• Location: Akaroa, New Zealand
  • Duration: 2 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 55.97 View price calendar

Low Price Guarantee

Spend your shore excursion in Akaroa on a 2-hour nature cruise around Akaroa Harbour. Your professional skipper points out abundant wildlife that may include Hector’s dolphins — the world’s rarest and smallest dolphins — New Zealand fur seals, blue penguins and yellow-eyed penguins. You’ll motor past volcanic cliffs and remote sea caves by luxury catamaran en route to Seal Bay and a salmon farm in Lucas Bay. 


  • Nature cruise in Akaroa Harbour shore excursion
  • 2-hour Akaroa Harbour cruise by luxury boat 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
  • Not covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What You Can Expect

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Hector Dolphins - Akaroa Nature Cruise

After your cruise ship docks the Akaroa terminal, catch the tender to the main wharf, making sure to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before your 2-hour nature cruise departs for Akaroa Harbour.

Find yourself a perfect spot on the 60-foot (18-meter) luxury catamaran, which offers a choice of two observation decks that provide plenty of unobstructed views of Akaroa’s wildlife. Sip complimentary coffee and tea while the skipper shares information about the harbor’s natural history and geographical features — such as Cathedral Cave and the volcanic amphitheater of Scenery Nook — and brings your attention to any marine life.

Motor past Akaroa Lighthouse and keep an eye out for petite Hector’s dolphins, whose calves often swim alongside the boat between October and March. You may also encounter white-flippered penguins — the world’s smallest penguin — or the endangered yellow-eyed penguin.

Snap photos of New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks at Seal Bay, and make a stop at a salmon farm in Lucas Bay to learn how Akaroa salmon are raised, before your boat returns to the dock.

This excursion is located within a 5-minute walk to the cruise port, so you determine the time you return to your ship in Akaroa. Please allow yourself ample time to enjoy the excursion and ensure your timely return to the port. This excursion is not covered by our worry-free policy.

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Customer Reviews

Yufang L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Sweet ride around the harbor for wildlife and scenery.

Debra S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

OK well we were lucky enough to see so much: Hector dolphins, blue penguins, and fur seals plus amazing landscapes that are familiar to the big screen. I feel that everyone of the crew really wanted you just to enjoy the trip.

Jane s

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

We loved Akaroa and the Harbour Cruise. It was FABULOUS! We saw Hector Penguins, seals, dolphins, and numerous other wildlife. The guide was helpful in locating the wildlife and showing us some beautiful scenery! I highly recommend this trip! Well worth the time and money!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

Akaroa is a lovely town as long as you are lucky with the weather as we were. We took the Harbour Shore Excursion which was most enjoyable and we managed to see some of the local wild life on route. Worth the money for the boat trip alone.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

We had a great time. We were lucky enough to see penguins, baby seals, dolphins and albatross. Went out to see sea caves and had good commentary. Got the passengers involved by helping with any sightings.

Gerard B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Having read previous reviews there is not much more I can say in a positive way. Akaroa is a very beautiful place and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We saw most of the wildlife.

Fiona K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

The cruise was amazing - thank you! Heaps of dolphins, entertaining commentary and great staff.

Michael John D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

great excursion and saw plenty of dolphin and the baby seal colony. Lovely boat to travel on with a good crew

Linda J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

I have never seen so many Dolphins they were everywhere. I highly recommend this tour.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2017

Exceeded my high expectations. Two hour cruise, nicely narrated, and quite thrilling from the bow with excellent photo ops, successfully found a large number of local dolphin, plus seals and albatross. An unexpected pleasure was the geology lesson as we pulled in close to immense, colorful walls, and learned about the area's volcanic origin. I arrived by cruise ship through these same harbor waters, but you can't appreciate it unless you see things up close from a smaller vessel, with a wonderfully friendly, skilled crew.

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