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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre provided by Leisure Tours

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
3
Book in advance
from $148.72 per adult
Free Cancellation up to 7 days in advance
Travel safe during COVID-19
Last updated: 25 Sep 2020
A note from Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Follow the safety guidelines as issued by the New Zealand Government and maintain good hygiene and social distancing measures. Do not travel if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms. If the city in which you are departing from is in alert level two, then please wear a facemask for all transport.
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 6h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
Available languages
English
Know before you go
  • Duration: 6h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
  • If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
What to expect
Your shore excursion begins with pickup at the Akaroa cruise port. Enjoy a scenic drive along the coastal bays and coves of the Banks Peninsula to the nearby city of Christchurch, where your sightseeing takes place. Get an overview of central Christchurch and its significant landmarks during a tour that includes the Museum and Art Centre, Avon River and the Bridge of Remembrance, and the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Next, indulge the senses with the sounds, sights — and temperatures — of Antarctica at the notable International Antarctic Centre. Your admission ticket includes entry into the Snow and Ice Experience, which re-creates real-life conditions with an indoor storm complete with blizzard audio, lightning and arctic winds. At the Penguin Encounter, you’ll meet a couple dozen blue penguins — the smallest penguins in the world. Then, strap yourself in for an extreme all-terrain adventure with an amphibious Hagglund ride through water, across an ice pack and over a crevasse. The experience emulates the conditions that scientists face while riding across Antarctica. Afterward, relax during the return journey to Akaroa with drop-off at your cruise terminal. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Akaroa port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 2950PRTCHCCLT66CS
Call +1 855 275 5071
Important information
Inclusions
Port pickup and drop-off • Hagglund ride • Local guide • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship • Entry/Admission - International Antarctic Centre
Exclusions
Food and drinks
Duration
6h
Departure details
Akaroa Dolphins, 65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.
Inclusions
Port pickup and drop-off • Hagglund ride • Local guide • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship • Entry/Admission - International Antarctic Centre
Exclusions
Food and drinks
Departure details
Akaroa Dolphins, 65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.
Duration
6h
Return details
Returns to original departure point
Additional information
Confirmation will be received at time of booking
At time of booking, Cruise ship passengers must provide the following information: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
Wheelchair accessible
Stroller accessible
Infants must sit on laps
Transportation is wheelchair accessible
Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
Please note that activity times and schedules can be slightly amended depending on your cruise ships timetable.
Most travellers can participate
This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 travellers
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Akaroa Dolphins
    65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
    From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.
    See address & details
  • Pass by
    Akaroa Village Inn
  • 1
    Christchurch Botanic Gardens
    Stop: 30 minutes
    See details
    Pass by
    Cathedral Square
  • 2
    International Antarctic Centre
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
    See details
    Pass by
    Banks Peninsula
  • You'll end at
    Akaroa Dolphins
    65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
    From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.
    See address & details
+

3.0
7 reviews
Excellent
1
Very good
2
Average
2
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Jodi R
Townsville, Australia3 contributions
Sites were good, very rushed though
Jan 2020
The drive from the boat looking at Banks Peninsula was lovely - occasional education/information was provided regarding what was being seen.
The cruise ship tenders were a little late getting into Akoroa and unfortunately time was never caught up - tour was rushed and short. There was very limited if not no time for food,
Only 10mins was provided to us to look around the museum - very rushed and barely enough time to go to the toilet.
Christchurch City Tour was literally just driving through the city on the way to the International Antarctic centre.
The International Antarctic Centre was not what I expected it to be. If sufficient time allowed maybe I would have enjoyed it. No identification was provided to the six participants (4 of these people I did not know) of the paid tour so I had to explain this at the centre several times that we had indeed paid and were part of a private tour. The Haggland ride was a surprise to me because I did not know it was included in our tour and was great! The 4d video was excellent and the snow storm was good. Did not get to see penguins due to have less than an hour at the centre.
The tourist shop at the centre was really good and reasonably priced.
Written 28 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Canterburyleisure
Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately the time in Christchurch is dictated by the time the cruise ship has in port. Akaroa is a tender port and when you are on a cruise ship they are often very slow at allowing passengers not booked on their own tours off the ship and have an early departure time. This unfortunately dictates the amount of time we can give you in Christchurch before heading to the International Antarctic Centre. The scheduled tour time is 10.30 to 4.30 pm, I see on the day of travel you were late departing due to the delay coming ashore, however, we did manage to extend the day slightly arriving back in Akaroa after the scheduled excursion time but in plenty of time prior to the last tender for your cruise ship. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the sites and the International Antarctic Centre.
