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The best place to be in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, a sheltered bay strung with more than 140 subtropical islands, is out on the water. From dolphin and whale-watching expeditions to sightseeing boat tours that follow scenic routes through the bay, here are just a few of your cruising options in the Bay of Islands. 

Half-Day Cruises
A half-day cruise in the Bay of Islands might take a form of a catamaran sail through the famous Hole in the Rock, a natural archway carved into the cliffs of Motukokako Island, followed by a stop at Urupukapuka Island, the largest in the archipelago, where you can go birdwatching, swimming, or trekking. Some half-day cruises incorporate Maori cultural experiences where you can learn about Maori crafts and culture. Passengers also have the the chance to spot the marine wildlife species that live in the bay, from penguins and seals to dolphins and whales. 

Full-Day Cruises
During full-day cruises around the Bay of Islands, you can expect to cover more ground, see more wildlife, reach more secluded parts of the bay, and have additional time for extra activities. Many full-day cruises include stopovers at two remote islands or sheltered coves, where passengers can kayak, swim, sunbathe, paddleboard, hike, or snorkel. Most full-day cruises incorporate a meal either on board or at one of the islands. 
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Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

star-5
212
Sail the Bay of Islands on a working tall ship aboard the famed ‘R. Tucker Thompson,’ built in the tradition of a 100-year-old Northland schooner. Ply the waters of the pristine bay, where you can help hoist the sails, climb the rigging or simply relax on board, then swim while anchored in a sheltered bay in the maritime park. Enjoy morning tea and a barbecue lunch, with an optional complimentary ferry ride from Paihia to Russell, where your vessel departs.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$103.98
From
$103.98

Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike, Swim, Paddleboard, Wildlife

Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike, Swim, Paddleboard, Wildlife

star-5
164
Let seafaring experts show you the best of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands by land and by water on this adventure cruise. With 144 different isles, it can be hard to know where to start, but your captain and crew know all the best spots to swim, snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, and spot marine life. Hop off at two hand-picked islands for a hike to panoramic lookout points and beachside tea with biscuits.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$73.78
From
$73.78

Afternoon Cruise & Island Tour - Scenic Cruise, Hike, Snorkel, Wildlife,

Afternoon Cruise & Island Tour - Scenic Cruise, Hike, Snorkel, Wildlife,

star-5
55
There’s no better way to discover the 144 sub-tropical islands that stud the Bay of Islands than on a cruise. With a top limit of just 20 passengers, this intimate boat trip delivers two island stopovers, one at Roberton Island or Twin Lagoons, plus the chance to hike, swim, snorkel, or even try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. Look out for dolphins along the way.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.70
From
$59.70

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sundowner Sailing

Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sundowner Sailing

star-5
55
This 2-hour experience aboard a tall ship in the Bay of Islands offers a gentle sail in the afternoon. Step aboard the elegant 'R. Tucker Thompson' and enjoy an antipasto platter accompanied by drinks available for purchase at the bar. Round-trip ferry transfer to Russell is included.
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  • 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$44.14
From
$44.14

Parasailing Adventure Over the Bay of Islands

Parasailing Adventure Over the Bay of Islands

star-5
71
There are few more unique ways to see the Bay of Islands than catching the wind and parasailing high above the water. See the Bay’s towns, forests and islands – all the way out to Cape Brett’s famous Hole in the Rock – from the sky on this aerial adventure. Take to the skies with your friends or family on tandem or triple flights. Your children can even go parasailing – this adventure is suitable for all.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.66
From
$68.66

Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour

Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour

star-5
53
Discover the Bay of Islands by helicopter, with an optional landing at the Hole in the Rock. See Cape Brett from above during an aerial tour from Paihia, narrated by a professional pilot. Fly over Russell and Waitangi en route to the Hole in the Rock. Upgrade to land atop the iconic natural landmark, with an optional walk led by a Maori guide.
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  • 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$174.38
From
$174.38

*Popular Cruise Ship Tour* Bay of Islands and Glow Worm Caves Small-Group Tour

*Popular Cruise Ship Tour* Bay of Islands and Glow Worm Caves Small-Group Tour

star-4.5
80
When your ship docks in Waitangi Wharf, explore the beautiful Bay of Islands and see the best of New Zealand’s spectacular North Island. Travel through the Bay of Islands with your guide and take in top attractions including Kawakawa and the Kawiti glowworm caves. Explore the Puketi Forest’s rich ecological diversity, sample New Zealand sweet treats at the Makana Chocolate Factory, and gaze out over the Haruru Falls and the Waitangi River.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$137.33
From
$137.33

Bay Combo Tour - 60 mins (min 2)

Bay Combo Tour - 60 mins (min 2)

star-5
102
Explore the Bay of Islands from the seat of a 350 Chev Trike for a fun-filled and memorable experience. You can choose from three different routes that include some of the area’s must-see sights, or combine them all for a longer trip. Your driver keeps you safe and gives you local insights into the Paihia area. This tour is wheelchair accessible, so anyone can join.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$183.10
per group
From
$183.10
per group

