Cruise Ship Information

Tall Ship Sailing in the Bay of Islands

If you are visiting the Bay of Islands for the day on a cruise ship, we would love for you to experience a day out sailing in the Bay on the R. Tucker Thompson. Check onboard to see if your cruise ship has a charter organised, if it doesn’t you will need to make your own transfer arrangements.

Day Sail

The best way to discover the Bay of Islands

If you’re visiting the Bay of Islands, the best way to experience the Bay is from the water. See and set foot on areas only accessible by boat, and get away from the hussle and bussle of the town. A day sail on the iconic R. Tucker Thompson is one of the few opportunities to go sailing on a working tall ship, in one of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of New Zealand, the Bay of Islands. 

Day Sail includes:

How to get there from the cruise ship

Cruise ship tenders will take you from your cruise ship to Waitangi, where buses will take you the short 5 minute drive to Paihia. The bus will drop you off at the Paihia wharf, outside I-site, where you can collect your complimentary ferry ticket. On the same wharf, you can catch the 9 am or 9.30 am ferry to Russell where you will board the R. Tucker Thompson for a 10 am departure. It’s a good idea to let the cruise ship know you have a day trip planned so that you can get off the cruise ship on an early tender.  

Getting back

You’ll be back in Russell from your day sailing on the Tucker at 3.30 pm. You can catch a ferry straight back to Paihia at 3.40 pm or 4 pm to catch a bus back to Waitangi and get on your tender back to the cruise ship. Buses will be waiting for you in Paihia, to take you back to Waitangi to get on a tender to the cruise ship. 

You’ll be buzzing from an awesome day out tall ship sailing in the magical Bay of Islands and you’ll have experienced the best the Bay has to offer, the ocean, the people, and the stories.

Disclaimer: As an independent traveller these timings are your own responsibility.


Adult – NZ $179
Child – NZ $89

Includes morning tea, lunch, and ferry transfers. Infants under 5 go free (no meals included). 

Sailing Dates

Our 2023 Day Sails resume on 14 December and will continue to 25 April 2024.

Adult (15+ yrs)
Child (5-15yrs)
Infant (0-4yrs)

Sailing Times

9:30 am Paihia (via passenger ferry)
10:00 am Russell Wharf

3:30 pm Russell Wharf
4:00 pm Paihia (via passenger ferry)

NB: Times shown are latest departure times. Ferry tickets are transferable so that earlier and later ferries can be taken if required.