FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I bring? You should bring sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat (with a string), and a camera with plenty of memory. The Fox II has extra coats on board if it should get cold. But you should bring a jumper or jacket. There is seating inside with
What wildlife will we see? Akaroa Harbour is visited by Hectors dolphins, Little-blue/white-flippered penguins, and New Zealand fur seals from Dec-May. For the past 3 seasons we have seen dolphins on every trip! We have the highest success rate at spotting dolphins of any boat, because of our slower speed and we are quieter. Dolphins come and swim alongside the Fox II. We also have the longest viewing encounters. We venture out into the Pacific Ocean outside the heads where the dolphins are 30 percent of the time. Dolphins are wild animals and we respect that fact, we do not stop, chase or harass the dolphins in any way. We now feel confident to offer passengers a dolphin guarantee. We guarantee that you will see dolphins. If you don't you are entitled to a 100% REFUND or a free trip! No other boat in Akaroa offers (or can offer) this guarantee. We also see New Zealand Fur Seals on all of our trips, there is a seal colony outside of Akaroa Heads that we visit. Typically during the day, penguins are swimming in the harbour and return to their nests at sunset. We see penguins and albatross on 90% of our trips. There are a myriad of birds including petrels, mollymawks, gannets, sea gulls, and terns. Whales come to Akaroa once or twice a year, but it is extremely rare to see these.
Why should I feel good about choosing the Fox II over the other dolphin boats?
What else will we see? As far as geography, Akaroa is the crater of an extinct volcano. The scenery is spectacular. There are 1000 foot sea cliffs, waterfalls, caves and amazing rock formations.
What if I get seasick? It is rare that passengers feel seasick on the Fox II. Because of her long keel and with the wind in her sails, she cuts through the waves making for a steady enjoyable trip. Most of the trip is in the protected harbour of Akaroa, but we do venture out into the Pacific. If you should feel seasick, ginger tablets or biscuits are provided on board, which will cure about 90% of seasickness. We do not offer any prescription or pharmaceutical remedies, just natural ones.
How long does the trip last? The trip lasts approximately 2½ hours. We will definitely be back by the afternoon bus if you are not staying over in Akaroa. Please let us know if you have a bus to catch.
How many people can the boat hold? The Fox II is licensed to hold 30 passengers; there is enough seating for everyone. There is enough room in the cabin below decks for all passengers if necessary.
Do you actually sail or just motor around the harbour? A typical trip includes motor sailing and real sailing (with the motor off), if the winds are right. There are 6 sails, so there is always a sheet to be pulled or a halyard to hoist if you are keen, we can even give you a go on the wheel. As we leave the heads of Akaroa, there are Easterly winds that make for an enjoyable trip. Because we have a schedule to keep and a certain amount of distance to cover we may use the motor from time to time to augment our propulsion.
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Trips are planned according to tides and weather. Specifically wind and sea conditions determine routes. Most trips go out to the end of the Akaroa Harbour and into the Pacific. Private charters and evening cruises typically stay in the inner harbour.
Is the Fox II Safe? The Fox II is safe. The Fox II has one of the highest safety ratings of any boat in the South Island. The Fox II is surveyed every year to meet the high standards of Maritime New Zealand. Rigging is checked/replaced annually, the boat hull is tested and inspected out of the water every year. The Fox II is re-painted every year, and all safety equipment is checked to make sure they are in date. Life saving apparatus is tested and inspected. Crew are trained weekly on safety drills, and there are typically 2 to 3 crew members in addition to the skipper. The Fox II has the highest crew to passenger rating of any boat in the harbour. The secure/high railing and safe layout of the boat, ensures that adults and children will not accidently fall overboard. The booms on the sails are higher than average height of a person so there is minimal chance of getting hit by the boom. The boat does not list excessively like racing boats and its long keel ensures a smooth ride.
What kind of boat is the Fox II? The Fox II is an 85 year old wooden gaffed rigged ketch. This is one of the oldest and most traditional styles of boat. It has 6 sails and two masts (a main and mizzen). It is actually the oldest working ketch in New Zealand.
Why is the Fox II the best boat trip in Akaroa Harbour? The Fox II is the only sailboat in Akaroa Harbour that does public charters. The Fox II is an intimate, relaxed and quiet way to see the harbour and its wildlife. It’s informative, with a narration on the history of Akaroa Harbour and the wildlife. It is the closest way to experience nature and is the most environmentally friendly of all the boat trips. It is not just a sailing cruise on the harbour, it is an experience you will remember the rest of your life.
Such as superb trip, great company, eco-tour, nature and views of the wildlife.
Wow! What an amazing day with you guys, thanks heeps!
Lovely trip, wonderful animals.
Great fun, great at explaining stuff, loved the jumping dolphins...
Fantastic sail, saw dolphins, seals, penguins and even a wondering albatross!