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This Akaroa shore excursion takes you sightseeing in Christchurch via a scenic drive through the Banks Peninsula. See the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and other city highlights before a visit to the International Antarctic Centre, Christchurch's top attraction. Feel arctic winds at the Snow and Ice Experience and observe New Zealand wildlife at the Penguin Encounter. Finish with an all-terrain adventure on a thrilling ride by amphibious Hagglund vehicle. 


  • Banks Peninsula and Christchurch tour from Akaroa port
  • Travel from Akaroa through breathtaking scenery to Christchurch
  • Visit the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
  • See the city sights of Christchurch
  • Entry to Christchurch's leading attraction -- International Antarctic Centre
  • Take a ride on the Hagglund all-terrain vehicle
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What You Can Expect

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

Hagglund ATV ride

Your shore excursion begins with pickup at the Akaroa cruise port. Enjoy a scenic drive along the coastal bays and coves of the Banks Peninsula to the nearby city of Christchurch, where your sightseeing takes place.

Get an overview of central Christchurch and its significant landmarks during a tour that includes the Museum and Art Centre, Avon River and the Bridge of Remembrance, and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Next, indulge the senses with the sounds, sights — and temperatures — of Antarctica at the notable International Antarctic Centre. Your admission ticket includes entry into the Snow and Ice Experience, which re-creates real-life conditions with an indoor storm complete with blizzard audio, lightning and arctic winds. At the Penguin Encounter, you’ll meet a couple dozen blue penguins — the smallest penguins in the world.

Then, strap yourself in for an extreme all-terrain adventure with an amphibious Hagglund ride through water, across an ice pack and over a crevasse. The experience emulates the conditions that scientists face while riding across Antarctica.

Afterward, relax during the return journey to Akaroa with drop-off at your cruise terminal.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to the Akaroa port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews

Shane N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Excellent tour..a wonderful drive into Christchurch from the port. Well worth the drive as you see such lovely scenery. The Antarctic Centre was great especially the blizzard storm at -18 degrees. Recommend this tour.

Keith E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

The trip to the International Antarctic Centre was fantastic and we wished we could have stayed there much longer. We were pleased to go to Christchurch but we felt so much for the people who suffered the earthquake 5 years ago. The damage was extensive.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Long day of touring. Beautiful drive to Christchurch but too much time viewing earthquake damage. Would have loved more time in Botanical Gardens and Museum both of which were wonderful. Antarctic center interesting adventure. Wish we had more time there too.

Lyndall S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Late leaving the port on our tour due to inefficient tender system from cruise ship. No fault of the tour company. We left minus 2 passengers but the tour operator transported them to Christchurch and met us at the Antarctice Centre! Picturesque drive both ways to and from Christchurch. Arctic Centre visit was cut short due to loss of time waiting at port - definitely worth 2-3 hr visit. Drive through Christchurch again was hurried but we were time pressured. Our driver was full of information. Great day out.

Stephen O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Great tour! The Antarctic center was amazing!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

this tour was wonderful. the antarcic center is not to be missed.

susan d

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Was everything promised, and really enjoyed the history given by our bus driver as well, book the tour you won't be disappointed.

Murray T New Zealand

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2014

Such a pretty scenic drive into Christchurch from Akaroa and Hank our driver returned another way and it to had views to die for .Excellent trip and felt very sad for christchurch when we saw what 22seconds of quake could do. Great day

Esther F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014


Michele B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2014

Great tour guide -- loved the Antarctic experience.

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