Full-Day Bay of Islands Tour by Vigilant Yacht Charters

Full-Day Bay of Islands Tour by Vigilant Yacht Charters

star-5
157
Spend a day cruising through the Bay of Islands aboard a deluxe sailboat that sets sail from Russell. Your captain stops at a picturesque island where you have lunch, and time to snorkel, kayak, swim, and walk to a lookout point. Cruise over to The Black Rocks for photo ops of the volcanic formation, keep an eye out for marine life, and hear commentary from your captain about the region.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$91.55
From
$91.55

Phantom Sailing Bay of Islands

Phantom Sailing Bay of Islands

star-5
100
Cruising is the best way to see the sub-tropical Bay of Islands. Do this in style aboard the Phantom, a live-aboard private yacht. Your hosts are an enthusiastic sailing family who have traveled the world in their yacht. Sit back and relax on board the Phantom while enjoying views of the islands and bay, with possible dolphin sightings and the chance to snorkel.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$98.09
From
$98.09

Island and Wildlife Day Cruise

Island and Wildlife Day Cruise

star-5
19
Experience with us and help protect our wild dolphins! Surrounded by deep blue waters, vivid green islands and diverse wildlife, sailing on Carino NZ our 50ft catamaran is the best way to experience the stunning bay of islands. We are a small, local family owned and operated wildlife cruise. Join us on our marine wildlife conservation vessel. On board help to set sails or sit back and relax.Time to take a deep breath and unwind. Watch for wild dolphins in their ocean habitat. We are only yacht licensed to view wild dolphins in the Bay. Viewing wild dolphins in their natural habitat is an amazing and wonderful experience. A portion of every fare contributes directly to marine mammal conservation – Protect the future While we are sailing, watch for our local little blue penguins and our crazy diving gannets. An island stop is included, where you get to explore a historic scenic island walks, snorkeling at the beach. Bbq lunch aboard Carino NZ, a cash bar available.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$96.78
From
$96.78

Sundowner Evening Cruise - 2 hour evening sailing cruise with swim stop

Sundowner Evening Cruise - 2 hour evening sailing cruise with swim stop

star-5
18
Sundowner Evening Cruise, a summertime special! Departing Paihia beachfront at 5pm. The boat pulls right up to the beach where you can step aboard from the shore line. Enjoy a relaxed sail aboard a smooth sailing catamaran in a peaceful setting, while the sun is going down. For those who want to enjoy the beauty of an evening cruise taking in the sights of the idyllic Bay of Islands, the Sundowner Cruise is a perfect start to a good night out with friends and family, a romantic getaway, or just the perfect escape from the daily grind! • Experience sailing at it's best, make the most of the beautiful sea breeze. Watch the wind fill the sails, kick back and enjoy the tranquility. • Enjoy the beauty of a sheltered anchorage for a swim stop, sip on a complimentary drink and take in the scenery. • See the landmarks of historical importance in the Bay of Islands from a different perspective, while under sail.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.31
From
$52.31

Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Russell and Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Russell and Waitangi Treaty Grounds

star-3.5
3
Experience the very best of the Bay of Islands on this shore excursion, including tours and exploration of Paihia, Russell, Kerikeri, Haruru Falls and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. While your cruise ship is berthed in the Bay of Islands, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Paihia, the beautiful Haruru Falls, and Kerikeri with its historic Mission House and Stone Store. Following your sightseeing tour, your coach will board a vehicle ferry to Russell where you can explore New Zealand's oldest town on foot. You will then return to Paihia via passenger ferry and be transferred to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds with time for lunch (own expense) and a fully guided tour of the grounds and Maori Cultural Performance. Finally you will be transferred back to your cruise ship tenders where your tour will conclude.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$103.96
From
$103.96

Private Charter - Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour

Private Charter - Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour

star-5
2
Spend the day cruising the clear blue waters of the Bay of Islands, hopping from beach to beach – or spend it snorkelling around local reefs and shipwrecks – or spend it hiking through the pristine native bush on a handful of the Bay’s 140-plus islands. On this private charter in the Bay of Islands, do what you to do. Instead of sticking to a tour operator’s preset schedule, tailor your half- or full-day itinerary in the Bay to your own tastes.
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  • 3 hours
From
$804.84
per group
From
$804.84
per group

The Rock Adventure Overnight Cruise

The Rock Adventure Overnight Cruise

star-5
91
The Rock overnight cruise in the Bay of Islands is the only overnight cruise in the area to offer such a wide range of activities, including kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, island walks, and more. Enjoy adventure activities as well as time to relax in peaceful nature. As this is an all-inclusive tour you don’t need to worry about any logistics. Just show up ready for fun.
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  • 22 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$249.84
Price varies by group size
From
$249.84
Price varies by group size

Cruise Ship Excursion Option - 5 Hour Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Day Tour

Cruise Ship Excursion Option - 5 Hour Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Day Tour

