Lodged between high mountains and the Pacific Ocean, on New Zealand’s South Island, it is said that no two views in Kaikoura are the same. Look left, and you’ll see snow caped peaks and rolling meadows. Look right, and you’ll see seals hauling out on rugged shores. Look straight ahead and you’ll see nothing except the wide expanse of the Pacific. Kaikoura’s claim to fame is its rich abundance of marine life. View more
The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.
Kaikoura is known as the albatross capital of New Zealand - if not the world, many species of albatross can be found along this spectacular coastline. This tour takes you by boat off the Kaikoura Coast to spot an incredible range of pelagic (ocean living) birds including the one with the largest wingspan in the world.
The wonderful array of seabirds you can find offshore include the Great Albatross - the Wanderings and Royals, and the smaller Lesser Albatross (commonly referred to as Mollymawks). You may also see up to seven species of Shearwaters, as many as twelve species of Petrel, and several other seabird species such as Shags, Prions, Penguins, Gulls and Terns.
For many it is the species of albatross that are the biggest attraction. Great albatrosses are the largest of the albatrosses and are amongst the largest of flying birds.
On the return to shore it is normal to see two or more species of Waders to add that final touch to the tour.
Experience Kaikoura's mighty Sperm whale, playful Dusky Dolphins, and majestic scenery from above! With towering mountains, panoramic ocean views and a year-round whale and dolphin population, Kaikoura is a spectacular place.
Depart the pier for a brief transfer to the helipad. Receive your safety briefing and afterwards, take off for your exciting whale-watching from above.
During your 30-minute flight experience you will be taken on a journey above one of New Zealand's most unique areas, due to the special underwater geography of the area, it enables a huge abundance of food to be produced due to a large upwelling and mixing of both warm and cold currents. The area is home to a variety of marine life including many species of whales that migrate through the area such as humpback, southern right whales, blue whales, and of course the mighty sperm whale, the world's largest toothed whale, which are prevalent in the area year round. Enjoy the bird's eye view, the best position to take the perfect photo and slowly orbit around the whale in a way only a helicopter can to see its entirety from tip to tail.
Once you have spent time with the wildlife, appreciate the stunning vistas and photo opportunities of the Kaikoura Peninsula, Seaward Kaikoura Mountain Ranges, and the Pacific Ocean on your return to the helicopter base.
The tour concludes back at the pier.
Learn all about the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that rocked Kaikoura, and indeed all of New Zealand, in 2016. Evidence of both the earthquake and the recovery can be seen everywhere.
The township of Kaikoura boasts a dramatic seaside setting with startling contrasts. Immediately inland lies the Seaward Kaikoura Range, soaring to 8,500 feet, while the Pacific Ocean plunges to great depths just off the coastline, creating a trench that is frequented by sperm whales.
Depart the pier and begin your tour with a stop at Ohau Seal Lookout where you can see many seals playing by the rocky coastline. Your next stop will be a fragrant lavender farm which grows more than 45 varieties of lavender. Here, you will have the opportunity to purchase locally made lavender products or visit the gardens. Continue on to the historic whaler's cottage known as Fyffe House. Built from native timber atop a foundation of whale vertebrae, this is quite an interesting architectural statement.
The spectacular peninsula lookout point offers sweeping panoramas of the sea and the Kaikoura mountain range looming above, sometimes capped with snow. Point Kean offers a chance to view a large colony of New Zealand fur seals before you return to the pier.
Depart the pier with a shuttle bus for a brief transfer to your starting point where you will begin your walk with a 360-degree panoramic view of the mountains which almost tumble into the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Learn about the Kaikoura Canyon in the ocean, its location and uniqueness. From the lookout point, walk down a wide gradual path to the coast and continue to the historic hotel and fishermen's wharf.
Along an easy stone beach, view fascinating limestone rock formations pushed up from the bottom of the ocean 125,000 years ago, on to a point where one of Kaikoura's notorious characters once lived. Experience fantastic views of the ocean and the Mountains and enjoy morning tea before continuing your walk past Fyffe House - Kaikoura's oldest building.
Local stories of settlement and survival begin with the first people, ancestors of today's Maori tribe Ngati Kuri who landed here over 900 years ago and then over 700 years later in 1842 the first Europeans Scotsman Robert Fyfe and his whalers arrived. This house and its stunning surrounds tell the stories of the families, their struggles, and the way in which each group made this their home.
