• Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
  • Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 55.82 View price calendar

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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. 


  • 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

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

Michael P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

v good


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

My wife and I went to Akoroa on a Norwegian cruise. We were tendered into Akoroa where the start of the Black Cat cruise started.
We got to the pier early so had a very nice walk around Akoroa. lovely little seaside town with cafes restaurants and shops. We had a very good breakfast cannot remember the cafe's name but about 400 yards to the left of the pier. We went back to the pier to get on the cruise. The crew and staff were excellent on board the Black Cat. The skipper gave a full description of the surroundings plus ensured we saw the dolphins and seals. I can recommend this cruise - good fun


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Amazing experience- boat crew made sure we saw the wild birds up close- an absolute Must Do excursion.

John D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

We saw lots of amazing coastal scenery and a variety of wildlife including little penguins, dolphins, seals, shags and other birdlife.
Good commentary. Complimentary Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate available but not strongly promoted.

Roslyn K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Great trip - even with the poor weather conditions.

Elisa K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

We were lucky to see a seal having an octopus meal. Some spectacular scenery.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

Great tour worth the time to do this lovely dream and very scenic drive from Christchurch to Akoroa


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2017

Great tour. Our guide was fantastic and took us to beautiful spots all around the harbour while explaining everything in great detail. Got to see a lot of beautiful animals!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2017

This community was my absolute favorite in New Zealand. During our Harbour Cruise, we saw a family of dolphins, and seals, and the driver stayed in the area and make sure all sides of the boat had a chance to see them and take photos. We had a wonderful time. I recommend this excursion, however if we didn't see seals and dolphins, I probably would have had a lower rating.

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.

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