Bay of Islands cruises

North of Auckland along the narrow Northland peninsula lies the shady “cathedral” created by some of the largest trees in the world: the giant kauri trees which can stand up to 170 feet tall and are over 1,200 years old. Here the captivating Bay of Islands shelters 150 islands, enchanting wetlands of birdlife, fish, seals, dolphins and even whales.

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.

  • Puketi Forest Nature Walk

    A delightful opportunity to take a walk through Puketi Forest and discover its rich ecological diversity.

    Puketi Forest Nature Walk

    The Puketi Forest is an ancient Kauri forest located in the heart of Northland, and is home to a variety of plant species, birdlife and treelife. Relax on the transfer to Puketi Forest, as your driver guide offers a brief commentary.

    Upon arrival, you’ll meet your naturalist guide who will take you on a fascinating and informative walk through the subtropical rainforest. Keep an eye out for New Zealand's unique plant and birdlife and admire the magnificent ancient Kauri trees, some of which are up to 1,200 years old.

    During your tour, a stop will be made at a local venue, where a tea or coffee and a pastry will be offered.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The drive to Puketi Forest is around 45 minutes. Children under the age of ten may not participate. This tour involves around 1½ hours of walking over varying terrain including boardwalks, which can be slippery when wet, and areas of uneven terrain. Please wear flat non-slip walking shoes. It is advisable to take a light rain jacket. Please also remember sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent.

    Tour code

    BI1_018

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • River Boat Cruise to Russell & Brunch

    Sit back and relax on a cruise along the inland waterways towards Russell, and savour a tasty brunch along the way.

    River Boat Cruise to Russell & Brunch

    Departing Waitangi, your leisurely boat ride will take you along the waterways of Opua and Okiato. Admire the scenery as you pass by Omata Estate Vineyard, and view the Kororareka Oyster Farm along the way. During your boat ride, a tasty local-style brunch will be served.

    Your journey will bring you to Russell, the original port of the north island. Today, Russell is a picturesque waterfront village with quaint old homesteads, historic churches and wooden cottages. Here, you can enjoy some free time to explore before the return boat ride back to Waitangi.

    This excursion will operate by boat. Early booking is advised as places are limited. The vessel used is a flat bottom river cruise boat. Guests will be required to walk a short distance from the tender point to the tour boat, and a degree of agility is required when boarding. Drinks are not included but can be purchased on board. Please remember local currency. Free time at Russell is around one hour and the level of walking is at the discretion of the guest. The boat cruise lasts around 1½ - 2 hours.

    Tour code

    BI1_020

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • Paddle Board Experience

    A wonderful opportunity to experience paddle boarding

    Paddle Board Experience

    Setting off from the pier, sit back and relax as you take a leisurely boat ride along the coastline and up the meandering river, where in days gone by used to load up Kauri logs.

    In the still calm waters of a quiet cove, your expert guides will provide instruction, before you take to the water on your paddle board. As you glide silently through the mangroves, keep an eye out for the local fauna. Your route will take you to a tumbling waterfall, and for those more adventurous, there will be an opportunity to paddle close up to the falls for a photograph opportunity.

    Afterwards, you can paddle board or rejoin the boat as you head back. A stop will be made at a riverside park to enjoy a light picnic snack, before the return boat ride back to the pier.

    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 boat and paddle board. Guests must be in good physical condition and competent swimmers. Please wear swimwear, take a towel, a bottle of water and sunscreen. Children may not participate. Guests may be required to sign a waiver.

    Tour code

    BI1_022

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Discover Russell

    Step aboard the ferry from Paihia to Russell and enjoy a guided walking tour, including a tasty scone and tea.

    Discover Russell

    A short drive from the pier will take you to the seaside resort of Paihia, to join the passenger ferry across to Russell.

