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Tourism sailings

Your chance to experience a traditional tall ship

Since 1985, the R. Tucker Thompson has been operating tourism sailings in the Bay of Islands. This is the rare chance to experience the majesty of sail on board a working tall ship. You get the chance to join the crew and help set the sails, get involved and do as much or as little as you like.

The profit we make on our tourism sailings help us to subsidise places for young people from the region to take part on our 7-day youth development voyages. So not only will you have an amazing experience, one that will create lifetime memories, but you are supporting a good cause.

Come on a day sail

Day Sails

Step back in time and explore the Bay of Islands as they would have 200 years ago

Late Afternoon Sails

A short evening sail 3-days a week for a perfect way to start the evening

Weddings and special charters

Special charters

A perfect venue for weddings, vow renewals or those special birthdays!


We are proud to be one New Zealand’s top tourism operators and are assessed by Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation. This provides a trusted guide to quality travel experiences so visitors can select high quality places to stay, things to do, and ways to get around.

We have been awarded a Qualmark Gold, meaning we are in the top 10% of tourism operators assessed.

When you see a business displaying the Qualmark symbol you can be assured that the business has met stringent quality standards and environmental criteria – earning New Zealand tourism’s official quality mark.

The R. Tucker Thompson is committed to being part of a sustainable tourism industry. As such we are proud to have signed up to the New Zealand Sustainability Tourism Commitment as we believe this initiative aligns well with our Mission of Learning for Life through the Sea by embracing the values of kaitiakitanga (GuardianShip).


The guardianship and protection of our natural, built and cultural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.


Showing respect, hospitality, generosity and care for others.


A relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging.

Trip Advisor Hall of Fame

We are proud to be awarded the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame Award. This is awarded to organisations that have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 5 years in a row. Thank you to all of you who have helped us to achieve this – our crew and of course our passengers!