Welcome to Banks Peninsula, home of The Hector’s dolphins and eco-tourism pioneers Black Cat Cruises

Monthly Archives: May 2012

THE BREEZE 62

We are starting to head into our traditional off season but we’ll be out on the harbours every day. Below are some highlights from the season just completed including some of our best photos, a unique marriage proposal and our on going efforts to protect Hector’s dolphins. Thanks for reading.

Cheers Paul


 

Photo of the season

Every day we have cameras out on our swim boats capturing a range of amazing photos and here is a great shot which may very well be the best photo of the season. We took this recently on a late autumn evening, glassy water, soft light and a perfect compilation of swimmer and dolphin….awesome!


 

Will you?

Sisi He from Auckland got a little more than she bargained for on a Swimming with the Dolphins trip with Black Cat Cruises in Akaroa this week. He, from the inbound travel agency General Travel, said yes to a wedding proposal from her partner while still in her wetsuit having just completed a memorable swim with the Hector’s dolphins. It was a special moment for the couple and the crew and a first for Black Cat Cruises.


 

Easter Egg Hunt

2000 Easter eggs were snapped up by over 600 passengers on Quail Island over Easter Weekend. Hunters were given a map and rough directions and the hunt was on. Next Easter we plan on offering even more trips and more options because this year was a sell-out. Some of the eggs not claimed were donated to local children’s home.


 

Cruise Ships will be back next season

The worlds cruise liners have once again decided Akaroa will be their port of call for Canterbury in the 2012/13 season. This was after an announcement that Lyttelton’s cruise ship berth won’t be fixed in time. Cruise ship passenger research from last season rated Akaroa as either the top or second most favourite port call in New Zealand which is high praise. Across the next 12 months we are expecting around 90 cruise ships to call into Akaroa.


 

MD lobbies DOC for protection

Black Cat Cruises Managing Director, Paul Bingham met with Conservation Minister, Kate Wilkinson, and DOC Director General, Al Morrison to ask for more protection for Hector’s dolphins around Banks Peninsula. I think National could gain an easy win by extending the set net bans in the sanctuary without impacting on any commercial fishermen. The government continues to take political heat on the Maui dolphin’s situation in the North Island we want to ensure that our Hector’s are not forgotten.


 

Customers rate us!

Every year we ask our customers to rate our performance across a number of areas and below are the results from this year. As well as this research we use direct feedback and from on-line review sites to evaluate where we can improve.

TOURISM OPERATOR TALKS TO DOLPHINS

Dolphi Chat BCC2 April 12 Amazing technology previously only available in the scientific community that allows humans to talk to dolphins is being launched by leading New Zealand tourism operator Black Cat Cruises.

New analysis of results from a 1970s experiment found that Dolphins ‘talk’ to each other using the same process to make their high-pitched sounds as humans. After more than a decade of experimentation and testing by marine scientists in the United States the technology is being launched commercially for the first time anywhere in the world by Black Cat Cruises in Akaroa.  watch the video

Black Cat Cruises Managing Director Paul Bingham said the findings in the 1970’s showed that dolphins don’t actually whistle as has been long thought, but instead rely on vibrations of tissues in their nasal cavities that are the same as our vocal cords.

“Once we got wind of the technology and looked at it in more detail we realised how exciting it was and how much it would add to our cruises,” he said.

“It took quite some time to get it to a stage where it was a viable tourism product for us, and now can’t wait to share it with our dolphin swimming and cruise passengers. It really is incredible and will set our cruises apart from any marine experience anywhere in the world.”

The technology is being called Dolphi Chat and will be available as part of Black Cat Cruise’s normal trips in Akaroa. Cruise prices remain the same and Bingham said Black Cat Cruises had strong expressions of interest from several overseas marine tourism operators to purchase Dolphi Chat.

“We will see how well it goes here first but there is the potential to sell the technology to other tourism operators overseas,” he said.