    Upon arrival, embark on a guided walking tour to discover the town’s rich history. Your guide will bring alive the stories of New Zealand’s first capital as you relive the drama of its colonial days. A stop will be made at a charming local venue, where you’ll enjoy a delicious scone and tea, before visiting the Pompallier Mission Printery. Follow the footsteps of the French missionaries and discover how they translated religious texts into Maori and then printed and bound them into beautiful books.

    Afterwards, there will be some free time to wander through the town and perhaps browse the local artisan shops. To round off your tour, re-join the ferry for the return journey back to the pier.

    This excursion will operate by bus, ferry and on foot. This tour involves around 1½ hours of walking over relatively flat ground. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The ferry ride is around 15 minutes each way. Please remember local currency for purchases.

    Tour code

    BI1_021

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    3½ hours

  • The Maori Canoe Experience

    Experience the ancient customs, rituals and traditions of the Maori Culture whilst paddling a Maori war canoe through beautiful scenery.

    The Maori Canoe Experience

    The Bay of Islands is home to the Ngapuhi, New Zealand’s largest tribal Maori group. This eco and educational experience offerse a unique insight into the customs, rituals and traditions of this fascinating Polynesian culture.

    Your Maori Warrior host will welcome you at Waitangi Wharf, where a safety briefing will be given before boarding your ornate 50 foot Waka Taua (Maori war canoe). The tribal members will show you traditional paddling techniques which you’ll then put into practice. Absorb the breathtaking beauty of the Waitangi River eco-systems and the passing flora and fauna as you paddle along. The Ngapuhi tribe have legendary storytelling skills and your Maori host will share personal tales with you. You’ll reach the spiritual waterfall of Haruru Falls, before you paddle back along the river. Look out for the family Marae, a sacred shrine of worship, where some of the local tribal members will greet you as you pass.

    You’ll return to port with a deeper understanding of the Maori culture and an experience that will leave a lasting impression.

    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.

    Guests will need a degree of agility to undertake the paddling which may be for up to two hours. This is leisurely and suited to the group’s ability. The tidal ranges may also affect the level of paddling. Each canoe takes between 16 and 30 people. There is a 150 yard walk to reach the canoes. Please wear soft soles shoes that you don’t mind getting wet as you may need to step into the water to board the canoes.

    Tour code

    BI1_016

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Cape Brett Cruise

    Board a high-speed catamaran for a scenic cruise past magnificent sandy beaches, secluded caves and majestic coastal scenery.

    Cape Brett Cruise

    Experience the natural wonders, stunning scenery and learn about the cultural significance of this unique part of New Zealand, on this spectacular cruise to Cape Brett and the iconic ‘Hole in the Rock’.

    The cruise will whisk you away through the outer islands of the Bay of Islands to the beautiful lighthouse on weather-beaten Cape Brett, passing secluded bays and sandy beaches on the islands along the way. From here, you will travel to Motukokako and the famous ‘Hole in the Rock’ where, if conditions are suitable, the skilful Captain will navigate through the hole shaped slowly over time by the wind and waves, and on to Grand Cathedral Cave.

    After the excitement of passing through the gap, your cruise continues at a more leisurely pace. Explore the inner islands and identify the abundance of birds and sea life that inhabit the area with the help of the knowledgeable crew.

    On the return journey, you could view the visual displays, which contain local natural and cultural history information or simply sit back, relax and take advantage of the on-board bar.


    This excursion will operate by catamaran. There is a step into the catamaran. Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed. Beverages purchased from the bar are at the guests’ own expense. The cruise itinerary is subject to weather conditions and may be subject to change. This may prevent a visit to the Hole in the Rock. For those who suffer with sea sickness it is advisable to take the necessary precautions.

    Tour code

    BI1_013

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    3 hours

  • Light Tackle Fishing

    Experience light tackle fishing, the perfect way to spend some time in the beautiful Bay of Islands.

    Light Tackle Fishing

    Sir Peter Blake, the legendary New Zealand born yachting hero, featured this in his ‘Favourite Places’ documentary and is the ideal place to fish.

