What’s the best way to see New Zealand’s biggest city? There are many options, but it’s hard to see past an Auckland harbour cruise… after all, it’s known as the “City of Sails”! Auckland’s harbour is both historic and beautiful, and harbour cruises are a fun way to see the sights from a different angle, get out on the water and enjoy the sea breeze.
The best part? Harbour cruises only take a couple of hours out of your schedule, meaning you can slot them into a morning or afternoon and bring the kids along without worrying about them getting bored! They’re great value too, starting at just $50.
Whether you’re an experienced sailor looking to get your hands on a hitch, or a land-lover who just wants a different experience of the city, there’s a cruise option suited to you… you can take to the waters on a sailing boat or a ferry. Here’s what you can expect from both options:
Set sail on a 50-foot yacht designed by famous Kiwi designer Alan Wright. These yachts are purpose built to be incredibly stable, upright and comfortable under sail, even with strong winds. Auckland’s harbour is also protected from the ocean swells, meaning the experience is generally less bumpy than the average airplane flight and seasickness will not be a concern! These are magnificent vessels designed to give experienced sailors and complete novices the same amount of enjoyment.
On board, you’ll be under the guidance of the experienced and professional crew, who provide informative commentary on the sights of the harbour, America’s Cup history and landmarks and superyachts you will see. Windproof and waterproof jackets are also provided for all passengers. Your ticket also includes entrance to the New Zealand Maritime Museum, where you can see heritage sailing boats and learn about New Zealand’s proud maritime history.
What to Wear: On sunny days bring sunscreen, hat & sunglasses – Auckland can get hot, and the sun’s rays and glare from the water can be very bright.
Sightseeing Ferry Cruises
Prefer to take in the view under motor power? This is the harbour cruise for you. The ferry departs each morning and afternoon for a 90-minute tour, making this tour super convenient and easily fitted into your existing schedule.
On board, you’ll be treated to a full bar and café and be guided by an experienced tour guide who will provide a full commentary detailing the history of the many landmarks you’ll see… including the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Chelsea Sugar Works, the waterfront at the Viaduct, the naval base at Devonport, Bean Rock lighthouse, and Rangitoto Island. Afternoon tea is also provided for passengers taking the afternoon cruise.
What to Wear: Covered shoes should be worn – no flip flops. Even on warmer days, it’s advised to bring a warm jacket so you can keep warm even if the temperature drops. Sunglasses are also recommended.