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


We took part in two Canterbury events recently, the Canterbury Show, where we had a display manned by our team, and the Santa parade (pictured below) where our pirates and Hector the dolphin accompanied the Black Pearl on the annual event. Both attracted enthusiastic responses from the audiences of over 100,000 people each.


The first Hector’s dolphin calves of the year have appeared with two seen in Lyttelton last week and one in Akaroa Harbour. The dolphins are quite dark when first born and some have stripes which fade quickly. A baby Hectors is only marginally larger than a rugby ball, so they are quite vulnerable when first born. It’s vital these dolphins survive because they are literally the future of the species.


We have a new boat into our fleet as a back up Diamond Harbour Ferry. Although she is new to us she has been round a while being the very first Fiordlander that Real Journeys built and has spent its life in the Southern Lakes of Te Anau, Milford and lately Wakatipu as back up to Earnslaw. She has even carried many VIPs including the Queen herself and makes a great addition to our fleet.


We would like to say a very big thank you to you and all the crew on the Black Cat cruise from Lyttelton to Akaroa on Sunday 6th September 2009.

Firstly I would like to thank you personally for all your help keeping us informed about when this particular cruise was going to take place as there were a few date changes since we originally booked for the first cruise that was to happen earlier in the year, which was first postponed and then cancelled due to the weather conditions.

We couldn’t have asked for much better conditions than we experienced on the cruise, the sea was so calm and the only waves that were being formed was from the boat itself. Cruising around the Peninsula was such a pleasure and what a great way to get a different view of Banks Peninsula and also the view back towards Christchurch with the snow covered mountains in the distance when we left Lyttelton Harbour was amazing. We had only just left Lyttelton Harbour when we came across a pod of Hector Dolphins that were more than happy to keep up with the boat giving us a great view of them.

We would also like to thank the crew as they were friendly, cheerful and very informative which made our trip on the cruise that much more enjoyable, the commentary was excellent especially all the information we received from the crew member who had a very well spoken Scottish accent.

We had a nice time in Akaroa as usual when we go there for the day. We had a nice lunch followed by a very tasty ice cream from the dairy, had a walk around the town and relaxed a little bit before getting the bus back to Lyttelton stopping at Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory on the way home where we bought some tasty cheese.

We would most definitely take part in another Black Cat cruise as the service was excellent and we have already recommended to friends to go on the cruise we have just been on when this particular cruise happens again. Craig and Samantha.


If you are coming to Akaroa or sending customers our way please allow at least 90 minutes travel time. And be aware of the reporting time. We have had a few customers turn up late recently and it’s very disappointing for all concerned. We are a bit like the airlines, we cant keep people waiting. Our policy for latecomers is that we’ll give them a free of charge stand by ticket, i.e. if there is space for another cruise they can go on it for free provided it does not displace a normal paying passenger.


A lone Orca called Corkscrew was sighted in Akaroa Harbour on 11 June. Customers on board an Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise were able to get a close up look. The Orca can be identified by his dorsal fin markings and is well know by Ingrid Visser of the Orca Research Organisation. The big male is thought to be over 15 years old. To hear Orca sounds and for more information click here http://www.orcaresearch.org.


Gary and I had a fab time out on the Canterbury Cat over the weekend. The weather was gorgeous and we saw a lot! It doesn’t matter how many times you see those Hectors, they still bring a smile to the face icon_smile It was Gary’s first time over in Akaroa and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. Samantha at reception was lovely! The other staff onboard were also very helpful. Thank you so very much for having us, we loved it and have no hesitations in sending people your way! RebeccaI swum with ‘Black Cat’ on 17th March 09 and am told I left my gold necklace in the changing rooms/box. On returning from the swim the necklace was produced by the staff on the desk. I was unaware at that time the necklace was missing. I truly appreciate your honesty and care you take of customers/visitors. I am very grateful and sincerely thank you for the return of my gold necklace. Joan Clubbs