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Ship Cove Day Cruise


  • Historical Ships Cove were Captain Cook spent 171 days
  • No Seasickness Guaranteed
  • Cruise Calm Sheltered Water of Queen Charlotte Sound
  • Experienced Captains with 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
  • To Stay for the WHOLE DAY just add $50 person ( 0800-1730)
  • Bottlenose, Dusky, Hectors 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

Save the planet –
Take an E-Ko Tour!

A portion of each tour fee goes back into conservation

Tour info in brief

4 hours ( +$50 if spending all day)
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 to Ship Cove

Cruise to Ship Cove and see where Captain Cook spent 171 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 Cooks time here.

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 was to the most imported traded items between Maori and European between 1770 -1779,  listen to Kupe’s story. Kupe arrived 72 generations ago at this location and his descendants are still locals, see where Captain Cook pulled his boat ashore for repairs, hear about Sir Joesph Banks amazing natural sciences work at Ship Cove and lots more. Learn about the Russian Antarctic expedition that stopped here in 1821.

We have been Guiding people here for 20 years with qualified guides and are the only company to offer daily guided tours to Ship Cove and other locations in this stunning scenic location.

While you are their try the local creek water which filters down t through the rain forest. Cook used this water to grow the first vegetables in New Zealand and also 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, sea birds along the way.

We offer small group tours and are the only company with qualified Guides onboard our Cruises. Let our award-winning team give you the BEST experience possible in the Marlborugh Sounds.

On the return enjoy a glass of Yealands award-winning Pinot Gris or if you like Hot Chocolate, tea, coffee and chocolate biscuits.


Fur Seal in Picton Ships cove information Ship cove monument Bottlenose dolphin jumping little blue penguins Weka close up Hectors Dolphin Pied Shag Dusky Dolphin Leaping out of water Kupe Pole at Ship Cove Captain Cooks monument 2019 Bridge and Moku at Ship Cove Totara tree QCT Track Walkers Lookout at Ship Cove


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 Shelducks, you’ll spend approximately 35 minutes enjoying the untouched native forest, fascinating history and breathtaking scenery.

See and touch the Kupe flagpole which shows the story of Kupe who arrived here 72 generations ago. Listen to your guide’s stories of how both Maori and European embraced each other here in Meretoto/ Ship Cove.

Your Captain Guide nows all the local stories from both the ancient Maori times and the 17o days cook spent at Ship Cove during 5 visits from 1770-17779.

Spectacular views of 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.

You’ll also enjoy a free sample of Yealands award-winning local wine and Sealord’s local mussels. Yes – Wine and Seafood 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 is partly guided by the Captain on board at Ship Cove.

Groups with over 10 Travellers

This is an excellent tour for a group that wants to experience scenery, wildlife, history, dolphins, wine and seafood.

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

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • 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

“Awesome tour!”

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!

“Great value”

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.

“Amazing Tour!”

Facebook –5 Star *****

Amazing tour! awesome team! Just a really lovely experience! boom!