Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruises

This magical 2-hour scenic cruise explores beautiful, sheltered Akaroa Harbour. You'll be cruising on the Black Cat inside an extinct volcanic crater offering spectacular scenery, featuring towering volcanic cliffs and rock formations.  One of the main highlights of this cruise is your chance to see the unique endangered Hector's Dolphins at play, and the rare Little Blue Penguin as well as other marine birdlife.  Your skipper knows the region like the back of his hand, and will entertain you with fascinating historical facts about Banks Peninsula, as well as pointing out the "must see" highlights of the trip.  Black Cat offers one of Akaroa and Christchurch's best attractions, and our boat the Black Cat is the largest cruise boat on Akaroa Harbour, giving you unforgettable views of the wildlife and Pacific Ocean.


Akaroa is a quaint French inspired seaside village just a 90 minute scenic drive from Christchurch.  It's a very popular destination with locals from Christchurch and visitors to New Zealand, offering an easy Christchurch based sightseeing trip or romantic getaway for weekends or longer stays.  Akaroa has many wonderful boutique bed & breakfast accommodation options as well as hotels, motels and backpacker hostels to suit all budgets.  There are also many fabulous cafes, restaurants and shops to browse, a great little movie theatre and plenty of on the water activities to enjoy.

Getting to the village is easy, with a number of companies offering transport from Christchurch to Akaroa.


About Black Cat Cruises

Black Cat Cruises started from very humble beginnings in 1985 with the launch of the Akaroa Harbour Cruise.  Dolphin Swimming was introduced in 1990 and the company further expanded in 1999 with the introduction of ferry services to Diamond Harbour and Quail & Ripapa Islands.   We also offer Charter cruises and private dinner cruises which makes us a great option as a Christchurch function venue.  The company has grown to become the largest tourism operator in the Banks Peninsula region and we have been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous tourism and eco-tourism awards, including the Supreme Award at the New Zealand Tourism Awards.

Akaroa Cruises

Black Cat cruises with Orca Whales in the bay.

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Akaroa's Dolphins

Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula region (including Lyttelton Harbour) is home to one of the world's rarest and smallest dolphins, the Hector's Dolphin, also called New Zealand's dolphin because it is the only place in the world where you can find this particular species. This gorgeous, friendly little dolphin was named in honour of Sir James Hector (1834-1907) who examined the first specimen. The total population of Hector's Dolphins is estimated to be somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000. Akaroa is the only place in the world where you can get up close and personal with these dolphins by swimming with them - an amazing and often life changing experience.

Akaroa Dolphins