Recent blog posts
Live at the point
Wondering what to do in Christchurch this summer? Well we have the answer....grab some friends or the family and jump on the Diamond Harbour Ferry to cruise across Lyttleton Harbour and enjoy one of the many 'Sunday Sessions' planned this summer.... The annual summer series of Live at the Point kicked off with a mixture of gospel, country and generally sweet music from The Eastern on the 3rd January 2016. They then follow with the dates below... January 2016: 17th - Phoebe Leyten and Nomad 24th - Fiona Pears 31st - the Brooms February 2016: 7th - Lindon Puffin 14th - Los Farsantes It's the perfect...
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Posted by on in Wildlife Spotting
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Black Cat Cruises is the only company in the world that I have taken a day off as holiday to spend....at work! Well I mean when your company is an eco-toursim operator that offers world class dolphin cruise's and swimming in the wild with the world's smallest and rarest dolphin's set in an extinct volcainc crater...wouldn't you? I've told friends and colleagues this before much to their amusement and understanding...and it seems it's not just me at Black Cat that does this. Last week our dolphin swim skipper Julian arrived at work extra early to join our early morning Swimming WIth...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
Julian
He's our most raved about skipper on Tripadvisor, knows the history and wildlife of Akaroa harbour like no other....and is generally an all round amazing guy! We took 60 seconds to find out a little more about Akaroa's top skipper to find out what really floats his boat....... (and if 60 seconds just isn't enough you can watch Julian's 114 second video here)   What is your name and what is your role at Black Cat Cruises... Capitano Juliano – Black Cat skipper Where is your role based? Akaroa Harbour What three words would you use to sum up Akaroa/Lyttleton... Picturesque,...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
camping on quail island
Have you heard about this little Island close to Lyttelton? No?! It is such an interesting place, rich in history and scenic landscapes all easily explored in one day. Perfect for a day out in Christchurch! Let me show you where it is and what you can do there….. Location: Quail Island is a small island but Canterbury’s largest one, located within Lyttelton Harbour in the South Island of New Zealand.(Retrieved from: DOC, http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/otamahua-quail-island-recreation-reserve/things-to-do/otamahua-quail-island-tracks/). It is only 20 minutes from Christchurch city centre (by car) and easily accessible by the Quail Island Ferry from Lyttelton. Black Cat Cruises operate a regular...
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Posted by on in Tourist Information
toasting marsmallows
What better way to spend your summer nights with the family than pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars? Banks Peninsula is full of spots that are perfect for such an endeavour, and many people take advantage of that fact during our warmer months. If you’re thinking of roughing it for a few nights in Canterbury’s great outdoors, here are ten things you could bring to ensure your New Zealand camping trip is a great success: Camp fire entertainment – Marshmallows, a pack of cards or any other board game really. Stock up on the kids’ favourites to wind down...
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Posted by on in Akaroa New Zealand
Akaroa hills
Banks Peninsula Volcanoes – Hot or Not? To many in the area, Banks Peninsula is a beautiful place to relax, soak up a bit of local culture, or spend the day exploring and adventuring around the bays. But there’s more to this iconic part of the country than meets the eye. For those into geology, geography, or just good ol’ volcanic eruptions, Banks Peninsula’s Lyttelton Harbour proves to be a point of interest. Between six and eleven million years ago, volcanic activity formed two volcanic cones that overlapped. After being subject to erosion and rising sea levels, which flooded the valleys...
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Baby Hectors dolphin calf and mother by Krystal
The next generation of the world's rarest dolphin species has been captured in photos and on video! See our exclusive images and video content below.... International passengers from the cruise ship Dawn Princess who were on a Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa Harbour cruise or Swimming with Dolphins cruise were delighted to spot the first Hector’s Dolphin calf of the season yesterday (Sunday 29 November).  Black Cat Cruises Sales & Marketing Manager Natasha Lombart says the crew spotted four adults and a baby calf in the upper harbour near Wainui. “Seeing dolphin calves is brilliant, as Hector’s Dolphins are endangered so it...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
bingsamo photograph of hectors dolphins pod in Akaroa
Here's our quick run down of what it is, why we love it and how to make the most of it....... So what is Instagram? Instagram is the leading social media platform for sharing images. When it launched back in 2010 it had 1 million followers in its first month alone, so it’s no surprise that it’s become so very, very popular. Anyone can set up an account. Simply download the @instagram app onto your phone, register with your user name (for example we are @blackcatcruises) and voila…you are ready to go. Why use it? We love using it to showcase...
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BC 30yr black red for LIGHT bkgrd
It’s been a fantastic start to the new summer season for New Zealand eco-tourism operator Black Cat Cruises as they celebrate 30 years in business. Labour weekend 1985 Ron Bingham and his wife Durelle officially started Black Cat Cruises with a single boat called the Charmaine over in Akaroa. Skip forward to today and they have grown to become the largest tourism operator on the peninsula operating 7 vessels across both Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbour.   This labour weekend if your birthday falls on Monday October 26th (of any year) you can cruise with them for free!  ‘’It’s been a great...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
SMART Logo col
We are over the moon to be awarded the SMART operator certificate from the Department of Conservation! Akaroa business Black Cat Cruises have become the first business in Banks Peninsula, and the second in the country, to sign up to the SMART Operator programme in an initiative developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to increase the protection of marine mammals.   SMART Operators, an acronym for “Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism”, lead by example by committing to activities that have minimal disturbance on whales, dolphins and seals. Commercial operators are able to achieve this by undertaking staff...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
the giants house akaroa
The sleepy seaside village of Akaroa is full of unexpected surprises, and The Giant’s House on Rue Balguerie, is most definitely amongst the top of that list. The Giant’s House, located just off the main road and up the hill a little bit, is truly a sight to behold. Built in 1881, the historic building is a beautiful ode to creativity and wonder, and of course, the elegance of the French that Akaroa prides itself on. But before you explore the house itself, it’s hard to miss the world that local artist Josie Martin, has created in her own backyard. Her...
