Akaroa Cruises

Akoroa, meaning “long harbour” in Maori, certainly lives up to its name. Set on a beautiful, sheltered harbour, Akaroa is now a popular resort. Seek out the best spots for dolphin watching with tours from the harbour or relax on land at one of the welcoming bars or restaurants. Alternatively take a tour to Christchurch.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • Christchurch On Your Own

    Explore the atmospheric city of Christchurch and discover the innovative ways it is being rebuilt after the earthquake devastation of 2011.

    Christchurch On Your Own

    Christchurch experienced a sequence of large earthquakes during 2010 and 2011. The most devastating of these occurred on 22 February 2011. Most of the destroyed buildings were either removed or made safe and the city immediately commenced a significant rebuild process.

    Despite the city’s heritage architecture being damaged, the traditional English ambience is still evident. The Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park remain some of New Zealand’s most impressive public spaces and the Canterbury Museum, the only neo-Gothic heritage building to survive the earthquakes, showcases the country’s indigenous Maori culture and early European settlement.

    Your driver will provide a short orientation of Christchurch so you can get your bearings before dropping you off outside the Art Gallery on Gloucester Street. You’ll have approximately four hours to explore this recovering city.

    This excursion will operate by coach. This transfer is approximately 90 minutes and is non-guided. Luncheon and entrance fees are not included. Maps will be provided. The amount of walking is at guests’ own discretion. Please remember to carry local currency (NZD). The roads to and from Christchurch are winding and may not be suitable for those who suffer with vertigo.

    Tour code

    AK1_006

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Akaroa, Peninsula & the Giants House

    See Akaroa and the surrounding peninsula, sample local cheese, absorb the Maori history and explore the ‘Giants House’.

    Akaroa, Peninsula & the Giants House

    Take in the breathtaking scenery of this fascinating volcanic area as you drive through Duvauchelles Bay and onto Barry’s Bay, a local cheese producer. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a short audio-visual presentation on the cheesemaking process and sample a selection of delicious local cheeses.

    Afterwards, travel up to the Summit Road for some fabulous views, before dropping down into Okains Bay. This area is home to the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum with exhibits that include a working Blacksmith’s shop, a print shop, a saddlery, the restored school, Maori meeting house, colonial hall and the former Akaroa grandstand.

    Back in Akaroa, you’ll visit the Giants House, a mosaic and sculpture garden created around the home of the first Bank Manager in Akaroa. It was built in 1880 of native totara and kauri timbers. Enjoy a wealth of unique garden artworks including mosaic steps, an extraordinary sculptural wall mosaic and welded steel sculptures, amongst other creations.



    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves walking over varying terrain including gravel and grass. There are ten steps to negotiate at the Giants House. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    AK1_010

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Christchurch Antarctic Centre & Botanical Gardens

    Discover Christchurch’s International Antarctic Centre and explore the impressive Botanical Gardens.

    Christchurch Antarctic Centre & Botanical Gardens

    Setting off from Akaroa, sit back and relax as you take a drive to the city of Christchurch. Upon arrival, you’ll visit The International Antarctic Centre; one of the city’s main highlights that showcase’s life in the South Pole. The centre is located in a unique working Antarctic campus, home to the New Zealand, United States and Italian Antarctic programmes.

    Visitors can enjoy hands on exhibits, video presentations, laser holograms and observe life in a penguin rookery. You’ll also be able to experience the temperatures of a real snow cave and take a ride on the Hägglund, a tracked amphibious vehicle used in Antarctica. The 4D Extreme Theatre will take you on a cruise to Antarctica, which is an exciting interactive experience from your movie seat. During your visit, allow some time to purchase a snack or refreshment at the café and to browse for souvenirs at the Antarctic shop.

    Leaving the Antarctic Centre, you’ll drive towards the city, passing Hagley Park, the Avon River, the Bridge of Remembrance and onto the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Nestled in a bend of the Avon River, the Botanical Gardens were established in 1863 and are an oasis of conifers and maples and seasonal flower displays.

