• Location: Paihia or Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
  • Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 109.75 View price calendar

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Sail the Bay of Islands on a working tall ship aboard the famed ‘R. Tucker Thompson,’ built in the tradition of a 100-year-old Northland schooner. Ply the waters of the pristine bay, where you can help hoist the sails, climb the rigging or simply relax on board, then swim while anchored in a sheltered bay in the maritime park. Enjoy morning tea and a barbecue lunch, with an optional complimentary ferry ride from Paihia to Russell, where your vessel departs.


  • Half-day R. Tucker Thompson tall ship cruise in the Bay of Islands
  • Sail the waters on a replica vintage schooner
  • Bite into fresh scones, sip cream tea and enjoy a BBQ lunch served on board
  • Anchor at a secluded bay for a swim
  • Includes round-trip ferry transport from Paihia to Russell, if option selected

What You Can Expect

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on R. Tucker Thompson

Make your way to the Russell wharf and board the tall ship R. Tucker Thompson, a working Northland schooner that has sailed the world. If departing from Paihia, you’ll take the 30-minute Fullers Bay Belle Ferry across to Russell (round-trip ferry ticket included if selected at booking). 

Embark on a 5.5-hour sailing tour through the Bay of Islands, and enjoy the New Zealand tradition of morning tea with freshly baked scones and Devonshire tea brewed in the galley. You can take the helm, help set the sails or just catch the breeze on the spacious deck while you listen to tales from the crew about the tall ship's adventures at sea.

Your skipper anchors the R. Tucker Thompson in a sheltered cove at lunchtime. Step ashore at one of the bay’s secluded islands or swing from the yardarm and splash into the water for a swim. With all this sea air and activity you'll have a hearty appetite, taken care of by a tasty barbecue lunch cooked on board. 

Then climb the rigging to keep a lookout for fairy penguins, dolphins and seabirds on the return to Russell.

Customer Reviews

Michael P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2018

Excellent trip, with a simple but superb meal.
The climb into the rigging was interesting and the swimming / island stop was excellent.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2018

What a day
Really enjoyable
Must for. Bay of Islands Tour
Will be great memories

Katrina L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

Totally a must do forget the hole in the rock. This is a totally interactive tall ship, from climbing the rigging to being captain. What a beautiful ship it is. All fully supervised. There was only 11 people with us, which turned out to be another bonus. Great for all ages.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Great trip and good food. Nothing negative.

Cheryl B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2017

Our day sailing on the Tucker was awesome! Crew was fantastic and meal was yummy! The history of the area was presented very well. Truly a beautiful day.

Pamela H United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2017

I have always longed to sail on a Tall ship, so could not miss the opportunity to do so in one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the world. Captain Tim had a crew of three and as many of the passengers who wanted to get involved with hauling on ropes or climbing into the mast tops. Sailing close to the many islands that give the Bay of Islands it's name, we saw sea bird and sea lion colonies and had dolphins playing with the bow wave. Anchoring in the shallow bay of a deserted island we went ashore to walk through the forest and sunbathed on the sandy beach while the crew prepared a simple but delicious lunch. Making our way back under full sail, I had the opportunity to take the wheel and was trusted to guide this beautiful ship into Harbour. There are many different tours in this area but this one is an unique and unmissable experience.

Richard C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2017

Great captain, great crew and great boat. Had a fantastic time. Took the helm while sailing, climb the rigging and swung the the yard arm. All in all a great time was had by the whole family. The weather was great, just needed a little more breeze. Would do again. ,

Graham H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2017

Super trip with lovely crew. A must do.

William B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2017

Our Tall Ship trip was cancelled due to stormy weather. We were disappointed but the seas were way to rough. We received a full reimbursement. Thanks !

Devon K New Zealand

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2017

The staff were really friendly and even returned my brothers jumper when he so stupidly left it on the ship. Thanks team!

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