Written 28 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michaele D
7 contributions
International Antarctic Centre was well worth seeing.
Jan 2019 • Friends
I have very mixed feelings about the tour. The tour guide was difficult to understand and the audio system didn't work so it was very frustrating for many of the passengers. The guide didn't explain the itinerary very well and timeframes for stops. Company did replace the bus while we were at the Botanical Gardens so we could hear much better. Gardens were beautiful, but it was a short stop. Dropped off at International Antarctic Centre and no one knew what to do so we started touring not realizing we had a private tour. The Centre's guide was wonderful and really wanted to make sure we had an informative experience. Really enjoyed the Centre, but didn't have enough time. The tour was very rushed, but we had limited time to get back to the cruise ship.
Written 18 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review and I am sorry to learn that you had mixed feelings about the tour. It was unfortunate that on the initial part of the tour you had a problem with the audio system in the coach. As soon as the coach arrived in Christchurch a replacement coach was provided to rectify this problem. I am pleased to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed the International Antarctic Centre and the guide there was both professional and helpful. Unfortunately on your day of travel your cruise ship posted an earlier than normal final tender time and in the circumstances the tour had to be back in Akaroa in time to ensure you did not miss the last tender of the day, although the tour was still the full six hours in duration. On a normal cruise ship day this tour is not so rushed and we can extend the 6 hour tour time which is 10.30 - 4.30 by leaving Akaroa earlier and returning a little later, however, everything is dependent on the tenders and the last tender time of the day. When booking your cruise you should compare the times the various cruise ships are docked in the New Zealand ports, some stay a lot longer in the ports than others, whilst others give you the minimum time in the ports and prefer to have you on board longer spending more money. I do hope you have the opportunity to visit New Zealand again at some future date and have more time to enjoy that all is on offer.
Written 20 February 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RSchug
Clovis, CA27 contributions
Disappointed... Nice tour guide/driver, but not enough time and cheesy experience at Antarctic Centre
Dec 2018 • Couples
Rarely do I submit negative reviews, but since I depend on the reviews that are positive and negative I feel compelled to share this feedback too.
1) This is a large bus tour- which I typically stray away from if it is clear. We came off Majestic Princess Cruise ship via tenders and there were large buses that waited until it was loaded...poor use of time compared to a small van.
2) Christchurch and botanical gardens were interesting and if I had a chance to do another tour I would do just that, instead of squeezing in the Antarctic Centre. I would gladly spend more time in the botanical gardens, see the museum or just walk around Christchurch.
3) Antarctic Centre- to be fair, I come from California, yet Disneyland is not my thought for vacation. The ride on the Haggland was interesting and fun, but the centre itself was a disappointment. Overcrowded, rushed and even the penguins rehabilitating was met with a sad story that they let the penguins have eggs but they take them away since they cannot find their real home...instead they let the parents think the eggs never hatched and they have no kids...yes, I could have seen them without this added negative information...I would like to think they are doing research on the eggs or something, but not shared if so.
In summary, the bus driver/tour guide was good- nice narration to a long destination- Christchurch and good driving ability, but didn't make up for the crammed day and cheesy visit at Antarctic Centre....
Written 31 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
It is always disappointing to receive a negative review, especially on an extremely popular shore excursion which receives very positive reviews. With regard to the matters you have raised I can advise as follows; 1. Akaroa is a tender port and we operate a scheduled departure time of 10.30, returning at 4.30 - 6 hours in total which is more than enough time for the excursion which encompasses Banks Peninsula and Christchurch, together with the International Antarctic Centre. Due to the tendering process passengers arrive on shore at various times prior to 10.30. As you are aware we do the meet and greet, provide tickets for the relevant tour and advise the loading time. In most cases we get everyone loaded and away early. As all of our customers are pre-booked there is not waiting and it is normally the small minibuses who's operators are selling on the wharf who are sitting for ages waiting. 2. Christchurch is interesting and well worth seeing. We do operate a Christchurch tour without any attraction or activity for those passengers who wish to see more and spend more time in the city. It is always disappointing to receive a negative review when someone has simply, in hindsight, selected the wrong shore excursion option. 3. With regard to the International Antarctic Centre, yes it is not Disneyland and is in no way trying to be Disneyland. It is designed as an educational centre so visitors can better understand and appreciate the Antarctic. With regard to the little Blue Penguins you have misunderstood the purpose of the fake eggs. All of the penguins at the centre have been brought there as injured rescue penguins from the wild, to be cared for, nursed and rehibilated and then hopefully returned to the wild fully fit. The fake eggs are part of the rehibilation for some of the female penguins, that are of a certain age and who have been brought to the centre injured.
