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Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre provided by Leisure Tours

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre

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Update from company: This experience has indicated that they are taking additional safety measures due to COVID-19.Read more
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A note from Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Follow the safety guidelines as issued by the New Zealand Government and maintain good hygiene and social distancing measures. Do not travel if you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms. If the city in which you are departing from is in alert level two, then please wear a facemask for all transport.
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Updated 20-09-25
Overview
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    Akaroa Dolphins
    65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
    From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.
    See address & details
  • Pass by
    Akaroa Village Inn
  • 1
    Christchurch Botanic Gardens
    Stop: 30 minutes
    See details
    Pass by
    Cathedral Square
  • 2
    International Antarctic Centre
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
    See details
    Pass by
    Banks Peninsula
  • You'll end at
    Akaroa Dolphins
    65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
    From the Main Wharf in Akaroa, head down to the end where you will see the Akaroa I-Site and a small park on the right-hand side. Next to the Canon statue, a representative will be waiting for you. Please arrive by 10.15am for a 10.30am departure.
    See address & details
+
Important Information
Departure Point
Akaroa Dolphins, 65 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
Duration
6h
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Inclusions
  • Port pickup and drop-off
  • Hagglund ride
  • Local guide
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship
  • Entry/Admission - International Antarctic Centre
Exclusions
  • Food and drinks
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At time of booking, Cruise ship passengers must provide the following information: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Please note that activity times and schedules can be slightly amended depending on your cruise ships timetable.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 100 travellers
Cancellation Policy
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel within 2 days of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
130Reviews
2Q&A
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Jodi R wrote a review Jan. 2020
Townsville, Australia3 contributions
The drive from the boat looking at Banks Peninsula was lovely - occasional education/information was provided regarding what was being seen. The cruise ship tenders were a little late getting into Akoroa and unfortunately time was never caught up - tour was rushed and short.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Responded Jan. 28, 2020
Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately the time in Christchurch is dictated by the time the cruise ship has in port. Akaroa is a tender port and when you are on a cruise ship they are often very slow at allowing passengers not booked on their own tours off the ship and have an early departure time. This unfortunately dictates the amount of time we can give you in Christchurch before heading to the International Antarctic Centre. The scheduled tour time is 10.30 to 4.30 pm, I see on the day of travel you were late departing due to the delay coming ashore, however, we did manage to extend the day slightly arriving back in Akaroa after the scheduled excursion time but in plenty of time prior to the last tender for your cruise ship. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the sites and the International Antarctic Centre.
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Michaele D wrote a review Feb. 2019
7 contributions3 helpful votes
I have very mixed feelings about the tour. The tour guide was difficult to understand and the audio system didn't work so it was very frustrating for many of the passengers. The guide didn't explain the itinerary very well and timeframes for stops. Company did replace the bus
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Date of experience: January 2019
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Responded Feb. 19, 2019
Thank you for your review and I am sorry to learn that you had mixed feelings about the tour. It was unfortunate that on the initial part of the tour you had a problem with the audio system in the coach. As soon as the coach arrived in Christchurch a replacement coach was provided to rectify this problem. I am pleased to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed the International Antarctic Centre and the guide there was both professional and helpful. Unfortunately on your day of travel your cruise ship posted an earlier than normal final tender time and in the circumstances the tour had to be back in Akaroa in time to ensure you did not miss the last tender of the day, although the tour was still the full six hours in duration. On a normal cruise ship day this tour is not so rushed and we can extend the 6 hour tour time which is 10.30 - 4.30 by leaving Akaroa earlier and returning a little later, however, everything is dependent on the tenders and the last tender time of the day. When booking your cruise you should compare the times the various cruise ships are docked in the New Zealand ports, some stay a lot longer in the ports than others, whilst others give you the minimum time in the ports and prefer to have you on board longer spending more money. I do hope you have the opportunity to visit New Zealand again at some future date and have more time to enjoy that all is on offer.
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RSchug wrote a review Dec. 2018
Clovis, California27 contributions6 helpful votes
Rarely do I submit negative reviews, but since I depend on the reviews that are positive and negative I feel compelled to share this feedback too. 1) This is a large bus tour- which I typically stray away from if it is clear. We came off Majestic Princess Cruise ship via tenders
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Date of experience: December 2018
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Responded Jan. 1, 2019
It is always disappointing to receive a negative review, especially on an extremely popular shore excursion which receives very positive reviews. With regard to the matters you have raised I can advise as follows; 1. Akaroa is a tender port and we operate a scheduled departure time of 10.30, returning at 4.30 - 6 hours in total which is more than enough time for the excursion which encompasses Banks Peninsula and Christchurch, together with the International Antarctic Centre. Due to the tendering process passengers arrive on shore at various times prior to 10.30. As you are aware we do the meet and greet, provide tickets for the relevant tour and advise the loading time. In most cases we get everyone loaded and away early. As all of our customers are pre-booked there is not waiting and it is normally the small minibuses who's operators are selling on the wharf who are sitting for ages waiting. 2. Christchurch is interesting and well worth seeing. We do operate a Christchurch tour without any attraction or activity for those passengers who wish to see more and spend more time in the city. It is always disappointing to receive a negative review when someone has simply, in hindsight, selected the wrong shore excursion option. 3. With regard to the International Antarctic Centre, yes it is not Disneyland and is in no way trying to be Disneyland. It is designed as an educational centre so visitors can better understand and appreciate the Antarctic. With regard to the little Blue Penguins you have misunderstood the purpose of the fake eggs. All of the penguins at the centre have been brought there as injured rescue penguins from the wild, to be cared for, nursed and rehibilated and then hopefully returned to the wild fully fit. The fake eggs are part of the rehibilation for some of the female penguins, that are of a certain age and who have been brought to the centre injured.