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13
When your cruise ship arrives in the Bay of Islands, escape the crowds with a small-group half-day tour to two gorgeous islands. Go snorkeling at pristine island reefs, try stand-up paddle boarding, take a short hike to viewpoints, and look for New Zealand wildlife. You’ll ride on a small motorboat that can access places that large ships cannot go, and hear live commentary from your guide about the region.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$73.78
From
$73.78

Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands "Winterless North Cruise & Island Stopover"

star-5
11
Winterless North // Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Stopover Departing twice daily, escape the crowds and discover the Bay of Islands Locally owned and operated, with a passion for sharing our beautiful area. Suitable for all ages, families, solo travellers and couples...experience it all! • Two remote island stopovers (Roberton Island & Otehei Bay) • Native bush walks and 360 degree views from the island lookout points • Interactive commentary and information • Lookout for unique wildlife throughout the day • Scenic cruising among 144 subtropical islands. There's no better way to experience the Bay of Islands
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.70
From
$59.70

Full-Day Adventure Cruise with Lunch in Bay of Islands

Full-Day Adventure Cruise with Lunch in Bay of Islands

star-4.5
8
Spend the day exploring the Bay of Islands on a full-day cruise from Paihia. Participate in activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, gathering fresh sea food, exploring WWII remains, and trekking across islands to visit ancient Maori fortifications. Refuel with a buffet lunch midday and spend some time relaxing on a secluded beach.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$136.07
From
$136.07

Private Shore Excursion: Full-Day Bay of Islands Tour

Private Shore Excursion: Full-Day Bay of Islands Tour

star-5
5
This full-day Bay of Islands tour has been especially designed for cruise ship passengers, so you can get the most out of your short time in the area. You can choose to see natural spots like waterfalls and glowworm caves, or sites of historical importance, like the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. The choice is yours, as this is a private tour just for you and your party.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$255.03
Price varies by group size
From
$255.03
Price varies by group size

Private Charter Bay of Islands

Private Charter Bay of Islands

star-5
4
Raise your sails, breathe in the sea air, and experience the ultimate private yacht charter onboard Vigilant through the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Catered to what you desire, the trip can be 2 to 6 hours. The price includes a fresh lunch, complimentary bottle of wine, kayaks, snorkeling gear, a beautiful sail and an island stop over.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
From
$1,046.29
per group
From
$1,046.29
per group

Bay of Islands Highlights Tour - With Glow Worm Caves

Bay of Islands Highlights Tour - With Glow Worm Caves

star-5
2
Travelers short on time in the Bay of Islands can get a comprehensive overview of many highlights in just one day. With a local guide and live commentary on board your bus, you’ll visit Haruru Falls, the Makana Chocolate Boutique, the Kawhiti Caves, scenic lookouts, and more. There’s even time to take a calming stroll in the forest, admiring the local trees on the easy Manginangina Kauri Walk.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$137.33
From
$137.33

Pahia Shore Excursion: Private Half-Day Bay of Islands Tour

Pahia Shore Excursion: Private Half-Day Bay of Islands Tour

star-4
2
Enjoy a private half-day sightseeing tour of the Bay of Islands region led by a knowledgeable guide. Personalize the itinerary with options including historical sites like the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, The Stone Store and Kemp House in Kerikeri, and Russell — where Europeans first settled in New Zealand. See St Paul's Anglican Church in Paihia, learn about Maori culture at Rewa‘s Village, and admire natural attractions including marine wildlife, Haruru Falls and Rainbow Falls. Or check out wineries and gourmet shops with handmade treats, fine wine and fresh seafood.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$160.97
Price varies by group size
From
$160.97
Price varies by group size

4 hours Lagoon Bay Cruise - sailing to a spectacular island destination

4 hours Lagoon Bay Cruise - sailing to a spectacular island destination

star-5
2
Join the Lagoon Bay Cruise for a fantastic half day sail and island experience in the Bay of Islands. Enjoy a spectacular 4 hour cruise to the iconic “Twin Lagoon Bay”. Take to the sea under sail, and in no time we will be anchored on the shores of Motuarohia Island. There really is no other place quite like it. Enjoy a casual beach picnic, explore the lagoons and take a walk to the most picturesque view point in the whole of the Bay of Islands, and return for a refreshing swim at the beach. The Lagoon Bay Cruise is fantastic way to bring the family & friends together and enjoy some time creating memories. This trip is one for the Bucketlist, even if you've been to the Bay of Islands before!
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$88.28
From
$88.28

Bay of Islands Half-Day Private Tour

Bay of Islands Half-Day Private Tour

star-4
1
The Bay of Islands encompasses 140 small, mostly undeveloped islands surrounding North Island. Explore a few highlights on this half-day tour with a local guide. Visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the site of the first treaty between British settlers and the indigenous Maori people. You’ll also visit Haruru Falls, Kemp House, Rainbow Falls, Rewa‘s Village, the Stone Store, St. James’ Anglican Church, and more.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$193.56
Price varies by group size
From
$193.56
Price varies by group size

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