Akaroa dolphins and stunning scenery
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 Akaroa dolphins on daily harbour cruises.
Voted the number 1 wildlife activity in New Zealand, your award winning 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.
Travel In Style
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.
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.
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.