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Excellent excursion, the boat was comfortable, we cruised the entire harbor and saw Hectors dolphins very rare, seals, varied sea
birds. The captain was knowledgeable and gave a good history of the area and the natural rock formations. The fact it was a cloudless day helped too.
We had purchased our tickets online through Tripadvisor, following the cancellation of the TranzAlpine rail trip, due to bush fires. We had a 12.30 trip booked for 3 people including an 8 year old. Akaroa is an amazingly beautiful little town with very friendly people and plenty to see and do for a day out. We picked up our boarding cards early and had a look around town. Picked up some lunch for on the boat. The vessel is of medium size coping with around 40 people. It was pretty full and we decided to remain on the rear upper deck. Glad we did, as this is less windy and less motion. If you get car sick easily, make sure you take some medicine prior to this trip as it can get pretty choppy. First we had a lovely tour of the bay around Akaroa with running commentary and after about an hour we spotted the first Hector dolphins. These are quite small but pretty easy to spot. There werent a great number of them but still, very interesting. We came out of the main bay into the open ocean and into another small bay where we spotted a number of seals including baby pups, on the shore. We came within 20 metres so a great photo opportunity. On our way back into the main bay we spotted some penguins, poking their heads from the sea and more dolphins following us. The weather was excellent February and the sea calm so we had a great 2.5 hours with good informative commentary. Dont bother with the cheesy must do picture they take at the start of the trip though which slightly spoils the magic.
Doing what: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
Great tour - but we didn't get to see much of Akaroa - tour takes almost the whole day. Tour guide excellent.
Tour was OK. Documents showed that lunch was included, but that was not the case. Otherwise adequate
Great Excursion - traveled through breathtaking scenery to get to Christchurch. Got to see much rebuilding going on in Christchurch post earthquake. Tour guide very knowledgeable and friendly.
Nice bus ride with several brief stops for photos. There was a lot of rebuilding in Christchurch, presumably because of recent earthquake, so that part of the tour was not as nice as it might otherwise have been. Overall, we would have liked a little less riding and more walking.
It was a nice day. Christchuch is like a bombed city, not much to see. Our guide was a little disorganized he brought us twice at the same place, after 30 minutes at the Botanical Gardens, we had a short bus tour of the city then came back to the Gardens for lunch again for a short period. It was mainly a bus tour.
We took this trip to see Christchurch and discover more about the terrible earthquake damage and how the city is resurrecting itself. It's a long bus journey from Akaroa, and obviously time in Christchurch is limited, but we felt the available time was poorly used. We were on and off the bus with barely twenty minutes free time, just enough for a toilet stop and to grab a snack. Understandably, because of the major construction works, the city bus tour was difficult to navigate and we saw very little. The time would have been better spent providing us with a map and allowing us to make our own choices such as walking to the significant sites such as the Cathedral and pop-up container area, looking fully at the botanical gardens or taking a proper lunch. The add-on tour to the peninsula was just a beach drive-by, so no time to enjoy the beauty. However, the stop to view the city from above and the viewpoint stop on the return journey we're worthwhile. On the plus side, the bus driver/tour guide was clear, informative and amusing.
Too long in the. Bus. Not enough time for anything.
Went on large bus. We were in the back. Between the driver not speaking loud enough and the noise of the bus, we got no information other than a few words we were able to understand. Everyone in the back of the bus kept asking the driver to speak up. He would for about a sentence and then his voice would go back down. I liked what the tour took us to, but other than that it was a waste of money.
Best Tour of the Trip to New Zealand......an absolute must do......Super flexible operator due to slow disembaration from the cruise operator.....but this tour operator went above and beyond to make sure that we had a wonderful day......very professional and would recommend to everyone.
A really pleasant day. A relaxing ride to Akaroa and then a couple of hours on the water in search of dolphins. We did manage to see quite a few along with some penguins. After that some time in town for lunch before departing for Christchurch. A fun day trip.
Doing what: Akaroa Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch
Knowledgeable guide about the damage of recent quakes near his home and in Christchurch, and also knowledgeable about the efforts to repair damage. Had lunch at Re-Start Mall - a quick rebuild by way of shipping containers made into cafes, shops, etc. We ate at one - what an interesting adventure!
We enjoyed this cruise immensely. The commentary was excellent, saw dolphins, many birds, all types, was told what they were etc. but the most exciting part for me was that we went in close and saw baby seals with their mums crawling over the rocks 'crying'. It was so loud I took a video and you can clearly hear them. You don't often see that, especially in the wild, it was very exciting for all.
This tour is very comprehensive, the tour host Dave was absolutely brillant, explaining everything in minute details, I would recommend this tour to anyone that is seeking well informed narration and knowledgeable descriptions of places and events.
Dave you were impecable and you won our friendship.
Melissa M USA
Long trip from cuisine ship to Christchurch. Needed more time at Botanical Gardens and less time in CBD in Christchurch as there really isn't much to do other than shop and eat.
we got an insite into Christchurch but alot of time was spent in the bus. I only improvement would be to start to tour earlier
due to the distance to drive there.
Just a bus ride through the country and into Christchurch.Would not recommend it nor would we go it again. Driver/narrator was fine, just not enough time in either location to explore.
Loved it. We were on a full boat but no problem moving around to take pics. of the scenery and the wildlife on view. You are taken out of the harbour and bay area and can see small dolphins, seals and, if you are lucky like us, small penguins. The dolphins particularly seem to enjoy being around the boat. Through Viator is the way to book your trip as the prices are very competitive - if you are going to be there as a stop on a cruise you will find the cruise line prices ridiculously high for similar trips.
Doing what: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
the seas were too rough to swim but the company did give a full refund
This is a great tour which showed the beautiful scenery of Banks Peninsula and Christchurch city although the city has some destruction from the last earthquake. The tour guide did an excellent job showing us around and took us to many amazing location for takeing pictures. We recommend this tour to our friends and relative.
Great trip very knowledgeable and lovely crew take some warm clothes as it can be cold out of the harbour.
We loved Akaroa and the surrounding countryside - so peaceful. Despite a fairly lengthy journey to Christchurch we enjoyed our visit there but it was very sobering to see just how much damage had been caused by the earthquake. So many buildings with scaffolding but it was also interesting to visit the shipping containers which have been converted into shops and eateries
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