Written 1 January 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gregory S
Tucson, Arizona, United States113 contributions
Very Rushed ... and a tour guide who wouldn't shut up!
Feb 2018 • Friends
This tour is a shore excursion from a cruise ship. It starts at the dock with a 1-1/2 hour + drive to Christchurch. We had a very rushed 15 minute stop then back on the bus for a half hour drive around Christchurch. The tour guide, Scotty, points out things as we go. The problem is, he can see them out the front, but none of us can see it. Then it another half hour to the Antarctic Centre. This looked like it would have been interesting, but we had, virtually no time (45 minutes) there either. Then back on the bus.
The problem was made worse by our tour guide. While there are many interesting things to see, he also had to discuss his politics, his house, every aspect of his and his girlfriend's relationship. He was extremely pompous. When one elderly passenger asked a question, his response was "I already covered that. I don't have time to repeat myself, so you should stop talking and listen".
In my 17 cruises worth of shore excursions. This was the worst.
Written 6 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
We appreciate the feedback when it is accurate which this particular review is not, you only need to look at the review below for the same tour that this gentleman was on. The tour itself is very organised in respect of schedules and timings, all of the prebooked cruise passengers are meet and greeted as they come off the tenders in Akaroa and given a boarding pass with a scheduled departure time. The journey into Christchurch is 90 minutes with a 30 minute stop at the botanical gardens and museum, there is then a 45 minute tour of central Christchurch and the earthquake damage of 2011 which is still evident prior to arriving at the International Antarctic Centre where the passengers have around 2 hours, depending on the last tender time in Akaroa (never less than one hour and three quarters). We have received other feedback directly from other customers on this day and have asked that they post this feedback on trip advisor, the other feedback was very positive like below, however, the underlying message was that there was a very loud gentleman on the tour that was continuing talking over the driver and whom the driver eventually asked if he would mind being a little quieter so the other passengers could enjoy the commentary and to which request he took offence. From the other reviews posted or to be posted you can decide for yourselves.
Written 19 March 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anne T
Sheffield, Australia16 contributions
Sightseeing was Great
Feb 2018 • Couples
Our ship's schedule wasn't great for doing this tour but our driver made sure we were back in time for the last tender. It made it all a bit rushed but this was in no way the fault of the tour company, the driver handled it all wonderfully. Loved the sightseeing component of this tour, our guide was very knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour. Was a bit disappointed in the Antartic Centre, it was quite basic. In hindsight, I would opt for just a sightseeing tour.
Written 4 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to supply your feedback and impressions of the tour which is important to us to ensure we continue to meet our customers expectations and where possible exceed them. I am pleased to hear our driver, Scotty, represented the company well and that you enjoyed his commentary, Knowledge and good sense of homour. I hope you have the opportunity to visit New Zealand again at some future date.
Written 18 March 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amanda M
Brisbane, Australia62 contributions
Well planned tour which covered main highlights
Dec 2017 • Couples
We were on a cruise when we stopped at Akaroa so our excursions were limited by the ship timings. This tour worked in perfectly and had a guarantee to get us back to the shore on time, which they did. Easy to book and meet up with tour. Bus driver was informative as we drove around Christchurch.
The tour was a good pace allowing sufficient time at most attractions without feeling rushed. Main tour highlights were visit to botanic gardens and the Antarctic Centre. Excellent tour of Christchurch city as well.
Written 26 February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to submit your review of the tour. This feedback is important to us as it helps us ensure we are meeting our customers expectations and where possible exceeding them. I am pleased you had an enjoyable day and that you felt that the tour was well planned, informative and unrushed. I hope you have the opportunity to visit this very special part of New Zealand again at some future day.
Written 27 February 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre will start at 10:30 AM. Discover and book Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre on Tripadvisor


Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre price starts from $150.90. Discover and book Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre on Tripadvisor

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre cancellation policy: If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee. If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee. Discover and book Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre on Tripadvisor