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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

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Overview
Highlights
    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.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Akaroa's main wharf
    Duration
    2h
    Return Details
    Returns to original departure point
    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
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Please bring light jacket, sun protection and camera
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    64Reviews2Q&A
    Traveller rating
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    Popular mentions
    The captain of the catamaran did a great job finding and pointing out the wildlife which included Hector Dolphins (smallest and rarest dolphin in the world), White Flippered Blue Penguin (smallest penguin in the world), and seals. It is best to wear layered clothes and come
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    Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    Responded 25 May 2019
    Hi gregjmh, thanks so much for your feedback and review on TripAdvisor. It sounds like you saw an abundance of wildlife out there! Yes, it's always good to bring a few extra layers with you and the wind can get a little chilly out on the water - even in Summer! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your cruise ship journey around NZ and we hope you can come and visit us in Akaroa again soon.
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    Really good trip .... saw everything I hoped to .... the only reason it’s not 5 stars is because the boat was very crowded so couldn’t always see well ... the captain tried hard to let all see but just too may people.
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    Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    Responded 25 May 2019
    Hi Moosenewfie, thank very much for your feedback on TripAdvisor. Sounds like a fabulous trip and glad you saw what you had hoped to. I'm very sorry you were unable to see some of the wildlife due to there being quite a few people of board. 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. For the seal viewing it will depend on which direction the skipper approaches from, and that may depend on the wind but the port or left hand side is normally best. We hope you can join us on another tour one day soon.
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    The crew was great and the captain was outstanding. I would do this trip again and again. On our trip we were so lucky to see penguins swimming in the water all day during this journey. The Hector dolphins were constantly swimming and jumping. The water was crystal clear so
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    Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    Responded 25 May 2019
    Hi Kathy D, thank you very much for taking the time to write us such a wonderful review on TripAdvisor. It sounds like you had a magical day out on Akaroa Harbour! I'll certainly pass your feedback on to the crew - they will be thrilled! We hope you enjoyed the rest of your journey around NZ and hope you can visit us again soon :-)
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    We booked this cruise online through Black Cat, while we were enroute to New Zealand. Akaroa is such a pretty little town, with a very small population. It relies a lot on tourism, and some fish farming. The tour group was a comfortable size, and the tour guide was articulate,
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    Response from pajoChristchurch, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    Responded 25 May 2019
    Hi Myebelle, wow what a lovely review! Thanks so much for taking the time to give us such great feedback on your cruise. We totally agree, Akaroa is such a special spot and we are so lucky to get to show visitor's like yourself some of the hidden gems of the area and of course the wildlife! We hope to see you back here again soon.
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    We were very much looking forward to this tour during our stop in Akaroa JAN 23rd. Alas, the sea was too rough and the tour was cancelled. Upon asking for a refund confirmation we were told it wasn’t necessary, they would do it automatically. We toured the town and on our way
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    Response from pajoChristchurch, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
    Responded 25 May 2019
    Hi dovershore, thanks for your review on TripAdvisor. We sincerely apologise for the delay in processing the refund and hope you are able to come out with us for a cruise next time you are in Akaroa.
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