- Historical Ship Cove – Meretoto – where Captain Cook spent 171 days
- No Seasickness Guaranteed
- Cruise Calm Sheltered Water of Queen Charlotte Sound
- Experienced Captains sharing Fun and informative commentary
- Personalized Small Fully Guided Group Tour (1-15 ratio)
- FREE Binoculars for you and Species ID Cards
- Amazing Photo opportunities so close you only need a phone
- Bottlenose, Dusky, Hector’s Dolphins and Orca
- Family Friendly Boats with Children Toys and education
- Complimentary Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate and Biscuits
- Complimentary Local Wine on PM Tours
- Travel with E-Ko and Support local Conservation efforts
- Free high-quality wildlife photos
Save the planet –
Take an E-Ko Tour!
Take an E-Ko Tour!
A portion of each tour fee goes back into conservation
Tour info in brief
|0800 : 1.30 PM|
|Pricing:||Adult: $129 (16+ years)
Child: $65 (5 – 15 years)
Infant: $30 (0 – 4 years)
|Location:||1 Wellington Street , Picton|
|Briefing:||0745 :1.15 PM|
No Seasickness Guarantee
About the Tour
Cruise the length of the calm and sheltered Queen Charlotte Sound – Totaranui to Ship Cove – Meretoto
Cruise to Ship Cove, Meretoto and see where Captain Cook spent 170 days: He wrote this was the most beautiful place in the Pacific! This special place has information plaques in place which cover all the local information about Cook’s time here and also detail the history of Maori settlement and other explorers who came later.
For all the local stories listen to your experienced local Captain Guide who knows the stories of the Europeans and the local Maori. Hear about what were the most important traded items between Maori and Europeans between 1770 -1779. Listen to Kupe’s story: Kupe arrived 72 generations ago at the same location! See where Captain Cook pulled his boat ashore for repairs, hear about the naturalist Sir Joesph Banks and his amazing cataloguing of nature at Ship Cove, and much more.
While you’re there try the local creek which filters down through the rain forest. Cook used this water to grow the first vegetables in New Zealand and also to brew the first beer. It still tastes fantastic!
On the way stop with Seals, Dolphins, Seabirds and enjoy our qualified Guide and Captains commentary. We specialize in wildlife encounters and give you species identification cards and your own binoculars so you can get involved. Amazing photos are possible on our specialized boats and our expert team will get you close to dolphins, seals and sea birds along the way.
Let our award-winning team offering small tour group sizes with a qualified guide and experienced Captain give you the BEST experience possible, highlighting the most significant changes in this area, the start of New Zealand culture and Cook’s subsequent arrival 250 years ago.
On the return enjoy a glass of Yealands award-winning Pinot Gris or if you like hot chocolate, tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits.
What to expect
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 on the South Island of New Zealand.
After being welcomed ashore by the cheeky resident Wekas, Oyster Catchers and Paradise Shellducks, you’ll spend approximately 35 minutes enjoying the untouched native forest, fascinating history and breathtaking scenery.
See and touch the Kupe Pou Whenua which shows the story of Kupe who arrived here 72 generations ago. Learn how both Maori and European embraced each other here in Meretoto/ Ship Cove.
Your Captain Guide knows all the local stories from both the ancient Maori times and the 170 days cook spent at Ship Cove during 5 visits from 1770-17779.
Spectacular views of Motuara Island and the open ocean in Cook Strait leaving you speechless.
After returning to the boat, sit back and relax with a hot drink and cookies as we cruise back to Picton.
You’ll also enjoy a free sample of Yealands award-winning local wine on the way home! Enjoy 🙂
Free Independent Travellers
This tour is a variation on our Motuara Wildlife Island Sanctuary and Dolphin Cruise.
Instead of getting off 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 at Ship Cove is partly guided by the Captain on board.
Groups with over 10 Travellers
This is an excellent tour for a group that wants to experience scenery, wildlife, history, wine and dolphins.
We can accommodate 30 on 1 vessel and 20 on the second. All group bookings are fully guided by the best guides in Picton.
What to bring
- Waterbottle (FREE filtered water in E-Ko Shop )
Where are we?
We are located conveniently on Picton’s main waterfront with car parking close by and only a 1-minute walk from the main street.
Just look for the Dusky Dolphin outside our shop.
Before your tour starts feel free to take a seat inside the shop or outside on our sun drenched deck and enjoy the stunning views.
Customers can also get online with our free WiFi, and purchase a tea or coffee to enjoy on the deck.
You will Never Miss your Ferry
Our tour schedules are integrated with the Interislander – so there is no chance that you’ll miss your ferry.
What people are saying about us
FACEBOOK – 5 Star *****
Awesome tour! Nice boat, great skipper, and guide.
Both know a lot about the area and about the wildlife.
Enthusiastic and fun! Spotted dolphins within the first 20 minutes and was a great experience! ? Thanks so much, guys, would definitely recommend you to all people visiting NZ!
Trip Advisor – 5 Star *****
Small group of people on the boat and the whole experience was extremely well done. We saw amazing bird and sea life.
Facebook –5 Star *****
Amazing tour! awesome team! Just a really lovely experience! boom!