Bay of Islands

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

Badge of ExcellenceRussell, New Zealand
Bay of Islands Tall Ship Sailing on R Tucker Thompson including BBQ Lunch

From US$109.98

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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

What's Included

  • Cruise on board the "R. Tucker Thompson" tall ship
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • BBQ lunch
  • Wet weather gear (if required)
  • Bar on board (inc. alchoholic and non alchoholic beverages)
  • Morning Tea with our famous scones
  • Hotel pick up and drop off

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Russell Wharf, Russell, Bay of Islands
    27 The Strand, Russell 0202, New Zealand

    Departing from the Russell Wharf. We provide free ferry transfers to and from Paihia to Russell. Arrives back to Russell wharf at 3.30pm. Ferries back to Paihia depart every 20 min. (wait times may occur on busy days).

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

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.


15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Bay of Islands

5 hours Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Please talk to us about any physical disabilities. We try hard to accommodate all travelers!
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Once in a lifetime must do experience for the whole family. Food was fantastic! Staff so friendly and welcoming


242 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 242 reviews
Memories on a ship
Cindy_B, Apr 2023
Once in a lifetime must do experience for the whole family. Food was fantastic! Staff so friendly and welcoming
Response from Host, Apr 2023
So glad you enjoyed the trip, and the wonderful food. We bake our scones fresh in the galley every trip. Thank you for your kind review.
Just do it!!
Lisa_C, Mar 2023
I had the best day!! Crew were amazing! Food was fab!! And all the money that is made goes back into programs to help teenage kids !
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Thank you for sailing with us, and making a difference to lives of Northland youth!
Awesome day out. Great...
Estelle_G, Mar 2023
Awesome day out. Great staff and food with awesome visit to Robertson Island. Would highly recommend
Response from Host, Mar 2023
We're glad to hear you had a great time. We also love Robertson Island. Thank you for the review.
R. Tucker Thompson Tall Ship Experience
Michelle_G, Mar 2023
Amazing day out on the water. Awesome, fun and friendly crew. Delicious home made food. Fun in the water jumping off the boat and exploring a local island. The kids really enjoyed helping the crew with the sails. No pressure to participate if you just wanted to sit back and enjoy the sights. Would highly recommend!
Response from Host, Mar 2023
A great day out for the family! Thank you for the wonderful review.
Great day on the water
Craig_A, Feb 2023
Great day on the water. 10kn breeze, and a thunderstorm on the way home to add to the experience. Scones were great.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
This sounds like an adventure! We have fun on board the Tucker no matter the weather. Thanks for the great review.
Twice the fun and experience, and dollars spent for a great youth program.
Allan_C, Feb 2023
How nice, friendly, helpful, and fun the crew, especially Tom and Shana. Really great that we got wind to SAIL.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
So happy you had such a great time with our amazing crew and wind in our sails! Thanks,
Amazing sailing experience
Kenneth_S, Feb 2023
What a wonderful day from start to finish a life long memory. Loved get the opportunity to steer the boat. Thank so much for such a wonderful experience.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Fantastic! Sharing these experiences and life long memories is why we do what we do! Thank you!
Great sail through the Bay of Islands
jfgincarolinas, Feb 2023
The captain was great! He made the experience inclusive with opportunities for passengers to take the helm and climb the rigging. There was ample time for a swim and to walk a beach. We highly recommend this trip.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Fantastic! We are so happy to hear you had such a great time sailing and exploring the beautiful Bay of Islands with us. We love people getting involved with the sailing of the ship and enjoying a beautiful full unhurried day, a break from the fast paced world we live in! Thanks so much,
Such a memorable day.
maryjbetts, Dec 2022
Such an excellent day, a beautiful ship, amazing friendly and well experienced crew and an excellent lunch. A big thank you to everyone for looking after us especially Tom our chef for the day and Ben our captain.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thank you so much for your very appreciative review, our crew and skipper do such a fantastic job of looking after our guests, so happy that you had such a memorable day out sailing the beautiful Bay with us. Thank you,
A must do experience.
James_W, Dec 2022
