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Banks Peninsula, Christchurch, and Antarctic Center

Price: $139.00
This tour operates from October to April.
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Tour Details
Tour Details

On this excursion you will discover Banks Peninsula and the city of Christchurch, as well as the International Antarctic Center.

You will first depart Akaroa and embark on a scenic drive that provides stunning views of the peninsula, an ancient volcano that now forms the peninsula, and its crater that now forms the harbor. Travel via the Akaroa Highway past Lakes Forsyth and Ellesmere, a natural haven for birds and other wildlife.

Upon arrival to Christchurch and following a stop at the botanical gardens, enjoy a sightseeing tour that showcases the city landmarks: the Bridge of Remembrance, the Canterbury Museum, as well as the Art Gallery and the Art Center. Other sights include the badly earthquake damaged Christchurch Cathedral, and the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The city center is currently under construction with both demolition and rebuilding underway. Due to road closures and new areas re-opening, road access can change on a daily basis.

The tour then continues on to the International Antarctic Center. The center recreates the atmosphere of Antarctica with the amazing Snow and Ice Experience, featuring the world's first indoor storm complete with lightning, arctic winds and blizzard audio. Learn about life in the most inhospitable continent on earth. Find out about the explorers who conquered the harsh terrain to reach its center, the South Pole.

You will also have an opportunity to meet the Antarctic wildlife at the Blue Penguin Encounter, before buckling up for an exhilarating Hagglund ride. Traveling over a crevasse and through water, the all-terrain amphibious adventure simulates the traveling conditions scientists experience riding across the Antarctic ice pack.

See our FAQ for more information

Shore Excursion Size
Standard
Shore Excursion Type
Cultural, Scenic
Shore Excursion Duration
5 Hours 30 Minutes
Activity Level
Moderate
Shore Excursion Leaves From
The Tender Pier Area. (Full details will be provided in your electronic ticket upon confirmation.)
Food/Beverage Provided
Not Included
Recommended Dress
We recommend guests wear comfortable clothing, with layers that may be removed, walking shoes, and sunglasses.
Restrictions
Guests must be able to walk over paved, gravel, and packed dirt surfaces, some of which are at an incline. Most sites are accessible for collapsible wheelchairs.
4.5 Stars4.5Based On 5 Reviews Review This Tour
4 StarsLong trip, good sights, a little disorganizedApril 29, 2017

Reviewer: Philip McCutchen
Due to the recent earthquakes, cruise ships cannot dock in Christchurch. As a result, shore excursions from ships anchored in Akaroa have to take a near 1-1/2 hour trip on a narrow, twisty two-lane road from Akaroa to Christchurch. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the countryside is quite pretty. However, it also means you spend half the day traveling to/from your destinations. The bus itself was fine and our driver shared with us his experiences and stories of the area along the way. Christchurch is still struggling to recover from the earthquakes, and this makes going through town something of a challenge. We could have skipped this portion of the trip and not really missed it. The best part of the trip was the Antarctic Center. Frankly, we felt quite rushed here, the center is very interesting and we could have easily spent several more hours learning about the centers' mission and purpose through the various exhibits.

5 StarsGreat experienceApril 01, 2017

Reviewer: Louis Suarez
The problem with this tour was not with the tour operator, it was with the ship. The ship did not handled the tending well at all and many passengers were arriving late. The tour operator handled the tour in a professional manner. They were able to take separate trips and make sure all attended this tour. The tour was amazing, the antarctic experience was awesome and we would recommend this tour and the views of Christchurch and all its devastation to view.

5 StarsVery enjoyableMarch 04, 2017

Reviewer: Carlene Dunn
Very well organized tour. We enjoyed our guide(s) and learning about the area.

5 StarsDon't miss this excursionFebruary 19, 2017

Reviewer: Diane
The ride from the ship to the Antarctic Center was long but ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. The center is a fun and educational place. The ride on the 9 track vehicles was exciting and the cold room gave you a taste of what it's like to be in the Antarctic. The exhibits are fascinating and the penguin talk was great. Put this on your list of not-to-miss place.

4 StarsWell arranged⦠good personal local inputsDecember 27, 2015

Reviewer: Ten thousand questions Deb
Like the local personally ‚¶

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