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Gregory S wrote a review Mar. 2018
Tucson, Arizona, United States114 contributions56 helpful votes
This tour is a shore excursion from a cruise ship. It starts at the dock with a 1-1/2 hour + drive to Christchurch. We had a very rushed 15 minute stop then back on the bus for a half hour drive around Christchurch. The tour guide, Scotty, points out things as we go. The
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Date of experience: February 2018
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Responded Mar. 18, 2018
We appreciate the feedback when it is accurate which this particular review is not, you only need to look at the review below for the same tour that this gentleman was on. The tour itself is very organised in respect of schedules and timings, all of the prebooked cruise passengers are meet and greeted as they come off the tenders in Akaroa and given a boarding pass with a scheduled departure time. The journey into Christchurch is 90 minutes with a 30 minute stop at the botanical gardens and museum, there is then a 45 minute tour of central Christchurch and the earthquake damage of 2011 which is still evident prior to arriving at the International Antarctic Centre where the passengers have around 2 hours, depending on the last tender time in Akaroa (never less than one hour and three quarters). We have received other feedback directly from other customers on this day and have asked that they post this feedback on trip advisor, the other feedback was very positive like below, however, the underlying message was that there was a very loud gentleman on the tour that was continuing talking over the driver and whom the driver eventually asked if he would mind being a little quieter so the other passengers could enjoy the commentary and to which request he took offence. From the other reviews posted or to be posted you can decide for yourselves.
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Anne T wrote a review Mar. 2018
Sheffield, Australia16 contributions1 helpful vote
Our ship's schedule wasn't great for doing this tour but our driver made sure we were back in time for the last tender. It made it all a bit rushed but this was in no way the fault of the tour company, the driver handled it all wonderfully. Loved the sightseeing component of
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Date of experience: February 2018
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Response from Canterburyleisure, Manager at Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre
Responded Mar. 18, 2018
Thank you for taking the time to supply your feedback and impressions of the tour which is important to us to ensure we continue to meet our customers expectations and where possible exceed them. I am pleased to hear our driver, Scotty, represented the company well and that you enjoyed his commentary, Knowledge and good sense of homour. I hope you have the opportunity to visit New Zealand again at some future date.
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12
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Leisure Tours
nathant544
00
Superb day on the Waipara Wine Trail
Had a superb day on the Waipara Wine Trail Afternoon Tour from Christchurch. I would highly recommend this tour if
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Travel34855117471
00
Beautiful day
What a beautiful spot. Had the best fish n chips in a very long time. Wonderful shops to brows through. Everyon
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Travel34855117471
00
Amazing experience, i would highly recommend.
Well organized, lovely friendly and helpful staff. Onboard videos informative. Great trip got what we expected ev
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Robert T
00
Worth a look
Interesting kitchen area and a lovely outdoor area with a great vintage car. Friendly volunteers giving a great ed
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Jamtraveltips
00
Didn't really see a whole lot
Our full day, small group tour of Christchurch began in Akaroa and was given by Ian. It took us about an hour and
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Camper715744
00
Giants House must see
We walked to the meeting spot once off the ship and boarded a small van. The van held about 15 people. We drove u
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Sharon C
00
Waste of a Day
Although the bus left on time and we were aware of the travel time to Christchurch, we didn’t expect to have only
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LynW207
00
Akaroa & Surrounds
We were met ashore in Akaroa with a friendly welcome and to our surprise we were upgraded and we got to go to Chris
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amandamaaike
00
Winery Tour
I went on this tour with my mother and 3 year old son, and everyone (driver, winery staff, and fellow tourists) wer
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BobC_Florida
00
Great Wineries with Great People!
My wife and I had such a good time. We ended up becoming good friends with everyone else on the tour. Well worth th
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TheAdmiralW
00
A great experience sort of
I have been on many different wine tours and this was my first in New Zealand. The organisers did a great job and o
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geoffreym628
00
Cruise trip from Akaroa
Chris was a very knowledgeable driver and guide. He must have needed throat lozenges after this trip as he never st
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ChristineH2707
00
Dunedin sightseeing
Ross was our guide. He was very knowledgable and helpful. Highly recommend this tour. Olveston House is amazing
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debbiesZ1413UW
00
Lord of the Rings half day!
Quite incredible! Our tour guide taught us a lot! Went to scenes where the movies were shot and the Weta Wow worksh
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Frank C
00
3 day tour Auckland to Wellington
DO NOT USE LEISURE TOURS. We booked a three day tour from Auckland to Wellington and paid $1308 US dollars. Day one
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Key Details
  • Duration: 6h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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Frequently Asked Questions about Akaroa Shore Excursion: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch City Tour and the International Antarctic Centre