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.

Please note: We’re offering a Day Sail on  Saturday 24 October 2020 as a sneak peek – Book now for some early fun!

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.

Please Note: A special Sundowner is on offer to kick off the Labour Day Long Weekend – join us aboard with “The Old Salts” on Friday 23 October 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-2012 Rua Ra

Kia Ora from the good ship R Tucker Thompson Written by Niah We woke up at Waiiti bay for our morning swim after we were ready to take on the day we were off to Roberton island, we split up into two groups, one team went diving and the other team wanted to go see the...

YTH-2012 Tahi Ra

Kia Ora from the good ship R Tucker Thompson After saying our goodbyes everyone got to know each other a bit more after our classic name game and got to know the ship with an orientation. We anchored at Moturua island in Waiiti Bay to go ashore and play some beach...

YTH-2011 – Ra Ono

This morning began with the usual routine: swim in the tide, morning duties and breakfast. We departed from our anchorage old school, that is, sailing off of our anchor. The top sails were set and we were on our way making haste for Turtle Island. A pizza lunch was...

YTH-2011 Rima Ra

Ahoy from the Good Ship! We are presently enjoying a bonfire after a full day. Today there were some new faces aboard: walkers who'd signed up for a walk around Moturua Island with the walking weekend group, and to get there, they got a lift with the Tucker. Trainees...

YTH 2011 Wha Ra

Ahoy from the good ship the R Tucker Thompson Today was a beautiful day full of blue sky and sunshine. After duties and a special breakfast of French toast we weighed anchor and started motoring towards Waewaetorea Island, along the way we even managed to complete our...

YTH 2011 Toru Ra

Ahoy from the R Tucker Thompson Today was a beautiful day After our duties and breakfast, we split into our port and starboard groups and learned about navigation and anchoring. We then headed ashore and did an island walk around the largest island in the Bay,...

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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