Frequently asked questions

  • For safety reasons a basic understanding of English is mandatory for all passengers on our cruises.

    No previous sailing experience is required
  • 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 (6 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?
  • Please make sure to arrive at the meeting place, at the far end of the blue buildings on the Akaroa main wharf, at least 15 minutes prior to departure time. If you cannot find us please phone 027 4190592.

    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 (not sandals/jandals or high heels).

    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 sailing vessel Harbour Sail 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?
  • We do not take children under the age of 15 on scheduled trips.

    We will take children 5 years of age or over 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.