Visit the location of the Whaling past and present activities, then walk along the firm sand beach to a boardwalk toward the New Zealand Fur Seal Colony. Here, your discovery walk ends and you will be transferred back to the pier. An optional drop off in Kaikoura town can be offered.
Enjoy time fishing along the beautiful Kaikoura Coastline. With stunning views, mountain ranges and the abundance of fish and wildlife, it truly comes together for an amazing experience.
After tendering ashore, walk across to the jetty and embark on your fishing adventure! Your skipper will offer expert local fishing knowledge for the discerning angler and patient tuition for the novice to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to land their catch.
It is not uncommon to catch a glimpse of many of Kaikoura's other marine species along the way, including Dolphins, Fur Seals and the might Albatross.
There are many species that thrive in the deep waters around the Kaikoura Trench. The skipper will provide you with all the equipment and knowledge needed to experience the excitement of catching your own fish.
Once you have finished fishing with the modern fishing rods supplied, enjoy a demonstration of how local anglers get their hands on another local delicacy, the crayfish. All gear, including bait and tackle, is supplied.
With its spectacular natural setting the Kaikoura Peninsula offers rewarding outdoor opportunities.
Depart the pier for a brief transfer to your kayaking location where you will receive a safety briefing. Afterwards, you are ready to start your kayaking adventure around the beautiful coastal waters taking in the breath-taking views of sheer cliff faces, craggy rocks and mountain ranges.
Seals are fairly common in this area and as you paddle they might swim right around you, hunting for octopus. You may also come across local dusky dolphins, lots of birdlife including the cute Blue Penguins.
At the conclusion of your two-hour guided kayaking adventure, return back to the pier.
Join a very unique experience swimming with New Zealand Fur Seals in their own spectacular marine environment on the beautiful East Coast of the South Island.
Snorkeling with wild New Zealand Fur Seals, in the shallow waters of the beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula, truly is a unique experience. It's one of those simple nature experiences that opens your mind to the sheer magnificence of the natural environment and its amazing inhabitants. A breath-taking nature activity and previously listed as one of the world's 'Top 10 Marine Encounters' by Lonely Planet.
Depart the pier for a brief transfer to the location where you will be introduced to your guides and provided with warm, buoyant wet suits and snorkeling equipment. You will then travel by bus for approximately five minutes before setting off by boat to one of the favorite seal swimming areas.
Generally, this will be no longer than a 15-minute boat ride. Along the way you will be given a briefing on New Zealand Fur Seals, aspects of snorkeling, seal swimming etiquette and safety. One to two experienced guides, equipped with large float boards will then accompany you in the water.
Due to the seals being naturally curious, you can expect to get some interactions at around 3m distance at different times. You will spend up to one hour in the water before returning to the Seal Swim base for a hot shower.
Guests can spend time in town afterwards and return to the ship via shuttle.
Explore the largest animals on the planet in their natural habitat during this unforgettable whale-watching tour designed to reveal Kaikoura's hidden wildlife wonders. Discover how a Sperm Whale survives in the dark and freezing depths of the Kaikoura Canyon or why the green-eyed Plunket Shark is easy prey for a Giant Squid.
Experience an exciting up-close encounter with the world's largest toothed predator the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment at all times of the year. You may also encounter New Zealand Fur Seals, pods of Dusky Dolphins and the endangered Wandering Albatross. Depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback Whales, Pilot Whales, Blue Whales and Southern Right Whales.
Embark on a modern catamaran equipped with engines that minimize underwater noise and toilets that never pollute the sea. The main passenger area is enclosed and air-conditioned with comfortable seating while outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities.
Experience Kaikoura's mighty Sperm Whale, playful Dusky Dolphins, and majestic scenery from above.
Depart the pier for a brief transfer to Kaikoura airport. Check in, receive your safety briefing and afterwards, take off for your exciting whale-watching from above.
With towering mountains, panoramic ocean views and a year-round whale and dolphin population, Kaikoura is a spectacular place. Whale watching by small aircraft offers the unique perspective of viewing the entire whale from head to tail as he breathes on the ocean's surface.
Enjoy your own window seat and the opportunity to clearly view and photograph Kaikoura's year round marine wildlife during your 30-minute flight from the comfort of a high winged aircraft.
The tour concludes back at the pier.