Relaxed Evening Cruise

Stunning Views

Evening Swim

Unforgettable Bay of Islands Evening Cruise

There’s nothing quite like an evening cruise in the Bay of Islands to make your weekend away unforgettable. Join the Barefoot crew and sail the inner area of the Bay of Islands to make the most of our beautiful sea breeze on this relaxing scenic evening cruise. This is the perfect start to a night out with friends and family, a romantic getaway, or just the ideal way to end the day in this unique part of the world.

Please note: this is a popular cruise so please book in advance to avoid disappointment!


Snap beautiful shots of the Bay of Islands as the sun goes down

Watch the wind fill the sails, kick back and enjoy the tranquillity

Sail the inner bays of Paihia, Waitangi, Russell or Opua

See the landmarks in the Bay of Islands from a different perspective

Enjoy a refreshing swim stop at a sheltered anchorage

Sip on a refreshing cold drink and take in the stunning scenery

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The Details

The Details


  • $80 Adult
  • $70 child (12 or under)

Departure time

5pm sharp! Please be ready to board the boat at Paihia beach by 4:45pm. Returns 7pm

Meeting point

Paihia Beach, Marsden Rd Paihia


December to March, days of operation vary due to demand


2 hours

Group size

Max 16 people


  • Swim stop
  • Refreshing cold drink

What to bring

  • A hat and sunglasses
  • Swimwear and towel
  • Bottle of water to keep handy – we can refill it for you
  • Comfortable casual clothing – jeans are not recommended, wear quick dry fabric
  • Warm clothes and a jacket as it may be windy, as well as a light layer to cover up from the sun
  • Don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure – we’ll do the rest!

Tour staff

Skipper & crew

The Experience

Departing from Paihia beach, we’ll set off for our stunning swim destination. When we arrive at a sheltered anchorage, the choice is yours. You can take dip or dive, make a splash or do a bomb in the sea or just kick back, relax and be entertained by the view!

Enjoy the beauty of the anchorage and take in the scenery while sipping on a refreshing cold drink. Afterwards, we’ll set sail and enjoy the last of the Bay of Islands summer sea breeze for the evening as we meander back to Paihia.

As we sail the inner bays of the Bay of Islands: Paihia, Opua, Russel and Waitangi, you’ll experience the landscape from a different perspective, on the water. Be sure to take it all in as we cruise alongside the water’s edge and meander through peaceful anchorages, catching a glimpse of prime real estate perched on the hilltops.

This is the perfect setting to make the most of your time in the Bay of Islands. So if you’re short on time, or arrive in town in the afternoon and looking for something special to make the most of your day, you’ve found it in our Sundowner Evening Cruise!

Frequently Asked Questions

If lockdown restricts travel & operation of the cruise at the time it is booked, you may reschedule your booking, hold a credit or opt for a full refund of the ticket price. See the Covid Policy page for more details.

We have a maximum of 16 passengers on our cruises.

You will find us on the beach at Paihia. We won’t be hard to find once you get there, just walk along the beach and you will see the boat anchored very close to the shoreline. If you’re not sure, search Google Maps for Barefoot Sailing Adventures and you will easily find us. The crew will be on board getting it ready for our sailing adventures so give them a wave and have a seat on a bench or a nice sandy spot on the beach, they will hop off to meet you on the beach when the boat is ready to board.

Absolutely! But not too wet – you will have to step into the water to get onto the boat. Sometimes it is ankle or calf deep, other times a wave will roll in and it may be up to your knees. So kick your shoes off and roll up your trousers before you step aboard. Sometimes we get the odd wave splash on the boat, it’s all part of the fun!

Just the usual – bottle of water, warm clothing, a jacket, footwear for island walks, swimwear, towel, hat, sunglasses and sunblock – please do not spray sunblock, it eats the paint.

Please do bring clothing that you can cover up with, the summer sun can be intense on your skin so be prepared for this as much as the possibility of cool wind.

Nope, just like the name suggests we are Barefoot Sailing Adventurers!  Kick off your shoes at the shore and experience the Kiwi barefoot culture for yourself, it’s quite liberating!

No, the boat sits flat while sailing which means it is a very comfortable experience, especially for first-time sailors or families with children. There is plenty of deck space and we have bean bags to relax on if you are sitting on the front half of the boat, the back half has seating.

Yes, our skipper loves to get people involved if they want to take the helm or help set the sails. There are some conditions or points of sail that it is not practical to have others helm the boat, but for the most part you are very welcome.

No, you are welcome to bring your own snacks if you wish. We have planned the Sundowner as a pre-dinner cruise, returning at 7pm – perfect for dinner reservations following.

