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Experience majestic scenery and stunning wildlife, including Hector’s dolphins, blue penguins and birdlife, on a narrated 2-hour Akaroa Harbour cruise. Ride a spacious luxury catamaran with prime views of the harbor’s sea caves and volcanic cliffs. Your skipper stops at a salmon farm in Lucas Bay and takes you past a New Zealand fur seal colony at Seal Bay. 

Highlights

  • 2-hour Akaroa Harbour cruise by luxury catamaran to see the worlds smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector's dolphin
  • See fur seals as you cruise past Seal Bay
  • Stop at Lucas Bay to see a salmon farm
  • Stunning scenery and plenty of photo opportunities
  • Fully narrated by knowledgeable skipper

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Departing from Akaroa's main wharf, board a modern 60-foot (18-meter) catamaran to explore the natural wonders of Akaroa Harbour during your 2-hour cruise. The luxurious vessel provides plentiful inside seating on its two decks for uninterrupted viewing of landmarks such as Akaroa Lighthouse.

Sip complimentary coffee and tea as you listen to live narration by the skipper, who has extensive knowledge of Akaroa Harbour. Pass sheer volcanic cliffs and sea caves such as Cathedral Cave, and see the breathtaking volcanic amphitheater of Scenery Nook.

Encounter wildlife such as white-flippered penguins, the smallest penguin in the world, and spot New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks at Seal Bay. Sight inquisitive Hector’s dolphins, also known as New Zealand dolphins, whose calves can be seen between October and March.

Make a stop at at a salmon farm in Lucas Bay, pass a colony of spotted shags, and glimpse other seabirds including cormorants, white-fronted terns and occasionally gannets, petrels and albatross, before your cruise returns to the wharf.

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Customer Reviews

Rene v

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

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.

stitcherviv

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

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.

Benjamin S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Unforgettable tour! We saw lots of dolphins, penguins and seals. Cruise ships offer exactly the same tour for roughly double the price.

Bring extra clothing it's super-cold on the boat and sunscreen. Stand on the bow for the best view.

jemw2

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

A very interesting and informative cruise. The dolphins were tricky to find, but we eventually saw them close up. Highly recomended.

hobbit

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

This was such a fun cruise. We saw so many beautiful sights and the Hector Dolphin sightings were so much fun to watch these little guys Wonderful crew and alot of information about the harbor.

kathryn

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

This was an amazing trip. We saw heaps of sea life and the tour guide was full of local knowledge. I would highly recommend this trip for anyone visiting Akaroa

shadania

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

What a magic cruise. We arrived on our cruise ship and boarded our nature cruise - conveniently located on the same wharf as the tender boats. The harbour is a magic place and seeing it from the water was breathtaking. The fact that the weather was perfect - with little wind - sunny skies and aqua water helped. Our skipper - Julian - was exceptional!! Providing informative and interesting commentary and making sure people on both sides of the boat were able to see the little dolphins. This is another tour that I'd highly recommend - two hours just flew.

gbannon

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Loved this trip and we saw everything we wanted.

Diane B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

Definitely worth the price and offered a beautiful view of the Harbor. Captain was knowledgable and we were able to see dolphins as depicted in the photo. Suggest private walking tour of Akaroa using tourist info headphones and map as we'll. inexpensive

Joseph W Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

The wind was blowing a gale and the seas very rough but it was a good little cruise. Not many dolphins but we saw seals on the rocks and a pair of penguins

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