R. Tucker Thompson

Northland’s iconic tallship

Weddings and events

Special charters are available for weddings, birthdays and parties

The R. Tucker Thompson is an iconic tall ship 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.

Do join us!

Choose your adventure

Nau mai haere mai, Welcome on board!

For 35 years the R. Tucker Thompson has been creating memories for people who come sailing with us. We are a Qualmark Gold experience with 5 star ratings on Tripadvisor. We’re a not for profit Charity so funds earned from sailings go to support taking young people on life changing voyages. Do join us!

Day sails in the Bay

Join us for our classic Day Sail in the beautiful Bay of Islands starting on Friday, 13 November 2020.

Departs:  10.00 Russell Wharf
Returns:   3.30 pm Russell
Includes:   Ferry transfers from Paihia to Russell return, morning tea, island stopover and BBQ lunch. Cash bar available.


Adult: NZ$ 159, Child NZ$ 79.50
includes morning tea, lunch and ferry transfer
Infants under 5 go free (no meals included)

Book online here

Sundowner sailings

Short on time? Why not join us on our Sundowner sailing, starting 13 November 2020.

Departs:   4.00 Russell Wharf
Returns:   5.50 pm Russell
Includes:   Ferry transfers from Paihia to Russell return, shared antipasto platter. Cash bar available.


Adult: NZ$ 67.50, Child NZ$ 33.75
includes shared antipasto platter and ferry transfers from Paihia
Infants under 5 go free 

Book online here

Special Sailings

Our next scheduled special event is the annual Tall Ships Race in Russell in early January.

Check out our Special Sailings pages for Community events and short sailings such as our ever popular Kiddies Pirate Sail.

Bay of Islands Discovery Voyage

The Bay of Islands is not only a place of stunning scenery, but rich in stories. A place of first arrivals from Polynesia and significant Māori settlement, home to early encounters with European explorers, a place of trade and industry, colonisation and subsequent wars. Nowadays the focus is on recovery and restoration, with landscapes being restored and native birds returned to the islands. Now it is your chance to step on board and discover what it is like to explore the Bay of islands on board a tall ship.

Captain Steve lets Junior pirate captain take the helm

Latest blogs from on board the ship

YTH-2013 Rima Ra

Kia Ora from the good ship R Tucker Thompson Anchored in Oke Bay last night, there was a bit of a swell on the beach and everyone got wet when we went ashore, that was a good start and then the ship rolled a fair bit throughout the night so there was a few slow sleepy...

YTH-2013 Wha Ra

Kia Ora from the good ship R Tucker Thompson This blog was written by Piper Today we began with a dip in the water off Orokawa Bay, then motored over to Roberton Island. There we swam in the warm lagoon, rock climbed on steep rock faces then had some delicious lunch....

YTH-2013 Toru Ra

Kia Ora from the R Tucker Thompson This blog was written with Connor and Braden For the first activity of the day, we split into our port and starboard watches for a navigation lesson and had some unexpected grey finned visitors hang out with us for the morning. When...

YTH-2013 Rua Ra

Kia Ora from the R Tucker Thompson Today we woke up and jumped in the water for a quick swim. After breakfast and morning duties, we left to the outer bay where the trainees climbed out onto the bowsprit to enjoy the rollercoaster ride that was the swell. From there,...

YTH-2013 Tahi Ra

Kia Ora from the R Tucker Thompson After an exciting start when we left the wharf in the howling wind and rain that felt like bullets, the captain decided not to go around Tapeka as the trainees were rapidly losing enthusiasm and a couple of them, their breakfast. So...

YTH 2012 Ono ra

The Sun rose again marking the start of a new dawn. We all arose taking a dip in the tide followed by morning duties. Then the trainees went for a dive in the lagoon at Motuarohia Island (Roberton Island). We enjoyed a well prepared meal of pizza for lunch. Once lunch...

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.

John F Kennedy

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