Tours and Tickets

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise provided by Black Cat Cruises

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
4.5
Book in advance
from
€56.14
per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
About
Don’t miss a chance to spot Hector’s dolphins, the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins. When your ship pulls into port, spend your valuable time on a nature cruise across Akaroa Harbour. The skipper provides on-board commentary while you search the waters for marine life and take in New Zealand’s South Island scenery.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Highlights
  • Akaroa shore excursion: narrated nature cruise
  • Likely to see Hector’s dolphins—bring your camera
  • Tea and coffee served on board to keep you warm
  • Pickup and drop-off available from designated meeting points
What to expect
  • 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.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Akaroa shore excursion: narrated nature cruise
  • Likely to see Hector’s dolphins—bring your camera
  • Tea and coffee served on board to keep you warm
  • Pickup and drop-off available from designated meeting points
What to expect
  • 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.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3661PRTCHCAHC
Call +44 12 2492 8241
Important information
Inclusions
  • Full on-board commentary
  • Tea and coffee
  • Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Worry-free Shore Excursion Guarantee
Duration
2h
Departure details
  • Traveller pickup is offered.
  • Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Directions: Your cruise ship will provide a tender to the main wharf. You must check in with Black Cat Cruises located on Akaroa's main wharf at least 30 minutes prior to your selected departure time. Dates: Daily Return point: Returns to original departure point
  • 83 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Directions: Your cruise ship will provide a tender to the main wharf. You must check in with Black Cat Cruises located on Akaroa's main wharf at least 30 minutes prior to your selected departure time. Dates: Daily Return point: Returns to original departure point
  • Ports:
  • Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa Main Wharf, Akaroa, Christchurch 7520, New Zealand
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please bring light jacket, sun protection and camera
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travellers
Inclusions
  • Full on-board commentary
  • Tea and coffee
  • Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Food and drinks, unless specified
  • Worry-free Shore Excursion Guarantee
Departure details
  • Traveller pickup is offered.
  • Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Directions: Your cruise ship will provide a tender to the main wharf. You must check in with Black Cat Cruises located on Akaroa's main wharf at least 30 minutes prior to your selected departure time. Dates: Daily Return point: Returns to original departure point
  • 83 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Directions: Your cruise ship will provide a tender to the main wharf. You must check in with Black Cat Cruises located on Akaroa's main wharf at least 30 minutes prior to your selected departure time. Dates: Daily Return point: Returns to original departure point
  • Ports:
  • Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa Main Wharf, Akaroa, Christchurch 7520, New Zealand
Duration
2h
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please bring light jacket, sun protection and camera
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travellers
Popular mentions

4.5
47 reviews
Excellent
39
Very good
5
Average
0
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Kylie M
Manawatu-Wanganui Region, New Zealand4 contributions
A Family Must Do!!!
Sep 2020 • Family
Highlight of our family holiday to Canterbury 👍 Beautiful day and we saw alot of dolphins. Bith kids aged 13 and 6 absolutely loved it.
Written 27 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Kylie B, Thanks so much for your review and recommending us! We agree that our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise is perfect for the whole family. Please come and see us again soon!
Written 22 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sammy&Stuey
North Yorkshire, UK34 contributions
world class experience
Mar 2020
A 2 hour cruise packed full of information by the skipper, who was very friendly and full of knowledge about the local area. You get free tea and coffee, map of the harbour in 6 languages. On our cruise we saw Hectors Dolphins and lots of Fur seals. Wrap up warm if its a windy day as you do get a bit of sea spray. The scenery is stunning and the Catamaran was large enough for everyone to move about. The whole experience was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Good value for money and would highly recommend anyone to do this cruise. Akaroa is a beautiful township with lots going on. The Black Cat Cruises operate from the main wharf with a great shop to have a nosey around in. Nice products in there and very helpful/friendly staff.
Written 8 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Sammy And Stu, Thank you for your generous review and for your kind words about our skipper and the rest of our team. Our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise is a product that we are very proud of and we really appreciate you noticing what a wonderful place we have here. Sharing this beautiful scenery and wildlife as well as spreading the knowledge that comes with it is our pleasure. Thanks once again and we hope to see you again soon!
Written 8 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