    No experience is necessary as your skipper will tailor the tour to your skill level. You’ll be offered expert local knowledge for the discerning angler and patient tuition for the novice.

    The majority of the fish caught in the Bay of Islands are blue cod, terakihi, trevally and snapper, and whilst you’re not fishing, you can relax and enjoy the beautiful tranquil coastal surroundings.

    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 boat. Children under the age of eight may not participate. All necessary fishing equipment is included. Catches cannot be guaranteed. This is not catch and release; most catches will be retained by the crew on board. For those who suffer with sea sickness please take the necessary precautions. Flat, soft soled, non-slip shoes are recommended. There is limited shade on the boat, so please bring sunscreen and a hat. It is advisable to bring water as refreshments are not available. There are toilet facilities on board the boat. Participants must be in good physical condition and have a degree of agility to board the boat.

    Tour code

    BI1_017

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Rural Drive & Waipoua Forest

    View the highlights of beautiful Northland and the famous Waipoua Forest.

    Rural Drive & Waipoua Forest

    Sit back and relax and take in the lovely scenery as you drive to Waimate for a visit to the Te Waimate Mission House. The house is the only survivor of 3 mission houses which were built at New Zealand's first inland mission station in 1832. Here, you can also enjoy morning tea.

    Next, you’ll continue through Ohaewai and the Ngawha geothermal area to Kaikohe. The route then takes you through farming country to Opononi on the shores of the sand dune lined Hokianga Harbour. Once the home of ‘Opo’ the friendly dolphin of the late 1950s, this area was one of the earliest settled by Europeans.

    At Waipoua Forest, your guide will lead the short walk to Tane Mahuta, the country's largest kauri tree, which is approximately 1,200 years old and still growing. Kauri timber became New Zealand's very first export - sought after for ships’ masts and as a building material. Within a few decades, the vast forests were depleted, and only a few areas of these trees now remain.

    During your tour a buffet luncheon at a local hotel will be served, followed by a charming concert, performed by local school children.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The forest walk is approximately five minutes long over some uneven terrain. Comfortable, flat shoes are recommended. There are six steps to enter the Mission House.

    Tour code

    BI1_015

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    7 hours

  • Waitangi & Countryside

    Visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds and explore the beautiful countryside of the Bay of Islands.

    Waitangi & Countryside

    The Waitangi Treaty Grounds, overlooking the Bay of Islands, is New Zealand's pre-eminent historic site. It was here on 6th February 1840, that the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed between Maori and the British Crown.

    The Treaty Grounds are part of the 1000 acre Waitangi National Trust Estate, which was given to the nation by Lord and Lady Bledisloe in 1932. Enjoy an informative guided tour of the grounds including The Treaty House - one of New Zealand's oldest and most visited historic homes, Te Whare Runanga – a fully carved Maori Meeting House and the Waitangi Visitor Centre - with its audio visual show outlining the history of Waitangi and the Bay of Islands.

    You will also be able to observe the impressive Ngatokimatawhaorua, one of the world's largest Maori ceremonial war canoes, spanning some 117 feet in length and made from three giant Kauri trees. It is still launched every year on the 6th February for Waitangi Day.

    Leaving Waitangi, your journey will take you through beautiful countryside where citrus fruit orchards with their deep green foliage blend with the russet-coloured farm land of the Kerikeri region.

    In Kerikeri, located along the Kerikeri River, you’ll find the beautiful Rainbow Falls. Have you camera ready to photograph this lovely waterfall as it cascades into the pool below. A short drive from the Falls is the picturesque Kerikeri Basin, New Zealand's most historic site and home to the Stone Store and Kemp House, the country's oldest surviving building.


    This excursion will operate by coach. There is approximately 45 minutes’ walking on the paths and lawns at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

    Tour code

    BI1_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    3½ hours