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Q-What if the weather is bad? Will my cruise be cancelled?
A-We very rarely need to cancel a cruise due to bad weather. Because our 'bad weather' conditions are often created by a combination of the wind and the tide direction, we sometimes offer passengers to come a little earlier or slightly later than the original booked time, to allow the tide to change in our favour. This means a smoother trip.
We have a cosy heated cabin with large windows, so the cold, rain or chilly wind is never a problem. We heat the cabin to between 18-25 degrees, depending on passenger needs and wants.
The skipper will never take the vessel out if they are in doubt as to the safety of the passengers or vessel due to the weather conditions.
If we need to change a trip due to rough weather, we will contact passengers as soon as possible to arrange a transfer of time. If this is not possible we will refund your trip.
Q-How many passengers can the boat take? How many will be on my tour?
A-We are surveyed for 20 passengers and will can fill to capacity for short ferry trips across the harbour.
However we usually limit numbers to around 12 passengers, for comfort and space, on longer cruises such as the Wildlife Cruise. If the group requests it and are travelling together, we are happy to extend those numbers a little to accommodate.
Q-Are there toilet facilities onboard?
A-Yes, we have a modern and heated toilet/bathroom onboard.
Q-Is there food onboard?
A- We sell snacks and water bottles onboard. On some cruises we offer sweet treats such as biscuits. Cruise ship passengers may have food included in their tour options.
Q-What if my Cruise ship arrives on a different day than scheduled?
A-We will do our best to reschedule your cruise to the day your ship is in. If this is not possible we will give you a refund of the tour price. (This may not include any extra fees such as credit card charges, if applicable.)
Q-What if my Cruise ship arrives late? Will the tour wait for me?
A-Because of the flexible nature of our tours and the speed capabilities of our vessel , we are able to accommodate a late arrival in most instances. Our small, fast vessel is able to use many different locations on the harbour for picking up passengers, meaning we are able to utilize these for a late arrival to get you on board our vessel at a slightly later time, at a wharf closer to you, so you wont miss the tour.
Q-What if I dont get back to my Cruise ship on time?
A-This has never occured on our tours. We plan our trips carefully and operate well inside the arrival and departure times. Because we operate close to the port and the vessel is fast, even if the departure time were to be brought forward, we are able to get in to drop you off, quicker if we need to.
Q-Why is there an 'infants' price on some cruises and on others they are 'children'?
A-If you are on a ferry trip, or a special trip which can be booked to capacity (20 passengers) we charge a child rate for an infant because the infant still takes up a passenger seat, for our legal survey requirements.
When on a wildlife cruise, or a cruise where we have chosen to limit the numbers for comfort, we can charge a lesser rate for an infant because there will still be empty seats (for survey), so we are able to be more flexible and charge less.
Q-Where do we go and what will we see on a wildlife cruise?
A-We travel the length of the shipping channel from Port Chalmers to Taiaroa Head nature reserve. We expect to see albatross, seals, sea and harbour birds, shags and cormormants. We usually also see penguins, and sometimes sea lions and dolphins. There are many other animals too, that pop up. We usually see between 10-20 species of animal. You will recieve a wildlife sheet to take home with the animals you have seen, listed.
Because we pass the main port, we usually also see ships, tug boats, fishing vessels sometime pilot boats and other workboats.
We usually pass the quarantine stations on Quarantine Island, viewing the shipwrecks here, and we point out navigational markers and other interesting things. You will get a full commentary over the P.A. system from the skipper.
Q-Can I be picked up from Port Chalmers? Or do I need to find transport to Portobello?
A-Yes, We can arrange pick up from Port Chalmers at no extra cost.
If you are arriving on a cruise ship and have booked a package tour you do not need to do anything, because you will be picked up by your driver from the cruise ship terminal building and taken to the wharf.
If you have come on a cruise ship and are organising the cruise yourself, simply request a pick up from Port Chalmers (Back Beach). You can do this by emailing, phoning, or by writing it in your booking notes, when booking online.
The default pick up location is Portobello.
Q-Can I bring a pram or a wheelchair?
A-Fold up prams are fine, however we do have restricted room and so wheelchairs are not able to be stored onboard. Passengers will need to step down into the vessel, so if you have very limited mobility please call us to discuss whether this trip is suitable for you.
Q-How far is Back Beach from Port Chalmers if I wanted to walk from the cruise ship terminal building/main street of Port Chalmers?
A-Back Beach is a 5-10 minute walk from the main street of Port Chalmers (Beach Street). Walk east, away from the shopping area, past the logging yards. In less than one kilometre you will reach the large carpark of Back Beach, outside the Port Chalmers Yacht Club. There are two floating pontoons here, which we use.
Q-How do I book a cruise?
Q-Am I able to be picked up from my accomodation?
A-Yes, this can be arranged on request and at additional cost. You will also get a short tour of Dunedin on the way, so many people find this option to still be good value.