Our Fleet - Te Ao Mārama and Wheketere

Our Fleet - Te Ao Mārama and Wheketere

Te Ao Mārama joined our fleet on Saturday 25th October 2020 and Wheketere Saturday 12th February 2022. 

The name Te Ao Mārama refers to the world of enlightenment and talks to what we as humans can learn from the natural environment (Te Taiao).

The name Wheketere refers to fast/quick squid which is the preferred diet of the Giant Sperm Whale. 

Both are designed and constructed in New Zealand, these are new generation vessels purposely developed to deliver a greatly enhanced on-water experience to our visitors. 

Total passenger capacity 116pax Total Oceans Cabin pax 104pax Total VIP... v2

Overview of our fleet

  • Marine Grade Aluminum, Foil Assisted Catamaran. 
  • Designed by: Teknicraft Design Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Built by: Q-West Boat Builders Ltd, Whanganui, New Zealand.
  • Total Passenger Capacity: 116 Pax
  • VIP Captain's Cabin Capacity (upstairs): 12 pax
  • Ocean's Cabin Capacity (downstairs): 104 pax
  • Length: 23.9m
  • Beam: 9.2m
  • Draft: 0.9m
  • Engines: 4 x Scania DI16 076M Marine Diesel Engines each rated @ 662KW (900hp) IMO Tier II
  • Propulsion: 4 x HJ364 Hamilton Jets with AVX three station electronic control system.
  • Fitted with all the necessary safety and emergency equipment required for our type of operation.

Passenger comfort, viewing and safety is top of mind in the design of these vessels.

These vessels incorporate current and new technology to greatly improve the on-water experience, such as:

  • Sickle Bow hull shape to improve sea keeping capabilities.
  • Adjustable hydrofoil system to improve vessel performance and sea keeping capabilities.
  • Naiad Dynamic Active Interceptor Ride Control System to improve sea keeping capabilities by reducing pitch and roll motions.
  • All surround viewing with the addition of a grandstand area on the bow.

We have two cabin classes to select from.

VIP Captain’s Cabin - Our premium offering

If you are looking for greater comfort and exclusivity, then this cabin is for you.

The VIP Captain’s Cabin is situated in the wheelhouse alongside the captain and watch keeper. This cabin provides our guests with exclusive access to the captain as they go about their duties as well as a dedicated tour host for the duration of the tour.

What's on offer?

  • Capacity is limited to a maximum of 12 passengers.
  • Priority boarding and transport to and from our marina.
  • Business class seating.
  • Seats are angled outwards to maximize views through the large windows.
  • The cabin is air conditioned.
  • Water fountain is provided.
  • A large screen displays our award-winning marine animations.
  • A full tour narration is provided.
  • Trained tour hosts.
  • Access to all other passenger areas on the vessel.
  • Individual food pack and cold drinks.
  • An exclusive viewing area on the top deck. 

VIP Captain's Cabin Food

  • Individual food packs are provided to each pre-booked passenger in this cabin class.
  • You will need to advise us of any food allergies so these can be catered for accordingly. 
  • Because the food packs are made offsite daily by an independent provider, any requests to upgrade bookings after the tour check-in begins will be unable to be provided with a food pack. This will be explained further at the time of check-in should you wish to request an upgrade.
  • We strongly advise you to book your ticket in the VIP Captain's Cabin prior to your preferred day of travel to ensure your individual food pack.

VIP Captain's Cabin Experience


  • VIP Captain's Cabin Adult/Child NZ$240.00
  • Rates above valid to the 30th of September 2024



Oceans Cabin

  • The main passenger cabin is fully enclosed with large windows and outside decks that offer great viewing and photo opportunities.
  • Spacious air-conditioned interiors are fitted with comfortable seating while large screens display our award-winning marine wildlife animations.
  • Full tour narration is provided.
  • Trained tour hosts.
  • Water Fountain is available.
  • Passenger numbers are kept well below the maximum carrying capacity the vessel could cater for.

Ocean's cabin experience


  • Ocean Cabin Adult NZ$165.00
  • Ocean Cabin Child NZ$60.00 (3-15yrs inclusive)
  • Rates above valid to the 30th of September 2024



Nau Mai Haere Mai Ki Whale Watch Kaikoura  


To check our tour availability or to secure your place now please click BOOK NOW

50% OFF Winter Whale Sale T's & C's

  • PARTIAL REFUNDS DO NOT APPLY - In the event of a partial refund the recipient may exchange the remaining value within the Whale Watch Gift Shop or towards the purchase of another Whale Watch Tour. This applies to both combo's & direct 50% off tickets (1st May-30th September).


  • The tour time you have booked for is when check-in begins and is not when the tour departs, for that reason, there is no need for you to arrive at our office any earlier than at your tour time to check-in.
  • For further information on our tour, please visit FIND OUT MORE