Cruises to Akaroa

New Zealand


There is so much to do and see in Akaroa, from colonial architecture, Middle Earth, and cottage rose gardens to amazing wildlife, local French cuisine, and fresh seafood - and a P&O Cruise is one of the best ways to travel there. Enjoy stunning views onboard, take a swim with dolphins, or take an invigorating bushwalk on arrival with a P&O shore tour - the choice is yours!

Akaroa Harbour Swim with Dolphins

This is the only place on earth where you can swim with the rare Hector’s dolphin. The Akaroa Harbour Swim with Dolphins Shore Tour lets you get up close to some of the smallest, rarest, and friendliest dolphins ever discovered. Enjoy beautiful coastal scenery or go snorkelling on this two hour cruise onboard a jet-powered boat. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

Journey to Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings High Country

The P&O Journey to Middle Earth: Lord of the Rings High Country Tour will show you how peaceful Mt Sunday was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people. Immerse yourself in the natural unspoiled beauty of the high country's sparkling lakes, blue rivers and fresh mountain air. As you marvel at the beautiful sights of Canterbury Plains, the high country of the Southern Alps, Rakaia River, Lake Clearwater, and the Akaroa bays, you’ll feel like you’ve truly travelled to Middle Earth.

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise

Akaroa sits inside the craters of an old volcano flooded by the sea - making this destination some of the most stunning coastal scenery you’ll ever see. Sit back on the Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise and enjoy a two hour cruise onboard a large, comfortable catamaran where you can spot the local wildlife, from dolphins and fur seals, to penguins and more.

Antarctic Experience & Botanic Gardens Shore Tour

Join the Antarctic Experience & Botanic Gardens Shore Tour for a fun, exciting and interactive experience of Antarctica. Have fun in real snow & ice, get ‘exchillarated’ in the Antarctic Storm, explore the Antarctic gallery, see Little Blue penguins, and take a cruise to Antarctica in the new 4D EXTREME Theatre in a genuine Antarctic vehicle – the Hagglund. This is an Antarctic adventure not to be missed. Then take is easy amongst the beautiful flowers and stunning plants of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

Arthur’s Pass Scenic Drive & Tranzalpine

Take the Arthur’s Pass Scenic Drive & Tranzalpine tour to see the best of Canterbury. Take a stunning scenic drive up to Arthur’s Pass to board the world famous Tranzalpine Train. Unrivalled scenery unfolds as you journey across viaducts and through tunnels in the heart of the Southern Alps. Snow-capped mountains, native rainforest, and river gorges adorn this remote region.

Calling at Akaroa

P&O cruises to New Zealand from either Sydney or Melbourne. The Kiwi Adventure cruise departing Sydney calls at Akaroa as well as other amazing destinations.

At A Glance


567 (2006 census)


English and Te Reo Maori


Parliamentary Democracy


New Zealand Dollar

Akaroa Shore Tours

Most Popular

Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port

Must See

Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.

What To See

Enjoy water-based pursuits

Akaroa is home to the world’s rarest dolphins, the Hector’s dolphin, which you are able to swim with. There are also fur seals, little blue penguins and a myriad of bird life. You can experience these incredible marine attractions on the Akaroa Harbour Swim with the Dolphins Shore Tour and the Akaroa Habour Nature Cruise.

Take a look around town

Those who enjoy walking will find charming lanes, colonial architecture, cottage rose gardens and stunning views. Boutique art and craft shops show off superb local works including crafts and jewellery. Make sure you sample the local French cuisine and seafood.

Go for a bush walk

There are some beautiful hiking tracks surrounding the village, suitable for all fitness levels. Hiking maps are available at the Akaroa Visitor Centre in the middle of town.

More About Akaroa


Your ship will anchor offshore and tender boats will transfer you ashore to Main Wharf.

Getting around

A limited number of taxis are available at the pier. Taxi drivers will only accept local currency.


When in New Zealand you must try local seafood, lamb, kiwifruit and famous hokey pokey ice cream. There are also numerous local award winning wines and beers. Akaroa is most famous for its French pastries and delicacies. Don’t leave without sampling some of them!

Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products and sandwiches to be taken off the ship however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.


Akaroa’s best shopping is located along the main street, just a two minute walk from the end of the pier. Popular buys include wool and sheepskin items, Maori and greenstone artifacts and paua shell jewellery.


Akaroa’s average summer temperature ranges from 16-22 degrees. Its average winter temperature ranges from 2-13 degrees.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.


Some public telephones and internet access are available throughout the town. Mobile coverage is generally available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home.

What to Wear Ashore

To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, bottled water and a warm, waterproof jacket in case it gets windy or starts to rain.

Shore Tours

There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Akaroa. Tours can be booked onboard at the shore tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.


Please dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.

Next Cruises To Akaroa

Average Temperature & Rainfall