Being able to take part in the running of the ship, from hauling up and making fast the tender, to being at the helm through tacking in a strong wind.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Excellent! So happy you got stuck in with sailing the ship! So much fun to be had! Thank you,
Better captain and crew compare to Captain Jack sparrow
Mayur_R, Apr 2022
Ahoy fellow wannabe sailors... This trip provided best experience... ability to get involved in every task crew does, taste best chef quality food prepared by Aby and BBQ by captain himself.... and learning past present and future stories about the ship. Based on experience I would say, they are charging way less than what experience is worth.... best crew and best ship.
Response from Host, Apr 2022
Argh fellow pirate! Thank you for your review.
The crew were amazing!...
Barbara_T, Mar 2022
The crew were amazing! Such a friendly happy group . The weather perfect for sailing and the crew so efficient at raising and lowering the sails.
Response from Host, Mar 2022
Thanks for your review. Our crew loves sailing, and it shows.
Wonderful day out, great...
Julia_W, Jan 2022
Wonderful day out, great lunch, never to be forgotten. The best way to see the most beautiful bay in the world.
Response from Host, Jan 2022
Julia, so pleased to hear you enjoyed the trip in our special part of the world. It is something different isn't it! Thank you for writing a review, we appreciate it. Nga mihi.
Fantastic trip
Amanda_F, Jan 2022
The trip was amazing. Great captain and staff. Great food and amazing ship. The day was filled with history brilliant experience.
Response from Host, Jan 2022
Thank you for sailing with us and for taking the time to write this review, we appreciate it! Enjoy the rest of your holiday, thank you!
Steve, Abbie and Michelle...
Angela_s, Mar 2021
Steve, Abbie and Michelle were awesome. Very friendly and Steve was a real character, he had some very tall tales to tell hahaha It was our first time on a sail ship and loved everyy minute of it. I was a little disappointed that I had a shoulder injury and couldn't help out but there's always next time. Highly recommended Adventure 😁👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾👍🏾
Response from Host, Mar 2021
Glad you enjoyed your time on board with Captain Uncle Steve! We'd love to see you again when you aren't carrying an injured shoulder, kia ora and thank you.
Absolute Must Do
Kevin_D, Feb 2021
Everything from the great crew to the other passengers. All were just nice. Having a school of dolphins playing around the boat was a real bonus.
Response from Host, Mar 2021
Kia ora Thank you for your feedback - we're glad that there was a good atmosphere aboard - that's why we do this . While we don't seek out wildlife and follow the regulations regarding sea mammals, sometimes they come our way to say hello.
Had a great trip and will do it again when we visit next time.
Liam_m, Feb 2021
We had a great time from beginning to end. Crew friendly and happy to answer any question . Captain a genuine sailor so knows his stuff. You can help raise the sails if you want, sail the ship and climb the rigging or just enjoy the ride. When the sails are up and the engine is off, she is truly under sail and its great. In the winter season the ship is used for youth development.
Response from Host, Feb 2021
Kia ora That is our favourite part too - when the engine is turned off and Tucker gets to do what she does best: sail! We are happy you enjoyed your experience. Thank you for your support!
Fantastic experience
Wendy_B, Jan 2021
Captain Wayne and the crew, the ship itself, the weather and the scenery. It was such fun and beautifully arranged and organised.
Response from Host, Jan 2021
Kia ora We're thrilled you had such a great time - will pass on to the crew.
Amazing day out for the Bullen family
Matt_B, Jan 2021
Lets start with the crew, AMAZING!, Piper you have a huge future! The rest of the crew were fantastic, very skilled and communicative. The sailing experience was amazing, the ship was incredible, the lunch just blew us away. This wasn't one of the cheaper activities we have done but it was incredible value for money. Our son went to the top of the mast and both kids loved swinging from the rigging. We are so pleased that the youth of the far north will benefit from the funds raised by our tour. Thank you again all involved with the R. Tucker Thompson experience!
Response from Host, Jan 2021
Thank you for the great review. Piper is one of our trainees and will be thrilled with your feedback. The rest of the crew will appreciate your kind words as well. We like to think the sailing is good value so appreciate your support. Kia ora!
E xcellent trip. Best holiday experience.
Paul_H, Nov 2020
Crew were very welcoming. Skipper was knowledgable and personable. Just enough commentary without being too much. Good sense of fun. Although I did not climb the rigging I enjoyed watching those braver than me. The luch and refreshments were excellent. Thank you for a great day.
Response from Host, Nov 2020
Kia ora We're so happy you were able to join us on the ship and enjoyed the experience - we'll make sure to pass on your comments to the crew. Thank you for supporting our programmes and come again!

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