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Sail Date: February 2013
The port isn't Christchurch but rather Akaroa. A quaint little hospitable town on the coast. We had made prior arrangements to go on the Up Close Coast motor boat tour of the harbor for 2 hours. We got up close to a blue penguins, ... Read More
The port isn't Christchurch but rather Akaroa. A quaint little hospitable town on the coast. We had made prior arrangements to go on the Up Close Coast motor boat tour of the harbor for 2 hours. We got up close to a blue penguins, dolphins that entertained us and various sea birds. IT was delightful to be out in the sun and in the open air. We had lunch afterwards at a deli toward the left of town. We purchased BNew Zealand woolens at a wool shop on Church Road - things are not inexpensive but she will ship items home to you and that will save the GST (tax). My husband found some hiking trails to the right of town. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
The ship actually stopped in Akaroa - and then passengers could take an excursion to Christchurch. We explored Akaroa which a sleepy little seaside village with French influences. I got the feeling that Akaroa comes to life whenever a ... Read More
The ship actually stopped in Akaroa - and then passengers could take an excursion to Christchurch. We explored Akaroa which a sleepy little seaside village with French influences. I got the feeling that Akaroa comes to life whenever a cruise ship comes along - it was definitely a tourism driven town. Tenders were required to get to and from Akaroa. This was an efficient process managed well by the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We used a tender to go across to Akaroa. The town has French history and is stunning. We explored the lighthouse then looked around this charming town. Enjoyed a glass of local wine and drank in the spectacular views.
We used a tender to go across to Akaroa. The town has French history and is stunning. We explored the lighthouse then looked around this charming town. Enjoyed a glass of local wine and drank in the spectacular views. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
The ship had to dock at Akaroa, due to the earthquake that had damaged the harbour. It was 1 1/2 hours from Christchurch. We first of all stopped at a winery for a light lunch, which was very light and not impressive. We then went on to ... Read More
The ship had to dock at Akaroa, due to the earthquake that had damaged the harbour. It was 1 1/2 hours from Christchurch. We first of all stopped at a winery for a light lunch, which was very light and not impressive. We then went on to Christchurch to look at the Botanic Gardens and finish off with a punt on the Avon. The photos taken at the punt were great value and well worth the $20 they cost. Our gondolier also serenaded us. It was a shame that city has been pulled down, very sad to see so many old and beautiful buildings gone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
Monday 24 December - We anchored at 7am and then caught tenders into the port of Akaroa, which was then a 90min drive to Christchurch. Ships used to dock at Lyttleton, which is much closer to Christchurch, but have not been able to do so ... Read More
Monday 24 December - We anchored at 7am and then caught tenders into the port of Akaroa, which was then a 90min drive to Christchurch. Ships used to dock at Lyttleton, which is much closer to Christchurch, but have not been able to do so since the earthquake. As it's a relatively new port, it was hard to organise excursions online before we left, so we winged it and were able to nab a driver to take us into Christchurch for the day. He was another gem, by the name of Grant with a great van (complete with a step that automatically glided out for passengers to alight, we were all impressed by the novelty value of it!) He took us in via the scenic route, with beautiful views looking down on the ship over Akaroa Bay. Grant's contact details are grantianmcdonald@gmail.com with www.toursouth.co.nz It was very sobering to be so close to the destruction in the Christchurch CBD. So many vacant lots that were buildings now demolished and plenty more still to be removed. The most poignant was a memorial of 160+ white chairs on a corner block -- one for every life lost. Each chair is different to represent the different lives, but it was the white baby capsule that really got me. Our driver Grant was on his way into the CBD when the quake hit, he said the car wobbled so much it felt like someone had shot his tyres out. He ended up being stuck in gridlock in the CBD for hours afterwards. His house at least was on the untouched side of the city though. The damage to both the Catholic & Anglican cathedrals is very dramatic. Both are still partially standings, but bring to mind images of crumpled buildings in London during the Blitz. The main shopping mall has been "rebuilt" in shipping containers, certainly a different shopping environment to what we're used to. The Botanical Gardens are virtually untouched and so beautiful. 12yo & I had fun finding the most fragrant bushes in the rose garden (Double Delight still the hands down winner). We enjoyed a punt on the River Avon, it was really beautiful gliding along with our "punter" Uni student Felix doing all the hard work. Also visited the Canterbury Museum, which I'd read had an excellent section on the earthquake that turned out to be OK but not as good as expected, still worthwhile visiting though. On the way back to the ship Grant took us on a detour to Birdlings Flat, an amazing beach area completely covered in flat pebbles instead of sand. Had a freaky start when he drove off the main track and we ended up bogged in pebbles -- but never fear, we 5 muscle bound Aussie's were soon out and actually managed to push him free. A 4WD just down the track was badly bogged and had to be pulled out by another vehicle, it took quite a while and ended up with pebbles all through the brake pads, making the most horrific screech as it finally drove out. The girls tried bumpy sunbathing, but the real highlight was that if you looked carefully at the pebbles many had coloured streaks through them, that when you wet and rubbed brought the colour out even further. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We spent a lot of time in Christchurch pre-earthquake. It is now rather sad to visit. Much of the central city is still blocked off and the new construction doesn't look to be the equal of the old. That being said, the city is ... Read More
We spent a lot of time in Christchurch pre-earthquake. It is now rather sad to visit. Much of the central city is still blocked off and the new construction doesn't look to be the equal of the old. That being said, the city is worth a visit to see both the damage and the recovery efforts. We took the bus into town available as you leave the ship. It's cheaper that the ship's offering. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Docked in Akaroa- This is a Tender port. There were plenty of local vendors dockside as we arrived who were selling tours. You can pay cash to the vendors directly or pay the dockside I-site rep with a credit card. We used Akaroa tours ... Read More
Docked in Akaroa- This is a Tender port. There were plenty of local vendors dockside as we arrived who were selling tours. You can pay cash to the vendors directly or pay the dockside I-site rep with a credit card. We used Akaroa tours for the $45 round trip to Christchurch with a drop off at the I-site next to Canterbury Museum. No need to take the shuttle to the red zone for an additional $15 unless you are unable to walk the four blocks to Cathedral Square. You can walk through most of the damaged area along the sidewalk although all the destroyed /damaged buildings are fenced off. Follow the river along Oxford Terrace for the Re:Start Mall shopping area made from shipping containers. Akaroa is rich in French history and has many small Cafe's and a beach near the dock. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
We anchored at Akaroa and tendered ashore. No problem with the 'chair, hobbled on with crutches and support from the crew while they stored the 'chair on board. Akaroa is a beautiful town on a beautiful harbour and we had ... Read More
We anchored at Akaroa and tendered ashore. No problem with the 'chair, hobbled on with crutches and support from the crew while they stored the 'chair on board. Akaroa is a beautiful town on a beautiful harbour and we had perfect weather for it. "Fesh & Cheps" at the HarBar was wonderful. Maori greeting in the park was wonderful as well. Read Less

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