This June, enjoy a taste of award-winning Hector’s gin aboard the Akaroa Nature Cruise

We’re collaborating with Akaroa Craft Distillery to bring you a gin tasting experience on every cruise starting from the 4th of June. Enjoy your choice of gin from their award winning Hector’s range, paired with a premium tonic or soda, while taking in the beautiful scenery that gave inspiration to the distillery’s creation.

Venture out onto our deck and take in Akaroa’s stunning Winter views, with snowflaked mountain, mist and of course fur seals, Hector’s dolphins and marine wildlife. When you’re ready to cosy up, head inside where you can enjoy a gin tasting experience with fellow adventurers in our lamp filled cabin. 

For guests below 18 years of age or prefers of a dry beverage, we will have tea, coffee and hot chocolate ready. A range of bar snacks will be available for purchase.


$109 – Adult 16 years & over

$49 – Child 5-15 years(Under 5’s cruise for free)

10.45am and 1.30pm daily

We are delighted to offer this unique experience at our regular cruise fare. The gin tasting is only valid for guests aged 18 and over, with tickets booked directly on our website, and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.


Gin Tasting Menu

Throughout the cruise, you’re invited to select a gin from the menu* below paired with a premium tonic or soda:

Hector’s Long Harbour Ocean Wash

Hector’s French Farm Petit Pinot

Hector’s Little River Lemon Verbena

Hector’s Little Akaloa Pink Blossom

Pairing recommendation and tasting notes available in the onboard menu.

While stock lasts, we reserve the right to change the gins, tonic and sodas offered based on availability. Complimentary tasting is for a single gin beverage from 4/06/24 till 30/06/24.



Voted the number 1 wildlife activity in New Zealand, your award winning Akaroa cruise is packed with highlights


Ranked as New Zealand’s #1 wildlife activity, embark on our award-winning cruise brimming with highlights. Witness the rare, NZ native dolphin exhibiting their playful demeanour, often swimming alongside our vessel and delighting with acrobatic jumps. Be awed by the majestic volcanic sea cliffs and immerse yourself in Akaroa’s captivating history. Cruises set sail daily, depending on weather conditions.


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. If you’re fortunate, you might even spot Orcas or Humpback whales that visit the Harbour on their migration paths.


Board the Black Cat, a 60-foot/20-metre modern catamaran. As the largest and most luxurious vessel in Akaroa Harbour, it offers unobstructed views from its two spacious decks, along with ample shaded seating. Inside, you’ll find a bar and restroom facilities. Celebrated for its stability and safety, the Black Cat ensures a comfortable voyage. Delve into Akaroa’s wonders with our award-winning team, as each cruise comes complete with engaging narration from a knowledgeable skipper well-versed in the harbour’s wildlife, nature, and history.


On each two-hour journey, we’ll introduce you to the rich tapestry of Akaroa’s wildlife, sea caves, and majestic volcanic cliffs. This harbour, once a roaring volcano millions of years ago, boasts breathtaking remnants of ancient lava flows. Witness the awe-inspiring 500-foot cliff with a captivating history, and marvel at the Nikau Palm Gully, which sports one of the few remaining remnants of the original Banks Peninsula forest. Not to be missed is the Scenery Nook, a vibrant amphitheatre of pink, purple, and red volcanic formations that promises to be a feast for your eyes.



Our cruise is different each and every day based on the weather, sea and wildlife. You will spend two hours out on the harbour.

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 or phone – there are incredible views.

Under 5’s cruise for free all year round.

We recommend front packs for young babies.

If you have a buggy we can store this for you at the check-in building on the main wharf.

Our Nature Cruise boat has a large indoor cabin with seating and tables.

We offer free kids colouring in sheets on board to entertain your young ones.

Free tea, coffee and hot chocolates are available. We can also provide hot water.

Wheelchairs can board the Black Cat with ease and our staff are happy to assist you.

Ramps allow for easy access to both the boat and main wharf check-in building.

Toilets are available on the Black Cat however there are a few steps to walk down to access these. Wheelchair accessible toilets are available in our building on the main wharf.

For hearing impaired clients we have information sheets available. These are available in seven languages.



Great! You’re in the right place!


We have a great package for that.


How about cruising to Diamond Harbour?


Pick from Quail or Ripapa Islands


We operate from the main wharf in Akaroa, only 80 minutes (82 km) drive from Christchurch on State Highway 75. Once in Akaroa
follow the main road until you see a wharf on the waterfront with a large blue building half way down. This is where you check in.


Akaroa is located around an 80 to 90-minute drive from Christchurch City and Christchurch International Airport.

It is an easy drive in a car through New Zealand farmland and then over the stunning Banks Peninsula hills to Akaroa. Use Google Maps for detailed directions on 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 are located. Please allow enough time for your tender boat to reach the wharf in time for your activity check-in.

akaroa christchurch
akaroa dolphin
hectors dolphins


The award-winning Black Cat Cruises is not only an acclaimed success in New Zealand’s tourism industry but also internationally recognized as an eco-tourism pioneer. We hold the honour of being the first to introduce cruises in Akaroa, and we're proud to be acknowledged as New Zealand’s very first eco-tourism operator.


Our Nature Cruises and Dolphin Swimming experience depart from the stunning Akaroa harbour which is only a 90 minute scenic drive from Christchurch. The Diamond Harbour and Quail Island ferry depart from Lyttelton in Christchurch.