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Posted by on in Akaroa New Zealand
Barrys Bay Shop Akaroa
Alright, before you read this article, I have to emphasise that I am a cheese lover and furthermore, I am French. I know what you are going to say, but I can assure you, cheese is magical!  Let’s now talk about cheese... During my first trip to Akaroa in early 2014, I heard about a little cheese factory on the way to the Peninsula. I thought: “What an amazing idea to stop by!” I was not disappointed! When you enter this little treasure, you are exposed to a lot of different kinds of cheese. From the Gouda to the Havarti...
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porthole lyttelton
Lyttelton is a great family destination – the rich and interesting history and nature of the place puts something on offer for everyone. But if you’re after somewhere to wet your whistle after a long day of exploring, or something exciting for the 18+ crowd to do in the quirky port town, then check out one of these fine local establishments for a bit of Lyttelton fayre and late night fun. Porthole Bar: Situated on the site where the popular Volcano Bar and Café once stood, Porthole is another example of Cantabrian ingenuity that’s come out of the other side of...
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net marks web
Yesterday, Monday, April 6th, a dead Hector’s dolphin was discovered in Akaroa harbour. The cause of death was drowning by set net. This happened just days after the legal set netting summer ban had been lifted. A local man found the dead dolphin and alerted Black Cat Cruises, who in turn alerted both DOC and local researchers, and sent out a boat to locate the dead mammal. Hector’s dolphins are the world’s smallest and rarest marine mammal and are endemic to New Zealand. As a company and a community we are extremely disappointed to see this happen.   The region has taken...
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Posted by on in Lyttelton New Zealand
Easter 2015
Happy Easter holiday eve everyone!  If you have little people at home and are wondering what to get up to over the long weekend then look no further. Black Cat Cruises will be hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Quail Island. You'll have two and half hours on the island to hunt for coloured tokens which can be swapped for up to 3 chocolate Easter eggs each! If you've never been to Quail Island before, which is a DOC reserve set in the middle of Lyttelton harbour, you're in for even more of a treat. To see it for yourself...
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Posted by on in Akaroa New Zealand
Akaroa Harvest Festival When you think of Banks Peninsula do ever think of fresh smoked salmon, award winning olive oil, juicy chorizo and New Zealand wine? Well...you should, because our beautiful Banks Peninsula has even more to offer than just world class scenery and wildlife, we have an abundance of award winning food too! This weekend us folk in Akaroa will be celebrating our fourth Annual Akaroa Harvest Festival. It promises to showcase an array of excellent local produce......and you are all invited! The Details When: Saturday April 11th Where: The Akaroa Area School Time: 10 am to 4.00pm.  This year's festival boasts at...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
black cat cruises akaroa
Thank you for creating such an incredibly perfect video to showcase Akaroa!  I was captivated by the video and will be sharing it with everyone, especially my overseas friends and family. Wow!  Here are just a few lovely comments we received when we launched our brand new Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise video. Shot this summer it showcases our little slice of paradise from both land and air.....and of course we've uploaded the video below... It looks beautiful - we've lived in chch most of our lives and ive blogged about a lot of stuff but not that part of banks peninsula -...
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bottlenose dolphin in Akaroa
Bottlenose dolphins and a ginger seal make rare ‘once in a lifetime’ Akaroa visit Akaroa was treated to a rare ‘once in a lifetime’ sight of a pod of Bottlenose dolphins close to the town’s main wharf yesterday, well within sight of the town’s locals and visitors sitting in cafes on the waterfront. “It’s a fantastic sighting,” Black Cat Cruises Sales & Marketing Manager Natasha Lombart said. “We’ve never had them (Bottlenose dolphins) visit the main wharf before, or seen so many around the harbour; it just doesn’t happen”  The rarity of the sightings made it onto TV One Breakfast news....
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
sonya
Sonya!  What is your name and what is your role at Black Cat Cruises.... Sonya Watts - Photography & Customer Service   Where is your role based.... Akaroa   What three words would your friend's use to sum you up? Very, very funny   Tell us a secret or something unique about you.... I'm a man. shhh   What did you dream you would do when you grew up and why.... Supermodel, because I'm hot   Why did you want to work for Black Cat Cruises.... Because I fancied the boss   What do you love most about your job.... My...
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Posted by on in Black Cat News
richard jacobs
At the age of 71 Richard Jacobs wasn't just worried about his age when he took the plunge and joined us on a dolphin swim. This inspiring story wraps both his fears and life-long dream all into one, and demonstrates the reward that awaits when you take on a challenge..... By Richard Jacobs  Is it possible to experience an adrenaline rush, a huge privilege and achieve an almost life-time longing all at the same time?  I really wasn’t sure.  The opportunity was right there, staring at me, teasing me, challenging me.  I just didn’t know if I had the confidence, the...
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