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

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Qualmark Gold in Akaroa and Lyttelton

qualmark gold

qualmark gold

We are so so pleased to confirm that Black Cat Cruises has just had its Qualmark Gold award renewed. This award is reviewed annually, and is something we are proud to maintain as we continually strive to be a sustainable, world class operation.

” Your award can be proudly displayed as evidence that Black Cat Cruises is committed to protecting our beautiful natural environment, enhancing connections with our local communities, whilst also delivering a quality, safe experience for all visitors.”
Thank you to Qualmark for renewing our
QUALMARK GOLD AWARD 🏅
We are whole heartedly grateful for this continued recognition, and would like to shout out to our dedicated crew and team both in Akaroa and Lyttelton that all work so hard to deliver our experiences, whilst caring for both our environment and it’s inhabitants.

When and what is Gold awarded for?

Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award

A Gold Award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do.  A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies those businesses leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

The process to obtain an award be it bronze, silver or gold is extremely thorough and covers four key areas in depth, These are…
So the next time you are considering a tourism activity in New Zealand we recommend looking for the Qualmark seal.
If you’d like to understand more about who Qualmark are and how they work you can find out more information here.

Black Cat Cruises welcome new shareholders

Black Cat Cruises welcomes Glenn and Andrew Ritchie of RTH International as new investors.

Paul Bingham says, ‘We are delighted to welcome Glenn and Andrew Ritchie into the Black Cat Cruises
business as we embark on a new chapter.’

This is only the second time in 36 years that Black Cat Cruises shares have changed hands. RTH International
will now hold a 50% shareholding in Black Cat Cruises, having purchased the shares previously owned by
Real Journeys since 2007. Bingham will continue to retain the further 50% of the company.

Both Glenn and his nephew Andrew will bring a substantial amount of knowledge and experience to the
board. Whilst most well-known for transport line Ritchies, which has been in operation for over 80 years,
they also own 47% of Entrada Travel Group whose portfolio includes an impressive array of tourism
businesses across both New Zealand and Australia. These include activities, ferries and on land transport
such as Intercity, Auckland’s Whale and Dolphin Safari, Northland ferries, Port Douglas Daintree Ferry (North
Queensland) and multiple Cairns based Great Barrier Reef cruise and dive operations.

‘We are looking forward to working together to both strengthen our recovery from the impacts of COVID-19
and launch future projects such as the new ferry for Lyttelton.’ Bingham says.

‘We have admired Black Cat Cruises since it launched as a leading eco-tourism operator. We’ve seen it grow
from a dedicated local experience to a world class brand. It’s local heritage, family values, and commitment
to conservation and customer experience is tremendous, and as such we saw the opportunity to come on
board and invest as a perfect alignment.’ Glenn Ritchie says.

The acquisition comes at an exciting time for the company whose operations include the Diamond Harbour
ferry service as well as iconic Akaroa Nature Cruise, Swimming with Dolphins experience and Quail Island
and Ripapa Island ferries based in Lyttelton. Despite the lack of international visitors, the company has
enjoyed strong support from New Zealanders. They are recognised as being one of the first eco-tourism
operators in New Zealand and have been operating for over 36 years.

Paul Milligan, Chief Executive of Black Cat Cruises looks forward to embracing the future. ‘Navigating
through the pandemic, has been our biggest challenge to date. We have remained steadfast in our
approach, and our approach has always focused on our customers. Whether we focus on local or
international guests our mission has always remained the same; to continue delivering world-class
experiences here in Akaroa and Lyttleton, whilst supporting conservation work for the Hector’s dolphins.
There is power in partnerships and surrounding yourself with a great team…and that is even sweeter when a
partnership is born from your own home-grown turf right here in Canterbury.’