Banks Peninsula, Christchurch, and Antarctic Center

Banks Peninsula, Christchurch and Antarctic Center Tour (Lakes Forsyth and Ellesmere)
Price: $187.00
Choose Options My Cruise Itinerary
Shore Excursion Size ? Standard
Shore Excursion Type Cultural, Scenic
Shore Excursion Duration 5 Hours 30 Minutes
Activity Level ? Moderate
Shore Excursion Leaves From ? Cruise Ship Tender Pier
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.

Banks Peninsula, Christchurch, and Antarctic Center

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

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 Arts 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.

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4.5 Stars4.7 / 5  |  20 ReviewsReview This Tour
Wonderful Experience - well worth time and money!
March 20, 2020
We enjoyed the vistas and panoramic views on the drive from Akaroa to Christchurch. Our driver provided much history and a great understanding of the agriculture and rebuilding efforts following the earth quake. In addition, our visit to the Antarctic Center was stupendous! We honestly felt as though we had visited the Arctic Circle and have a great appreciation for the work they do there.
Reviewer: Leah Naess
5 Stars
Best experience of our 19 day vacation!
February 26, 2020
The visit to the Antarctic Center was awesome! From experiencing the vehicles used on the ice to the cold room and 4D movie to seeing the injured penguins recovering their health we were constantly amazed.
Reviewer: Steven Bellmoff
5 Stars
Iris Panasiuk
February 08, 2020
The long drive into Christchurch really gave us a wonderful perspective of the land of New Zealand. The city tour was interesting to see the amount of resurrection of the city and how much more has to be done after the earthquake 10 years ago. The Antarctic Center was good, but we were not there long enough.... we were rushed off the bus and onto the ice mobile you didn't even have time to think if you wanted to go on it. Two of us were older and needed help with the huge step up to the vehicle there was no one to help. After the ride we were again rushed into the cafeteria where we had to buy our own meal and told we could not order anything hot as there was no time!! We then walked to the Antarctic room where we dawned coats, slippers for over our shoes. It was very interesting. After the Ice room, we were walked back to the exit with no time to look at any exhibits or buy souvenirs. Another 1 1/2 hrs needed to be added to this tour.
Reviewer: Iris Panasiuk
4 Stars
Banks Peninsula and Antarctic Centre
January 15, 2020
Trip from Akaroa into Christchurch was lengthy but very worthwhile to see the rebuilding from the earthquake. Highlight was the exciting experiences offered at the Antarctic Centre
Reviewer: Diane Healy
5 Stars
January 12, 2020
good excursion very good presenter
Reviewer: ben
5 Stars
Banks Peninsula, Christchurch & Antarctic Center
March 23, 2019
While the drive from the port in Akaroa to Christchurch is quite long, our guide/driver Scotty kept us entertained with a steady and entertaining flow of information about the history, topography, earthquake, etc, of the area. Seeing the reconstruction work being done in the city was very impressive, as was hearing about the huge impact it had. We had a different driver for the second part of the tour that included a city tour and visit to the Antarctic Centre. He added some additional info about the city history. The Antarctic Center was interesting, and the highlights were the 4D video & Hagglund ride. There was not really enough time to see all the Center had to offer since we had to wait to enter the display area until about 10 minutes prior to the video and then had to stand in line to make sure we got seats in the theatre. That made the rest of our visit rather rushed. Still, it is worth the visit.
Reviewer: Jan Bloomfield
4 Stars