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    Rob Pine Pictures of Hector's in the Queen Charlotte Sound
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    E-Ko News
    Author: E-Ko Tours
    March 13, 2018

Ship Cove and Dolphin Cruise

The E-Ko Ship Cove and Dolphin Tour

Cruise the length of the calm and sheltered Queen Charlotte Sound. Experience and learn about playful dolphins (90% encounter rate), fur seals and amazing seabirds before landing at historic Ship Cove where Captain Cook first made landfall in the South Island of New Zealand. 


After being welcomed ashore by the cheeky resident Wekas, Oyster Catchers and Paradise Shelducks, you'll spend approximately 35 minutes enjoying the untouched native forest, fascinating history and breathtaking scenery. 


Spectacular views toward Motuara Island and the open ocean in Cook Strait will leave you speechless.  After returning to the boat, sit back and relax with a hot drink and cookies as we cruise back to Picton.

This tour is a variation on our Wildlife Island Sanctuary and Dolphin Cruise tour at 13:30. Instead of getting of on Motuara island, you’ll wait for those passengers to disembark, then the skipper will take you over to Ship Cove. Once you return to the boat, we’ll pick up the passengers on Motuara, and return together.

Please note that the on land part of this tour is unguided.

Please phone or email to request this option.


Commonly seen on this tour

Hector's Dolphin

Hector's Dolphin

(Cephalorhynchus hectori)

The Hector's dolphin is one of the world's smallest cetaceans at approximately 1.4m in length. It is only found in New Zealand and is our only endemic cetacean. It can be found in the north and south islands and has an estimated population of around 13, 000 individuals.

King Shag

King Shag

(Leucocarbo carunculatus)

The King Shag is one of the world's rarest sea birds with a global population of only ~830. They are endemic to the Marlborough Sounds and are the largest of the Cormorant species that inhabit the region. 

Departure Information

  • Duration

    4-4 hours
  • Briefing Time

    Viewing Only - 30 Minutes before tour departure


Wellington Street Picton
View Map View Map


  • Wildlife and historical cruise
  • Dolphins 90%
  • No sea sickness
  • Ship Cove
More Info

Conservation Initiatives

Here at E-Ko Tours we are proud to follow the Marine Mammal Protection Act 1978 and the Marine Mammal Protection Regulations 1992. These ensure the marine mammals of New Zealand are protected and that their conservation is a top priority. Our interactions with the marine mammals of the Marlborough Sounds adhere to all regulations and our conservation focused tours are designed to educate and raise awareness about conservation in the Marlborough Sounds.