watchitwatchout
Woodend12 contributions
Don't miss this!
Feb 2020
Did the Akaroa Harbour Cruise with Black Cat as a shore excursion from Princess NZ Cruise, Feb 2020. Cannot recommend highly enough. A really friendly and efficient team run this business. The boat was comfortable with plenty of inside and outside viewing areas and seating. We saw dolphins, fur seals and penguins. A highlight, for me, was the all female crew: Kate (the skipper), Alex and Helen. Really admire and applaude what they have achieved in what I suspect is a highly competitive, mainly male dominated industry. Kate's enlightening commentary on the history, geology and of course the animals was excellent. She also made sure we had plenty of opportunities to view the animals up close, as she navigated her way around the harbour. Meanwhile Alex and Helen were actively ensuring we all had a safe and enjoyable time and were friendly, caring and helpful. Special assistance was given to older passengers to ensure their comfort and safety. Especially pleasing to see that the animals are left to behave entirely naturally; not trained to do tricks or lured with food.
Written 28 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi watchitwatchout, thanks so much for the great review on TripAdvisor. I'll make sure I pass your lovely feedback on to Kate, Alex and Helen :-) They will be thrilled. Sounds like you had a such a fun time out there, we hope you can join us again soon.
Written 21 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Toni-Wayne
Christchurch, New Zealand457 contributions
Awesome experience
Spectacular scenery and we saw lots of dolphins as well as penguins and fur seals. This was on our bucket list and we were extremely happy with the experience.
Written 23 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Toni-Wayne, thanks so much for your review on TripAdvisor. So wonderful you got to tick of something on your bucket list - thank you for choosing us! We hope to see you again in the future.
Written 21 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Greynomad_10
Sydney, Australia108 contributions
Poor crew attitude
Feb 2020
We have lived in Kenya and travelled to most of the game parks. We have been to Alaska, the High Artic and Antartica. We are well aware that wildlife spotting cannot be guaranteed but in most cases, guides know where wildlife and even sea life MIGHT be found. Consequently, when a crew member was asked if she knew the LIKELY whereabouts one might site dolphins, one does not expect to be told,"in the ocean"and that "they are free to swim anywhere." A shadow of a dolphin was spotted beneath the bow and the captain announced "that ticks off that box". The whole attitude appeared to be, "let's travel to the port entrance and back as quickly as possible". We booked this excursion on a Cunard cruise and a similar one in Dunedin with Monarch cruises. The latter had excellent crew, who were very attentive and good at spotting sealife. We are all provided with binoculars and the captain took great trouble, in choppy waters , manoeuvring his vessel to best advantage for his passengers. We have lodged a complaint about the Black Cat excursion with Cunard and recommended that they advise customers to take the Monarch cruise in Dunedin instead.
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HI Greynomad_10, thank you for taking the time to provide us feedback on TripAdvisor. We are very sorry that our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise did not meet your expectation. We sincerely apologise for the comments made by our crew, on this occasion they were trying to be humorous but it has caused a miscommunication and resulted in a negative experience for you. Our management team have spoken to the staff involved and again we apologise that you had a bad experience with us. We hope you are able to come back to Akaroa one day and experience the tour again so you can see it in a positive light as we hope all our wonderful passengers do. We hope you enjoyed the rest of our trip around New Zealand!
Written 9 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Margaret B
Daytona Beach, FL6 contributions
Hector's dolphins, seals and a fun crew!
We cruised today with Captain Kate and Helen and Alex. We saw New Zealand fur seals and dozens of Hector's dolphins. The crew were very helpful and informative. The narration was funny and educational. We had a wonderful morning on the Black Cat!
Written 29 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi H2831DEmargaretb, thanks very much for the review on TripAdvisor! Wow you saw heaps of wildlife out there - sounds like an amazing day out! Thank you for choosing us to take you out for the day. We hope to see you out on the water with us again soon.
Written 9 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dizzyonholiday
Brisbane, Australia32 contributions
Great to See the HectorsDolphins
Jan 2020
Very good excursion. The skipper and crew were all very helpful and informative. It was fantastic to see the Dolphins and seals. Highly recommended 2 hour cruise.
Written 27 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Dizzyonholiday, thanks for taking the time to write us a review on TripAdvisor. It sounds like you had a fantastic day out and saw lots of wildlife on your cruise. We hope you can join us again soon!
Written 9 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TekPa
PA79 contributions
Way Too Crowded
