Frequently asked questions

  • How do I book a cruise?
  • Places on our scheduled tours can be booked online using the BOOK buttons on this website.

    Private charters for small groups (8 max) can be booked by phoning us on 0800 226 273 or by emailing

    Packages, including accommodation at our Akaroa Coastal Retreat and boat tours at discounted rates, can be booked on our retreat's website
     or by phoning us.
  • Where do we meet?
  • Almost all our trips depart from the Akaroa Main Wharf. This is easily found, with its blue buildings, on Beach Road. Walk along the wharf to the far end of the blue buildings and we will look for you outside the entrance to the Blue Pearl Gallery, just before departure time. If you cannot find us please phone 027 4848830.

    If Southern Wanderer is not alongside when you arrive we will be there soon. If another pickup location is used we will contact you.
  •  What do we need to bring?
  • We recommend that all our guests bring suitable clothing and sun protection to cover all weather conditions, including sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, warm clothes, waterproof jacket, comfortable footware.

    Please ensure that personal medicines, inhalers, EpiPens etc. are brought with you. There is room in our cabin to keep personal items dry so it is fine to bring cameras and phones etc.

    We provide lifejackets.
  •  Is there a toilet onboard the boat?
  • Yes, our vessel Southern Wanderer has a marine toilet onboard, however we recommend that guests use the public toilets before boarding. These toilets are situated close to the Akaroa Main Wharf... at the south end of Brittomart Reserve, just before crossing the small bridge when walking towards the Lighthouse from the wharf.
  • Are reservations essential?
  • We advise you to book at least the day before if possible. We require a minimum of 4 passengers booked for a trip to proceed. When a scheduled tour has been confirmed by sufficient prior bookings there may be space for walk-on passengers. We do not wait at the wharf unless we have sufficient prior bookings to confirm the trip.
  • Can my children go?
  • Yes, reduced charges are for children between 3 and 14 years of age. We will not usually take children under 3 years of age on our scheduled tours. We may take children under 3 years of age on private charters.

    All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • What is our cancellation policy?
  • If any trip you have booked directly with us is cancelled by us for any reason we will refund your payment in full.

    If you cancel a booking for a cruise more than 48 hours before the planned departure time we will refund your payment in full. Payments for bookings for cruises that are cancelled within 48 hours of the planned departure time, including no-shows, will not be refunded.