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Cruise Ship Passengers
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AKAROA CRUISE

Akaroa Harbour Cruise – It's a Discovery and an Adventure!

You’ll enjoy a 360° tour of Akaroa Harbour, seeing the wildlife, geology, and hearing the local stories and history from our all-Kiwi, Akaroa resident crew. When we comment on the high points of our unique harbour and local history we do so with you One-to-One which means it’s Personal. Our customers tell us they REALLY like that. You'll enjoy a Hands-On experience, while we see the sights and action on Akaroa Harbour. We'll cover Tacking, Gybing, Setting Sails, Trimming Sails, Grinding, Tailing, and Helming. All this in a friendly, and personal training situation. Actually... it's quite fun. Cruise Akaroa with us.

While enjoying the quiet of the sailing, you'll see all the grandeur and wildlife Akaroa has to offer, and be informed personally by the crew, not through a loudspeaker.

Manutara is a large, ocean-sailing yacht. She is stable, safe, and easy to be aboard without stress. If you usually suffer from seasickness, we offer a complimentary herbal remedy, but please tell us immediately when you book, so we'll be ready for you.

What Will YOU Do While Cruising?

Our yacht the Manutara under sail on an Akaroa cruise

Our Akaroa Harbour Cruise follows a course that takes in around 4 or 5 of the special parts of Akaroa Harbour on the map below. The course can change with every cruise and is chosen as a result of wind direction and strength. We will generally perform three legs in the cruise: One upwind to demonstrate tacking, one beam reach to demonstrate the power of the wind, and one downwind leg to demonstrate gybing and (what many people dream of doing) typical blue water cruising.

Tacking – Turning the boat from one board to the other when sailing upwind.

Gybing – Turning the boat from one board to the other when sailing downwind.

Setting Sails – How to raise sails to get the best performance out of them.

Trimming Sails – Adjusting sail trim to maximise speed. Reading the woolies to achieve sail efficiency.

Grinding – Using a two-speed non-tailing winch. Good winch practice.

Tailing – How to tail to assist the grinder.

Sail Drop – Dropping sails, packing to the boom, tying the sail down.

What You'll See on Our Cruise

A view of Akaroa Harbour from above You'll likely see Akaroa dolphins on your cruise A Little Blue Penguin in Akaroa Harbour

Check out the 'Akaroa Wildlife' page for detailed information.

We will visit many places in the harbour on our cruise. Though please be aware, we do not 'chase' dolphins like the other cruises do. We sail on our course, and if the dolphins want to visit Manutara and play in the pressure wave created by her unique hull shape, they'll come over. If they are not interested, we will not chase them. For this reason we cannot 'Guarantee' you'll see any of the wildlife in the harbour on any given cruise.We usually see:

  1. Wildlife like the rare and endangered Hector's Dolphin.
  2. Little Blue Penguins (Fairy Penguins in Australia).
  3. Cormorants and Shags, possibly breeding, and fishing for their food.
  4. Albatross, usually when there's a fishing trawler in the harbour, they'll follow it in. They are magnificent.
  5. Fur Seals, native to NZ and almost hunted to extinction in the last two centuries.
  6. In addition, we'll try to visit...

  7. The Paua Farm where they grow the 'Blue Pearl' exclusive to Akaroa.
  8. The 'Akaroa Salmon' farm where they grow Salmon in the seawater in large floating salt water cages.
  9. The 'Maori' Christian Church and Marae at Onuku.
  10. The site of the original visit of the British warship HMS Britomart in 1840.
  11. The very first Pub in Akaroa and the only one never to burn down!
  12. The site of the 'secret' American submarine base during WW2 and much much more!

And, we'll also tell you about 'Bully' Hayes Secret Treasure, the best places to buy and build in Akaroa, the price of real estate and houses, the economic factors affecting Akaroa Harbour. We'll also tell you about some of the characters who live here and a brief history of Akaroa from the arrival of the first Polynesian people up to the present day. It's fun. There's war, treachery, murder, revenge, heroism, colonialism, signatures of the Treaty of Waitiangi, in fact everything needed to make a Hollywood Blockbuster Movie has happened right here in Akaroa. Ask us any questions, and we'll be pleased to answer them.

Where Will We Take You?

A map of where our cruise will take you

Come with us on a journey around the harbour. We choose a course that takes around 4 or 5 of the special parts of Akaroa Harbour. The course can change with every cruise and is chosen as a result of wind direction and strength. We will generally perform three legs in the cruise: One upwind to demonstrate tacking, one beam reach to demonstrate the power of the wind, and one downwind leg to demonstrate gybing and typical blue water cruising.

All guests are invited to assist with raising sail, tacking the boat, steering at the wheel, using the winches to control the sails. In addition, we'll personally explain the points of interest and the sights of Akaroa harbour as we visit them. It's a blast, and you can get right involved or simply sit back and be entertained.

  1. Start Point – Akaroa Cruising Club
  2. Childrens Bay
  3. Lushingtons Bay
  4. Robinsons Bay
  5. French Farm
  6. Ti Kao
  7. The Paua Farm
  8. Onuku – The Kaik
  9. Green Point

What to Wear on Board

Manutara is a large volume boat. Most of our guests are quite surprised at the amount of room on board. If the weather looks 'iffy' you are very welcome to go downstairs into the warm and windproof cabin. There's plenty of seating. However, should you wish to remain on deck for all the action, and bearing in mind the changeable weather, we suggest the following:

  1. A warm jacket or coat
  2. Flat shoes with a non-marking sole
  3. In rainy weather, a raincoat is a good idea
  4. A pair of gloves in cold weather

We have towels on board so if you catch some spray, you can dry off.