Tall ship sailing in the Bay of Islands

The R. Tucker Thompson is an iconic gaff rigged tops'l schooner based in the Bay of Islands. Operated as a social enterprise, we run tourism sailings over summer, with profits used to fund youth development voyages over winter. Nau mai, haere mai, welcome on board!

Your tall ship sailing adventure starts here!

There are few places in the world where people can take part in sailing a traditional heritage vessel, and not in a stunning location such as the Bay of Islands.

Join us for a Day Sail

Help as much or as little as you like. Let the crew do the work or help hoist the sails and be in the crew.
Adult: NZ $159 Child: NZ $79.50

Sundowner Sailing

If you are short on time, or just want a taste of sailing, then our Sundowner sailing is perfect.
Adult: NZ $67.50 Child: NZ $33.75

3-day Bay of Islands Discovery Voyage

For something more adventurous,  join us for our 3- day Bay of Islands Discovery Voyage. A unique experience to truly discover the Bay.

Charter the ship


If you want to build your own adventure, then you can charter the ship. Let us create an amazing experience for a few hours, a full day or overnight too. Talk to us about your special request.

Find out more

School Experiences


Whether you are a Kura Kaupapa Māori, Primary, Intermediate or Secondary school, we are able to offer an awesome educational experience for your students.

Find out more

Youth Development Work


We run 7-day voyages for the young people of Taitokerau Northland over winter. Designed to build confidence, create teamwork and develop leadership, these are life changing experiences.

Find out more

Support us

Your donation can help change the life of a young person. Whether you choose to make a one time donation, sponsor a child, or provide an ongoing commitment, every dollar we raise goes directly to our youth development work.

Bay of Islands Sailing

Sailing on the R.Tucker Thompson leaves a lasting impression to be cherished for years. The Bay of Islands is a magical place and to experience a great Tall Ship on your visit will create memories for a lifetime. 

  • star rating  We had an amazing day sailing around the bay of islands, chatting to the captain and crew. They were all so keen to pass on their local knowledge and sailing... read more

    Michael P
    January 1, 2022
  • star rating  Went with a group of school kids on a outing, great crew, nice lunch and kids loved climbing the rigging and jumping off the boat

    Phil R
    April 4, 2021
  • star rating  Went with a group of school kids on a outing, great crew, nice lunch and kids loved climbing the rigging and jumping off

    Phil R
    April 1, 2021
  • star rating  A lovely day shared with Whanau. Sailing on the beautiful R.Tucker Thompson. Recommend as a must do in Russell. Great food, great crew, beautiful scenery and... read more

    SueW238
    March 12, 2021
  • star rating  A day out on the R Tucker Tompson was awesome. The crew, lead by Captain Steve made the day fun and informative. Although I wasn't brave enough to go up... read more

    KevinD2135
    March 1, 2021
  • star rating  Everything was great! We considered ourselves fortunate that there were only 13 passengers (4 crew) on our two hour Sundowner sail since that perhaps made it more intimate. The best... read more

    LandC46
    March 1, 2021

Kids Pirate Sailing Day – 8 June 2020

Ahoy young sailors! Let your inner pirate go wild on a short 2-hour sail adventure from Russell on board the iconic R. Tucker Thompson. Youngsters (and their adults) get to dress up as pirates and enjoy a special pirate sailing on board Northland’s own tall ship. It’s...

YTH 2118 – Ono Ra

Kia Ora friends and whanau. An exceptional day indeed. Today we set the young people up with the challenge of taking over the ship. We woke up to a stunner of a day, with a few waking up having spent the night on deck. This morning we did some final preparation to...

YTH-2118 Rima Ra

Kia ora whanau! This morning started with something a little unusual and very special to the group currently sailing with us. They went ashore at Marsden Cross and spent some time absorbing the history, feeling and spiritual peacefulness of this special part of the...

YTH 2118 – Wha Ra

Kia Ora Whanau. An awesome day indeed. This morning following devotions, we got stuck into some fun rotations in small groups. Climbing the rigging and completing the tucker challenge was mixed in with tender lessons and sailing our lil tuck. All with the waterfall...

YTH 2118 – Toru Ra

Kia ora family and friends of the sailors on board the good ship R tucker Thompson Today has been an absolute epic day very full on outdoor adventures, happiness, and good spirits. It started basically like every day, with a delightful morning swim followed by chores...

Voyage Blogs

Check out the latest updates from on board the ship to find out what our young trainees are getting up to. 

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