We were looking forward to our nature cruise. Unfortunately, the company crammed over 90 people on the Black Cat boat. Due to people pushing in front of us, we got to see little except the backs of others. Due to their loud music, singing, and screaming, we could hear little of the crew’s information. There were so many people on the boat, that we couldn’t find any place to enjoy the cruise. The picture used by the company is so misleading. It looks like there is plenty of room to see the sights. Not so. I imagine that it would be an ok tour if there were fewer people shoving their way around, but we didn’t experience that. It was our biggest disappointment of our entire trip.
Written 25 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Tekpa, thanks for your review on TripAdvisor. We are really sorry our tour didn't met your expectations. When the boat is a little busier, we recommend moving around the boat depending on what is happening at the time, and the sea conditions. The boat has viewing areas in the bow, top deck, walk around decks and there is a large area at the stern and also a big main cabin. The bow is normally the best place to see dolphins but they can be viewed from everywhere on board as they tend to swim all around the boat. We hope you can join us on another tour one day soon.
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lina S
Adelaide, Australia47 contributions
Relaxing cruise
They said we would see dolphins and that we did, hundreds of them, they were so beautiful and a privilege to see them in the wild. The scenery was beautiful too and our captain was very informative, he didn’t go on he talked just the right amount allowing us to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Great tour.
Written 2 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi linas979, Wow thanks so much for sharing your experience with us! We are thrilled you saw so many dolphins and thank you for kind comments about the captain. We hope to see you out on the water with us again soon. Kind regards, the team at Black Cat Cruises.
Written 4 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Simon G
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia2 contributions
Black Cat nature cruise Akaroa
Dec 2019 • Family
The whole family really enjoyed the cruise, the crew were excellent, and got to see plenty of dolphins and seals and Albatros
Written 27 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi SimonG797, Thank you for your review on our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise. It's always lovely to hear when our guests take away great memories from our trips. We hope to see you again soon!
Written 8 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 45
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Black Cat Cruises
LeanneCassieB
LeanneCassieB
00
Great day out with the kids
What an amazing family day excursion. The kids and adults loved all the knowledgeable information from our captain
dramaqueen42
dramaqueen42
00
Enjoyed every minute
Two hours on a comfortable boat with excellent commentary and friendly helpful staff. We saw Hector dolphins, littl
chocaholic5
chocaholic5
00
Fantastic Akaroa activity or day trip from Chrustchurch
Great excursion! Just 2 hour drive each way from Christchurch so can be a great day trip if not staying in Akaroa.
janellefletcher
janellefletcher
00
Sur la mer - On the Ocean
Currently living on a gorgeous lake, I was also looking forward to getting out on the sea in Akaroa. From Sonja's w
Stirg
Stirg
00
Black Cat Harbour and Wildlife Cruise
This 2 hour cruise is informative about the wildlife, birdlife and geological features of the Akaroa Harbour. For
nzski2014
nzski2014
00
Awesome
Did the Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise this morning with Black Cat Cruises. Saw two Hectors Dolphins at the front of
Mandymc900
Mandymc900
00
great trip
thank you so much guys, what a wonderful trip. we so enjoyed the morning cruise, visiting bays and watching seals a
healthcarestartup
healthcarestartup
00
Kiwi magic
Really magical morning on the water, with our crew a lovely combination of high professionalism and practical kiwi
triciad108
triciad108
00
Great adventure
Great cruise! Excellent skipper and narrator during the cruise. Saw a penguin, hector dolphins, birds nesting, seal
pretcnz
pretcnz
00
Sea. Scenery. Seals. Dolphins. Delivered.
Awesome morning on the water, which delivered all that was promised - including a dolphin pod with calves. Awesome!
ValentynaVelidchenko
ValentynaVelidchenko
00
Magic boat trip ! Must do in Akaroa
Huge thanks to Black Cat Cruises team for this magic day in the ocean 🌊 🚢 We’ve got so lucky to see many dolphins
karentL5898RC
karentL5898RC
00
Saw baby dolphins
A good briefing, helped into wetsuits & out on the water within half an hour. Take sea sickness tablets if you usua
BonnieBorowczyk
BonnieBorowczyk
00
Money well spent
We got a cheap deal on bookme, it was definitely worth it! The crew (Hamish & Helen) were great, friendly and full
Terry L
Terry L
00
Spiffing
A great couple of hours of entertainment and relaxation with a bit of education thrown in as well. Dolphins, seals
caughleyp
caughleyp
00
Exceeded our expectations
A great day out - with a friendly and welcoming crew. The guide kept us entertained the whole trip with historical
Frequently Asked Questions about Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise will start at 1:30 PM. Discover and book Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor


Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise price starts from €56.17. Discover and book Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise on Tripadvisor