Posted by: kiwitravelandtours | April 26, 2010

Bay of Islands -overnight cruise

Fullers has added an overnight cruise to their repertoire of Bay of Island experiences. Mike and I recently checked it out, along with a couple of younglings (well, 21 year olds!) so we could get their opinion.

Bay of Islands overnight cruise
Ipipiri -46 metre catamaran; 4 levels; 30 cabins with ensuites; bar, dining room and decks

After departure, Ipipiri cruised around some of the 144 islands that give the area its name, with the Captain pointing out local landmarks and backfilling some of the local history.  Then it was time to anchor off one of the islands for a couple of hours to partake of some off the complimentary activities available -kayaking, snorkelling, swimming, beach and nature walks. The staff were great -very helpful, and with a variety of ages and sizes on board, all were catered for.  However, although the kayaking was enjoyable, and the island lovely to walk around and bird spot, the younglings reported that the snorkeling tour was fairly uneventful with not a lot to see.

Bay of Islands kayaking
Mike showing off his kayaking prowess

However, all of us did enough exercise to justify hogging into the very yummy Kapiti cheese selection with pre-dinner drinks as the catamaran cruised into a sheltered cove for the night. A 3 course dinner followed -a choice of 2 plated entrees, buffet style mains and desserts.

After a restful nights sleep, we ate breakfast as the Captain continued his tour and commentary.  The Bay was looking beautiful and I felt myself relaxing into a semi-stupor -until the morning’s entertainment arrived -a pod of dolphins.  Ipiriri isn’t licensed to dolphin ‘chase’ but they can certainly allow the dolphins to find them -and the Captain made sure that we were given the opportunity to enjoy their antics.

Bay of Islands cruising
Looking at me looking at him!

 Ipipiri operates all year round, it departs Opua at 1.30pm and returns the next day at around 10.00am.  Passengers are transported by coach to and from Paihia.


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