    Departing from Christchurch, you’ll take the return drive to Akaroa.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Approximately two hours is spent at the Antarctic Centre. Warm jackets and over-shoes are provided for the Snow Cave. The journey to Christchurch takes 90 minutes. The itinerary order may operate in reverse. The visits to the Antarctic Centre and the Botanical Gardens are self-guided. To allow maximum flexibility, luncheon or refreshments are not included but can be purchased at the Antarctic Centre, please remember local currency (NZD). The Hägglund rider is not suitable for those with injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride.

    Tour code

    AK1_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    6½ hours

  • Akaroa Harbour Swim with Dolphins

    Enjoy an incredible encounter swimming with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins in their natural environment.

    Akaroa Harbour Swim with Dolphins

    Akaroa is the only place where you can swim with the world's smallest and rarest dolphins - the Hector's Dolphin. These dolphins are protected by a marine mammal sanctuary and this cruise will provide the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures close up in their own environment.

    At the start of the cruise, you’ll be given safety instructions, a briefing on how to interact with the dolphins and what to expect during your journey. You’ll be accompanied by a dedicated dolphin guide who is trained to maximise your dolphin swimming experience.

    Absorb the beautiful scenery as your small catamaran cruises out to where the dolphins are usually found. Once the dolphins are located, you’ll have around 45 minutes in the water with them. The amazing thing about swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat is that you are doing it completely on their terms. Whilst the inquisitive dolphins happily swim around you, the crew will be on hand to capture the memorable encounter on camera (available to purchase at the end of the cruise).

    After your fantastic dolphin experience, you’ll be able to sit and relax with a hot drink.

    For every booking a donation will be made to the ongoing research and education on Hector’s Dolphins.


    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by jet powered boat. To ensure the dolphins are not put under any unnecessary stress, it is essential that the guide’s instructions are adhered to. Sometimes dolphins may have calves with them or be resting - it’s therefore important not to interact with dolphins if they don’t want to. Participants must be good swimmers. Guests under the influence of drugs or alcohol and children under eight years old are unable to participate. Wetsuits, masks, snorkels and showers are provided. Please remember to bring your swimwear, a towel and local currency (NZD) for any additional purchases. As with any wildlife in their natural habitat we cannot guarantee that the dolphins will swim with you however the chances are very high. Pre-existing medical conditions must be declared. Places are restricted to limit crowding of the dolphins so early pre-booking is essential to secure your booking.

    Tour code

    AK1_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Journey to Arthur’s Pass & Scenic Train Ride

    Take in the best of Canterbury on a spectacular scenic drive and train ride.

    Journey to Arthur’s Pass & Scenic Train Ride

    Embark on a scenic journey up to Arthur’s Pass, stopping en route at Homebush Stables and homestead for morning tea. The old stables are surrounded by 8 acres of woodland gardens and offer a fascinating glimpse into colonial farming.

    The final leg of your coach journey will continue through the magnificent mountain scenery to Arthur’s Pass Station, where you’ll board your train. This spectacular train ride will take you into an area of unrivalled scenery, from rolling hills, through tunnels, across viaducts, remote river gorges and the rainforests of Arthur’s Pass National Park. A snack box luncheon will be provided on board the train during your journey.

    At Rolleston Station, rejoin your coach for the scenic drive back to Akaroa.

    This excursion will operate by coach, train and on foot. Please note that a significant proportion of this tour is spent on the coach. The journey to Homebush is around two hours, and the Arthur’s Pass Station is located a further two hours’ drive from Homebush. The return drive is two hours and may replicate some of the scenery that is experienced during the train ride. The train ride is approximately 1¾ hours and is not exclusive to Cunard. The train cannot accommodate wheelchairs or scooters. Guests must be able to negotiate the step onto and off the train. The coach park is located 80 yards from the train. Comfortable shoes and a jacket are recommended.

    Tour code

    AK1_001

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    9 hours

  • Tastes of Akaroa

    Head to the renowned Akaroa Cooking School to experience a demonstration of typical tasty Akaroan dishes.

