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Akaroa Harbour is home to Hectors dolphins, yellow-eyed and blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals, albatross and other sea birds. We love seeing wildlife up close, so we looked for an excursion that would give us that opportunity. There were two excursions to pick from; we selected the Wildlife Cruise by Sailing Ketch.
After a short tender boat ride to shore, we boarded Fox II, the oldest gaffed rigged ketch in the area. It was built in Auckland, New Zealand in 1922. She was originally a sailing cargo vessel, then a fishing boat, and since being overhauled it 1995, it has been used for excursions.
We were surrounded by giant volcanic sea cliffs, caves and rock formations along our journey. The tour began with a close look at one of the caves. After sailing around the harbour viewing various sea birds, the ketch set a course in search of Hectors dolphins, the smallest and rarest marine dolphins in the world. They have distinct black facial markings, short stocky bodies and a dorsal fin shaped like a Mickey Mouse ear. The crew guarantees that guests will see dolphins. Their secret is a silent running vessel, along with the classical music serenade they put on for the dolphins.
Additional photos can be found on our Australia & New Zealand Shutterfly page
Sailing Ketch Cruise
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