolphins in the Bay. Viewing wild dolphins in their natural habitat is an amazing and wonderful experience. A portion of every fare contributes directly to marine mammal conservation – Protect the future While we are sailing, watch for our local little blue penguins and our crazy diving gannets. An island stop is included, where you get to explore a historic scenic island walks, snorkeling at the beach. Bbq lunch aboard Carino NZ, a cash bar available.
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$96.32 
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Private Charter - Bay of Islands Cruise & Island TourDay Cruises

Private Charter - Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour

star-5
Spend the day cruising the clear blue waters of the Bay of Islands, hopping from beach to beach – or spend it snorkelling around local reefs and shipwrecks – or spend it hiking through the pristine native bush on a handful of the Bay’s 140-plus islands. On this private charter in the Bay of Islands, do what you to do. Instead of sticking to a tour operator’s preset schedule, tailor your half- or full-day itinerary in the Bay to your own tastes.
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  • 3 hours
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From  
$780.95 
per group
From  
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Walking on SunshineSailing Trips

Bay of Islands Walking on Sunshine

star-5
Enjoy Discovery, Island Time, Swimming & a Gourmet Lunch prepared from scratch on board Kiss as we spend a leisurely day gliding through the World Famous bays, beaches and waters that are the Bay of Islands
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  • 6 hours
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From  
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  • 6 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Dolphin Nature CruiseNature & Wildlife

Bay of Islands Dolphin Nature Cruise

star-2
Embark on this scenic cruise through the picturesque Bay of Islands where we'll search for dolphins living in the wild. The skipper will also choose a spot to snorkel in the beautiful clear waters of the Bay of Islands! Enjoy full commentary on-board as you learn about the local marine and wildlife and the conservation efforts being made to preserve this stunning natural habitat. *Please note that due to Department of Conservation regulations, swimming with dolphins is not permitted in the Bay of Islands.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Waitangi River Traditional Maori Waka Tour and Waitangi Treaty Grounds Day PassHalf-day Tours

Waitangi River Traditional Maori Waka Tour and Waitangi Treaty Grounds Day Pass

star-5
Discover the beauty of the Waitangi River estuary and experience Maori traditions during a 3-hour cruise in a traditional canoe (waka) with a local Maori guide. Learn traditional paddling techniques in the calm waters of the estuary and make your way to Haruru Falls. Your guide shares informative commentary about Ngapuhi customs and history, and points out wildlife as you glide along. Disembark to visit a Ngapuhi meeting house and perhaps meet people from this Maori community. You'll also learn the moves of a 'haka' — an ancient Maori war dance.
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Cultural Maori War Canoe Guided TourHalf-day Tours

Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Cultural Maori War Canoe Guided Tour

star-4.5
Swap your cruise ship for a traditional Maori war canoe on this interactive shore excursion from Paihia. The history and ecology of the Bay of Islands is best understood with a local, and you’ll paddle with a Ngapuhi guide who shares Maori traditions via the age-old art of storytelling. Learn ceremonial chants and visit a ‘marae’ (meeting ground) plus receive an all-inclusive day pass to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
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Bay of Islands Cruise and Scenic Helicopter TourDay Cruises

Bay of Islands Cruise and Scenic Helicopter Tour

star-5
See the Bay of Islands from water, land and air on this half-day tour that includes a boat cruise, island stopover and helicopter flight. Departing from Paihia, board the Sea Shuttle for a scenic boat ride, and stop for a few hours at Roberton Island to hike, swim or snorkel. Finish with a helicopter tour over the Bay of Islands and hover above the Hole in the Rock for great photo ops.
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  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
$227.13 
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  • 4 hours
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Bays and Beaches Cruise with optional Island ExtensionJet Boats & Speed Boats

Bays and Beaches Cruise with optional Island Extension

star-5
The Bay of Islands is home to some of the North Island’s most beautiful natural scenery, dotted with lush islands and white sand beaches. On this tour, set sail around the bay, relax on deck as you admire the views, and head ashore at Roberton Island, where you can hike, swim, or stroll along the beach. Upgrade to a full-day cruise and spend the rest of the day on the beaches of Urupukapuka Island.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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Afternoon Cruise & Island Tour - Scenic Cruise, Hike, Snorkel, Wildlife,Day Cruises

Afternoon Cruise & Island Tour - Scenic Cruise, Hike, Snorkel, Wildlife,

star-5
There’s no better way to discover the 144 sub-tropical islands that stud the Bay of Islands than on a cruise. With a top limit of just 20 passengers, this intimate boat trip delivers two island stopovers, one at Roberton Island or Twin Lagoons, plus the chance to hike, swim, snorkel, or even try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. Look out for dolphins along the way.
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
From  
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  • 3 hours
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Bay of Islands Day Cruises

Bay of Islands "Winterless North Cruise & Island Stopover"

Winterless North // Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Stopover Departing twice daily, escape the crowds and discover the Bay of Islands Locally owned and operated, with a passion for sharing our beautiful area. Suitable for all ages, families, solo travellers and couples...experience it all! • Two remote island stopovers • Native bush walks and 360 degree views from the island lookout points • Interactive commentary and information • Lookout for unique wildlife throughout the day • Scenic cruising among 144 subtropical islands. There's no better way to experience the Bay of Islands
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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