About Black Cat Cruises

The Black Cat Cruises story officially started in 1985, but the founding family traces its Banks Peninsula roots back to the 1920s with a close connection to the Diamond Harbour ferry. Proudly family-owned to this day, Black Cat Cruises has maintained its deep-rooted legacy.

From humble beginnings carrying a few hundred people per year in small canoes and dinghies, founders Ron and Durelle Bingham recognised the untapped potential of Akaroa and its wildlife as a tourist destination. They had two goals which we still follow closely: One was a 365 days-a-year commitment to getting out on the water. Such dedication means it takes a mighty southerly wind to stop our skippers from operating. The other is to raise the profile of New Zealand’s endangered wildlife including the Hector’s Dolphins, Fur Seals and Little Blue penguins.

Over the years, Black Cat has successfully navigated various obstacles that have challenged the tourism industry, from earthquakes to a global pandemic. These experiences have only strengthened our resilience and dedication, which has helped us grow into one of the top cruise operations in New Zealand.

The one thing that stands true for Black Cat is the importance of its people. Our vision has always been to deliver the highest quality of experiences, characterised by excellence in education, entertainment, and safety. We owe our success to our extremely passionate and dedicated team.