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Need Ferry Advice

Indianapolis...
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Need Ferry Advice

I'm feeling a bit panicked because I just checked ferry schedules and see that some of the times when I was planning on crossing are already sold out....so, I think I need to figure this out quickly:

Would it be too much (as in too exhausting) to try to arrive from the US in Wellington and catch the ferry across on the same day? It is "mathematically" possible given arrival and departure times, but I'm not sure it is practical.

I'd also appreciate any recommendations in terms of one ferry over the other (Bluebeard is less expensive than the InterIslander) but are there other things I should consider in choosing?

Thanks!

Indianapolis...
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11. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Thanks beanb41 -- I've seen great rates with Apex.

I'm hoping that someone will be able to help with the essence of my first question regarding the ferry.....at the end of May how likely is it that the crossing will be rough (or very rough and need rescheduled). I do understand that one can't predict what it will be like on any given day, but surely there must be a sense of how likely very rough seas will be (even if it is just for that hour in the middle of the crossing).

Thanks.

Wellington, New...
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12. Re: Need Ferry Advice

I think you have answered your own question when you say one can't predict what it will be like on a given day. Cook Strait is an open area of ocean and if a southerly storm is blowing it could be very rough. Then again, it could be a superb calm sailing. Unfortunately it is in the lap of the gods at this stage.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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13. Re: Need Ferry Advice

.... surely there must be a sense of how likely very rough seas will be (even if it is just for that hour in the middle of the crossing).... then I suggest you locate a statistician for the ferry company and ask them.

The information you seek is not common knowledge to 99.9999% of us as we don't use the ferry every day or every week or even every month.

Indianapolis...
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14. Re: Need Ferry Advice

I'm sorry for asking what appears to be an unanswerable or perhaps silly question.

We have a ferry that crosses Mobile Bay and my question came from my experiences with that ferry, but this appears to be a very different situation. Wanaka Lakes, I think the You Tube video that you posted on another forum question about the ferry rather scared me. It might make a great story for some grandparents, but I guess I'm a chicken.

Thanks everyone for the info.

Wellington, NZ
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for Wellington
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15. Re: Need Ferry Advice

If the sea is too rough, ferries will be cancelled. It is very unusual though. You may be more likely to strike bad weather in Spring, when the equinoctial gales kick in. But big storms can happen at any time.

Indianapolis...
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16. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Thanks weta -- that is a huge help, we'll be there in the fall/start to winter.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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17. Re: Need Ferry Advice

As for your still unanswered question about the difference between Bluebridge and Interislander, the ferries are quite different. I think its fair to say that the Interislander ferries do a bit more to make their ferries appeal to tourists (particularly on the Kaitaki) - their cafes have better selections of food, for example. Having said that, I prefer Bluebridge - they have very nice bar areas, comfortable seats, they are often less crowded than the Interislander and their ferries seem more stable in bad weather. And, well, money talks - it is all very nice having the premium experience by paying for it, but it is only a 3.5 hour crossing and on nice days I'd want to be out watching the crossing anyway.

It sounds to me that if you don't take the ferry on your day of arrival, it is going to put pressure on further down the line. I actually think that spending the afternoon on the ferry would be a quite relaxing way to spend the first day - if you're not up to that, you're not likely to be up to checking out the delights of Wellington. My vote would be to get to Picton, stay there and sort out your car in the morning.

Indianapolis...
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18. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Thanks NZBarry for the follow up on the other part of my question. We decided to add a day to whole trip (a gig for my hubby's band got cancelled) so that gives us more wiggle room, should we need to wait a day for the weather to clear.

I was leaning toward the Bluebridge ferry, your feedback helped seal the decision -- now to get it booked.

Thanks everyone for the great info.

London UK
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19. Re: Need Ferry Advice

For best use of time fly into Christchurch, tour South Island by car, take the car by ferry to Wellington and tour North Island before departing from Auckland for home. Because so many tourists fly into Auckland, hire a car and drop it off in South Island, car hire companies often offer incentives for hirers to pick up in Queenstown or Christchurch and drop off at Auckland Airport. In our case Jucy offered us 10 days at NZ$1 a day and full price thereafter. Other car hire companies may well pay the ferry crossing. It should be well worthwhile doing some research. Have a look at jucy.co.nz/special-offers/car-campervan-relo… as an example.

Indianapolis...
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20. Re: Need Ferry Advice

Great advice westlondoner, unfortunately we already have the flights booked so we won't get to take advantage of this. Car rental booking next on our list, Ive seen good reviews of Hertz, Jucy, and Apex. We plan to get the car in Picton and drop off in Dunedin. Then we'll rent again in Auckland.