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Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch

Russell, New Zealand

Select Date and Travelers

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon5 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Sail the Bay of Islands on a working tall ship aboard the famed ‘R. Tucker Thompson,’ built in the tradition of a 100-year-old Northland schooner. Ply the waters of the pristine bay, where you can help hoist the sails, climb the rigging or simply relax on board, then swim while anchored in a sheltered bay in the maritime park. Enjoy morning tea and a barbecue lunch, with an optional complimentary ferry ride from Paihia to Russell, where your vessel departs.
  • Half-day R. Tucker Thompson tall ship cruise in the Bay of Islands
  • Sail the waters on a replica vintage schooner
  • Bite into fresh scones, sip cream tea and enjoy a BBQ lunch served on board
  • Anchor at a secluded bay for a swim
  • Includes round-trip ferry transport from Paihia to Russell, if option selected
Cruise on board the "R. Tucker Thompson" tall ship
Coffee and/or Tea
BBQ lunch
Wet weather gear (if required)
New Zealand's Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Hotel pick up and drop off

Departure Point

Russell Booking and Information, The Strand, Russell 0202, New Zealand

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Make your way to the Russell wharf and board the tall ship R. Tucker Thompson, a working Northland schooner that has sailed the world. If departing from Paihia, you’ll take the 30-minute Fullers Bay Belle Ferry across to Russell (round-trip ferry ticket included if selected at booking). 

Embark on a 5.5-hour sailing tour through the Bay of Islands, and enjoy the New Zealand tradition of morning tea with freshly baked scones and Devonshire tea brewed in the galley. You can take the helm, help set the sails or just catch the breeze on the spacious deck while you listen to tales from the crew about the tall ship's adventures at sea.

Your skipper anchors the R. Tucker Thompson in a sheltered cove at lunchtime. Step ashore at one of the bay’s secluded islands or swing from the yardarm and splash into the water for a swim. With all this sea air and activity you'll have a hearty appetite, taken care of by a tasty barbecue lunch cooked on board. 

Then climb the rigging to keep a lookout for fairy penguins, dolphins and seabirds on the return to Russell.
Stop At:  
Paihia Harbour
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
R. Tucker Thompson
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Please talk to us about any physical disabilities. We try hard to accommodate all travelers!
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 47 travelers
  • OPERATED BY R. Tucker Thompson

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch?
This activity will have a maximum of 47 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on 'R. Tucker Thompson' Including BBQ Lunch.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Great crew, well worth taking time out to go on this excellent sail training vessel." See review
  • "Totally a must do forget the hole in the rock." See review


177 Reviews
1 star
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 177 reviews
The Highlight of North Island experiences
, Mar 2020
One of the best experiences in all of New Zealand. A beautiful ship with THE BEST crew. Knowledgeable, enthusiastic. and willing to interact with everyone from small children to senior citizens. We truly sailed, saw beautiful islands, had porpoises swimming beside us for an hour, a fantastic "tea" with scones and clotted cream and a terrific lunch. They even celebrated two birthdays surprising both guests. AND it's all for a good cause, to boot.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Wow, thank you for your wonderful praise which I will share with the crew. They'll be thrilled to see your feedback as their aim is to give everyone the best experience of their holiday. Kia ora!
Trip of a lifetime
, Mar 2020
The trip was fantastic! I ticked off 3 bucket list items - and more. The 3 from my list were 1) swing off the side of the ship and drop into the water, 2) climb out and sit at the end of the bow sprint, and 3) climb the rigging to stand on the yard arm. The dolphins swimming right under me as I walked up the bow sprint was a magical bonus. The crew were friendly, knowledgeable and fantastic. We had the very good fortune to have Russel, the ships builder, as our captain. Even though it was a cloudy day with only light winds in the AM, it was a trip of a lifetime for me.
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you so much for your lovely review and we're so happy it ticked the bucket list items off. Our crew also love sailing with Russell, so much to learn from him and his experiences, so everyone had a great day. Mauri ora!
Tall Ship Experience
, Mar 2020
Our day with Michael and the crew was fantastic. It was fun being asked to help set sail, and from then things got better. It was awesome being able to climb out onto the bowsprit and then later being invited to steer. The morning tea and lunch was amazing. Thanks everyone
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Thank you for your review, we appreciate your feedback, kia ora!
Awesome Day Out
, Mar 2020
Fantastic time aboard the R Tucker Thompson. The captain and the crew were first rate and made the day very enjoyable. Tea / coffee and warm scones in the morning and a chicken BBQ lunch fulfilled our needs admirably. Some of the more adventurous climbed the rigging - or more sedate a clamber over the bow on the front boom. The crew always on hand to keep eye on proceedings. From assisting with hauling up the sails to steering the boat - you can do as much or as little as you want. Time to explore Moturua island or merely chill on beach for an hour.
Great day out
, Mar 2020
Great sail, great crew, great ship. Knowledgeable crew. Fab lunch. It was lovelt spending the day on an Old Tall Ship. We have our own yacht so it was nice to work the sails etc on her
Wonderful day
, Feb 2020
Excellent excursion: perfect day at sea in the wonderful Bay of Islands The skipper was great, professional and funny, the crew well trained and efficient 10/10
We loved it!
, Feb 2020
Fabulous day - the crew were lovely and my hubby loved the opportunity to join in sailing the ship. Highly recommended!
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Kia ora, we're delighted you had a great time. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback!
Great day at sea
, Feb 2020
Fantastic sailing trip, far more than I ever expected. Crew delightful, Maori stories of region captivating, food great, crew awesome. Loved it!
A great day sail
, Jan 2020
Great crew, well worth taking time out to go on this excellent sail training vessel. Informational, local history. Hands on sailing encouraged!
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Kia ora, very delighted you enjoyed your sail with us! Thank you for posting your feedback.
Out on the water
, Jan 2020
It was a great day the boat was good the lunch was good and we had a great sail on the way back to Russell recommend to anyone to give it a go
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thank you for your feedback about your day on board our Good Ship. We are pleased you enjoyed it and delighted that the winds were favourable for you. Kia ora!

Product code: 3203_1B

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