Spring is here and its time to look forward to summer. Over the winter months we’ve been planning and preparing to welcome visitors this season. Around 80 cruise ships have selected Akaroa as their Canterbury base this season which should really add some buzz to the town. Of course the buzz right now is about the world cup so we are wishing our boys all the best and of course the profile the event will create around the world will be huge. Also in this Breeze are details of our new treasure hunt, Lyttelton to France cruise and our latest promotions. Thanks for reading in advance.
Dolphins up close
If you have ever wondered how close we get to the rare Hector’s dolphins then this picture sums it up! So close in fact that not all of the dolphin fitted into the frame with its leap almost knocking the camera out of the guide’s hands. In truth this is a little unusual. Like us, teenage dolphins can get a bit excited sometimes and this one may have slightly misjudged his jump. An incredible sight for all on board though.
Akaroa chosen for Cruise liners
Lyttelton’s loss is Akaroa’s gain with the recent announcement that cruise ships will be visiting Akaroa on 72 days between October 2011 and April 2012. Here is the Press article on it. On 7 days there will be two cruise ships in the harbour at once. Cruise ships are an incredible sight in Akaroa dwarfing Black Cat which is normally the largest vessel around. If you fancy the buzz and excitement of cruise ship days then akaroa will be going off. If on the other hand you like to have the place to yourself you may want avoid those days. We have posted a schedule of cruise ship days on our web site.
The big Snow
Not once but twice Banks Peninsula and Christchurch got a huge dump of snow this winter. This did disrupt our cruises a few times with public transport shutting down the ferry and the road to Akaroa needing to be cleared to allow customers to get through. These images show how beautiful it was though and quite different to the normal scenes.
All Black Cat
The world’s eyes are focused on NZ for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and Black Cat are getting in behind the All Blacks. Not many people know in 1987 just days before winning the first world cup the All Blacks came for a cruise with us out on Akaroa Harbour. Maybe it was something in the air in Akaroa that made them kick on to win the world cup that year. Go the Blacks!
Akaroa triple treat
We’ve teamed up with the Akaroa Salmon and Akaroa Cooking School to create a great new cruise product this year. Aimed at groups of 15 or more the day starts with a two hour nature cruise of the harbour including a stop at the Salmon Farm to catch a fish. Then it’s on to the cooking school to turn the Salmon into a delicious feast. For more details contact email@example.com
Treasure Hunt is back
We’re launching The Great Quail Island treasure hunt on 1st October. All you need to do is pick up a treasure map on the ferry on the way over, find the ‘x’ markers and solve a secret word. All correct entries win a $5 prize for the kids with 2 for 1 coffee for the hard working adults at coffee culture. Adults $25, Children $10. Departs daily at 10.20am and also 12.30pm during school holidays. Phone 03 328 9078.
Quail Tree Trail
We are proud to be helping with the planting of native trees on Quail Island. Its part of our commitment to give back as much as we can, and of course to help transform the island into a native paradise for wildlife. Black Cat will spend $50,000 via its Community and Environment fund on local projects in the next year.
Lyttelton to France
We have our once a year cruise from Lyttelton to Akaroa coming up on the 25th September with the following two Sundays as reserve days. It’s a unique way to see a part of Canterbury’s coastline few have seen, and of course to spend a peaceful day in Akaroa too. $99 for Adult, $49 for children. Includes cruise over and coach back. Tel 03 304 7641 to reserve your space.
Intercity to Akaroa
You might be interested to know that Intercity now have daily bus services to Akaroa. You can book this through your normal Intercity system or phone them direct (03) 365 1113 .http://www.intercity.co.nz/timetable/lookup/8615
Book a Christmas charter before end of Oct and get a free wine.
Have you organised your Xmas function yet? No? Forget the earth, head for the water for a great night out on the Canterbury Cat in Lyttelton harbour. Prices including food start at $55 per person with a free glass of wine to kick you off. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Promotions and marketing
As spring is here, you may notice us increase our marketing efforts. Here are a few of the highlights:
We commence a TV1 advertising campaign 6th to 23rd October. TVC here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz5PQ_YSpUk
Press Competition. Keep an eye out for full page ads early October with the chance to win one of 25 family passes on Akaroa Harbour Cruises).
Mastercard promotion featuring free fish n chips on: http://www.mastercard.com/nz/rwc/offers/details/#!/866256
Viator rates us tops
We’ve received a special commendation from Viator, one of the large on line travel companies. In recognition of our consistently high rankings we have earned ‘’top rated on Viator’’ status. See http://www.viator.com/search/akaroa
As the former mayor of San Francisco, I have had the privilege of travelling to many beautiful places on every continent in the world. New Zealand and Akaroa are right at the top my list for must see places. And the Black Cat Cruise made the experience come alive as our Captain combined his fascinating, local knowledge with expert seamanship to steer our catamaran close to seals, penguins, dolphins and marvellous geographical formations in bay and open sea. Don’t miss it! Art Agnos, June 2011.
Akaroa Harbour is a very nice place to visit if you are in Christchurch. We rented a car and drove 1 and 1/2 hours from Christchurch to Akaroa. The view along the journey was spectacular. The cruise was great and we did manage to see penguins and dolphins on that day. We were given a nice post card to remember after the cruise. We had a great trip. Chris H, Australia, May 2011
Did you know?
The Orca is the worlds biggest dolphin. They are sometimes known as Killer Whales or the wolf of the sea. Their only known predator is man, however there are no reliable reports of Orca ever attacking man.