    Tastes of Akaroa

    Just a short stroll along the wharf will take you to the Akaroa Cooking School, where you’ll be joined by chef Lou Bentley and cooking tutor Ant Bentley.

    Upon arrival, enjoy a tea or coffee and a freshly baked pastry, before settling down to watch and learn how to cook four delicious dishes. You’ll discover an abundance of local seasonal produce that is available and experience delicious dishes being cooked up in front of you.

    Afterwards, it’s time for you to taste each of the dishes for luncheon, accompanied by a glass of local award-winning wine.

    Take the short stroll back to the ship, with your new found knowledge of Akaroan dishes!

    This excursion will operate on foot. Participants for this tour must be 18 years of age and over. The walk to the cooking school is around five minutes on a flat surface. This tour is a cooking demonstration rather than a hands-on cooking experience.

    Tour code

    AK1_009

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Christchurch Discovery

    Sample delicate wines, relax on a punt along the Avon River and explore the Botanical Gardens by trolley bus.

    Christchurch Discovery

    Take a drive from Akaroa, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Banks Peninsula en route to the Melton Estate Winery. The boutique winery is set in lovely surroundings and is the perfect place to sample a selection of award-winning wines. You’ll also be served a light chef’s platter of local condiments.

    Afterwards, your drive will continue into Christchurch city, where you’ll board a punt, a flat bottomed boat, and enjoy a leisurely ride along the Avon River. Sit back and relax as your Edwardian punter gently glides you down the river.

    To round off your tour, you’ll join the ‘Caterpillar’, an electric open-sided trolley bus that will take you on a guided tour through the Christchurch Botanical Gardens. Admire these wonderfully impressive gardens with its mixture of seasonal colours and array of plant life.

    This excursion will operate by coach, punt, trolley bus and on foot. Order of itinerary may vary. The wine tasting is offered only to those over 18 years of age. A degree of agility is required to board the punt boat. There is a slightly inclined boardwalk at the punt embarkation area. Flat, comfortable non-slip shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    AK1_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Discover Akaroa on Foot

    Enjoy beautiful scenery, captivating history and intriguing anecdotes on an interesting walk round the charming village of Akaroa.

    Discover Akaroa on Foot

    Embark on a leisurely walk through the beautiful area of Akaroa, a historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano.

    As you stroll through this charming village, you’ll see the picturesque waterfront; with its large metal whaling pots, the French Landing site, the quaint Coronation Library, delightful cottages and various examples of colonial architecture.

    Your knowledgeable guide will use the surrounding buildings, street artefacts and colourful characters to weave a rich and interesting tapestry of tales, which will help bring Akaroa’s history to life.


    This excursion will operate on foot. There is approximately 1½ hours of leisurely walking over level terrain. A jacket and comfortable shoes are recommended. Children under the age of 10 may not participate.

    Tour code

    AK1_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    1½ hours

  • Akaroa Nature Cruise

    Experience majestic scenery, natural wonders and diverse wildlife on this memorable nature cruise.

    Akaroa Nature Cruise

    Board your modern and luxurious 60 foot catamaran for a fascinating cruise around Akaroa’s vast harbour. Your Captain will share his extensive knowledge of the local nature, wildlife and history of the area whilst you sail past the beautiful and dramatic landscape including an extinct volcanic crater, giant volcanic sea cliffs and the ancient lava flows at Cathedral Cave.

    The harbour is famous for the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's Dolphin, so the opportunity of seeing these friendly and inquisitive mammals is very good.

    Before returning to land, your Captain will take you to the best places to catch a glimpse of the White Flippered Blue Penguin, the smallest penguin in the world and the New Zealand Fur Seals sunning themselves on the rocks. There are also many different bird species to spot, including five different cormorant species and the endangered yellow-eyed penguin.


    This excursion will operate by catamaran. The catamaran has two decks with both shaded and uncovered areas. Whilst wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed the chances are high. Places are limited so early pre-booking is highly recommended.

    Tour code

    AK1_003

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Family

      Especially suitable for families

    Duration

    2 hours