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Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises
  • Akaroa Harbour Cruises

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruises

Akaroa Cruise Highlights


The historic French Village of Akaroa and its spectacular harbour is just a 90 minutes drive from Christchurch. Here you can cruise around an extinct volcanic crater and experience majestic scenery and stunning wildlife on daily harbour cruises.

Your cruise is packed with highlights including the rare, NZ native dolphin - the Hector's Dolphin, as well as penguins and other sea birds. And you'll see giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about Akaroa's fascinating past. Cruises depart every day, weather permitting.

Your modern catamaran, the 60 foot /20 metre Black Cat (previously the Canterbury Cat), is perfect for viewing the natural wonders of Akaroa Harbour. Our vessel is the largest and most luxurious on the harbour.

There's lots of room on the two decks for unimpeded viewing and plenty of covered seating, for shade and shelter. Inside there's a bar and toilets. And the Black Cat is both stable and safe. Relax, stretch out and discover the harbour with our award winning Black Cat Cruise team.

Each cruise is fully narrated by your skipper who has extensive knowledge of the nature, wildlife and history of the harbour.

The highlight of this trip is undoubtedly the sighting of one of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's or New Zealand Dolphin. These friendly and inquisitive mammals meet the boat most days throughout the year and their calves can be seen between October and March.  We have recently introduced a dolphin guarantee, if you do not see any dolphins on your trip you can return another day absolutely FREE!!.

Also on the trip you will catch glimpses of the White Flippered Blue Penguin, the smallest penguin in the world. There are many different bird species in the harbour, including five different cormorant (shag) species and the endangered yellow-eyed penguin.

You'll also see New Zealand Fur Seals sunning themselves on the rocks near Seal Bay.

We will stop at Lucas Bay to look at a salmon farm where thousands of salmon from fingerlings to adult fish are farmed in a series of cages. You will see them jumping as we approach the cages. This is where the world-famous 'Akaroa Salmon' is raised.

On each two-hour cruise we will endeavour to show you wildlife plus the many sea caves and volcanic cliffs. As Akaroa Harbour was a live volcano millions of years ago, there are many spectacular ancient lava flows to be seen. One cliff has a sheer 500-foot face and a fascinating history, while Nikau Palm Gully is the southernmost limit for these tropical palm trees. There is also the incredible Scenery Nook, an amazing pink, purple and red volcanic amphitheatre that will take your breath away.


Cruise Itinerary

Your cruise itinerary gives you a clear idea of exactly what each cruise offers.

Schedule and Prices


Daily at 1.30pm
Also at 11.00am from Nov to April
3.40pm mid Dec to mid March


Two hours


$72 - increasing to $74 as of October 2014


$30 (5-15)

Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST. Includes FREE dolphin postcard.

How to Get to Akaroa

Akaroa is located around 80 to 90 minutes drive from Christchurch city and Christchurch International airport. It is an easy drive in a car through New Zealand farmland and then over the hills to Akaroa. See for detailed directions of how to get from Christchurch to Akaroa.

Once in Akaroa continue along Rue Lavaud, which turns into Beach Rd. look for the long wharf in the centre of the town. You’ll see our large blue building on the wharf with a dolphin mural painted on the roof. Print this map out to help you navigate.  You can also find us at 61 Beach Road.

Cruise ship passengers will disembark directly onto the main wharf in Akaroa. This is where our main booking office and gift shop is located. Please allow enough time for you tender boat to reach the wharf in time for your activity check in.

 Directions to Akaroa Map

For tours to Akaroa including transport from Christchurch you can choose one of these options.  All of these operators link with Black Cat Cruises.


Adventure Canterbury
Tel 0800 847 455

Akaroa French Connection
Tel 0800 800 575

Akaroa Shuttle
Tel 0800 500 929

Canterbury Leisure Tours
Tel 0800 484 485

Canterbury Trails
Tel 03 337 1185

Discovery Travel
Tel + 64-3-3578262

Explore Canterbury
Phone 0800 08 07 06 (NZ only)


Kowhai Tours
Tel 03 388 7899

The Inside Story
03 379 8481

OR contact a reservations centre such as

Christchurch information centre (i-site)
Tel 03 379 9629

The Adventure Centre
Tel 0800 847486


What to Bring

We suggest you wear warm clothing. Even on warm days, there may be a cool sea breeze blowing. Sun screen and a hat is a must even if it’s cloudy. Bring your camera - there are incredible views.

Information for Parents

akaroa-cruise3Our catamarans are suitable for families and for young children. The vessels have high rails, however we suggest that children are supervised at all times both for their own safety and for the enjoyment of the other people on board. We also suggest warm clothes, a hat and sun screen lotion.

Under 5's travel for free. Ask about our special family passes available on morning cruises only. Snacks including chips and soft drinks are available on board.

Book Now

To make a booking, please use our convenient online booking form.



Akaroa Ph: +64 3 304 7641  |   Lyttelton Ph: +64 3 328 9078  |   Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it