Yes, we do. We use the motor to get in and out of the beach to anchor. We just love sailing! So we like to sail as much as possible, the boat performs far better under sail than under motor so sailing it is! There are times where if there is not enough wind to reach our destination we will have to use the engine or keep to our time schedule – we don’t like to make anyone late to catch their ferry/bus.

Yes, we often see dolphins, not every day but they are there and if they happen to be where we are sailing it is a lovely experience to see them play around the boat. We like to advise you that the Bay of Islands is a Marine Mammal Sanctuary. The resident dolphins are very sensitive to human and boat interaction, we do not encourage any interaction with them. For this reason, we will not follow them nor do we do any swimming with them. We prefer to leave them to do what dolphins do best – be dolphins in the wild!

We have children of all ages on our cruises, even babies on occasion, however, the Sundowner Evening Cruise is not suitable for children under 5 years old, due to the late time of day. We find babies and toddlers often don’t cope well when it is usually their dinner/settling time. Children 5 years old and over are fine. The trip is 2 hours sailing on the boat. If your child is exceptionally active this might not be too well suited as we can’t allow them to run around the boat, but gentle play is ok, and we are really happy for interactive kids to join the sailing. The swimming is from the boat in deep water so kids must be able to swim unassisted without a life jacket.

Our experience is if both parents are very nervous on the boat the kids will play up, so one confident parent is the key to a good sailing experience. Please consider the enjoyment of our other guests too when deciding whether it is a suitable trip for your family. If you are unsure please call we are happy to chat with you about it, and we’d love you to enjoy an amazing family sailing experience in the Bay of Islands with us.

Please note: the maximum number allocation we have for the boat is 16, so young children and even babies are considered a whole person and count towards this number so we can’t give tickets free for infants or toddlers.

New Zealand can be tricky to plan for with the weather, particularly when choosing outdoor activities. So to be realistic you just have to be prepared for anything as we can’t promise that every day will be a perfect summer’s day.

We do try our best and are very vigilant when it comes to weather, the skipper is well informed with different weather forecasting models.

Safety is always our foremost concern, then comfort. We are generally not too bothered by a rain shower here or there. The seating of the boat is on deck in the open air, so we have rain ponchos to cover up and stay warm/dry, or you can pop down into the cabins if you want. If the forecast looks like a serious day of rain, which will make the trip a misery then we will cancel/postpone, as we would like our guests to have a good experience.

The skipper is experienced to make decisions based on the weather, and the final decision will be theirs (keeping in mind that we are reliant on the information that is given to us, we can’t promise the forecast will be 100% correct).

We have a strict operational policy to follow when it comes to weather cancellations. Cancellation of the cruise by the Barefoot Sailing Adventures staff will happen on the morning of the scheduled cruise when we get the latest weather update possible, please check your emails at 8:30 am for any updates. We will try to make contact by phone the day before if we have early warning, but phone communication can be difficult with people travelling and the possibility of bad reception or overseas calling numbers not working, so always check your emails at 8:30 am. If we decide to cancel, a full refund will be given if we can’t make alternative arrangements for another day that suits your travel plans.

We understand that everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to the weather, and we do our best to make everyone as comfortable as we possibly can. Sometimes people are not used to the wind, the sea state, salty splashes, a bit of rain, or even the sunshine. But as Kiwis, this is all part of our lifestyle, and it is how New Zealand has become so well known for its adventure tourism because we are so good at it!

Cancellations – If you wish to cancel your cruise for any reason, there is a 10% non-refundable fee. This fee covers booking fees and credit card charges and administration which we can’t recoup. 90% of the total price will be refunded to the credit card which was used to make the purchase. Normal transaction times apply.

Cancellations within 48 hours of cruise departure are non refundable. If you do not show for your booking the full charge will apply, this includes if you are late for your scheduled Cruise. Tickets are not transferable for another day in the case of cancellation within 48 hours, or a no show.

We recommend our guests hold a comprehensive travel insurance policy in case of any unexpected changes in their travel plans that may incur a cancellation fee.

If we make a cancellation due to weather, mechanical issues, or any circumstance out of our control we will give you the option to re-schedule, hold a credit for your booking or give you a full refund.

Risk Disclosure Statement – Barefoot Sailing Adventures

We are committed to delivering a safe and enjoyable experience. We take all care to ensure your safety, however there are inherent risks in the nature of our activity. To ensure your safety, you must follow the
instructions of our time, act in a safe manner, be physically capable of undertaking any activity you partake in, and not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The following risks may result in serious injury or death:
Boarding and disembarking – slips, trips, falls, crushing.
Sailing equipment – impact injury from moving parts, entanglement.
Changing weather conditions – sea state, moving vessel, exposure to the elements wind cold rain sun heat, unforeseen events. Natural hazards.
Water activities – swimming snorkeling paddle boarding, encounters with marine creatures, cuts & grazes, missing person, person adrift, drowning.
Island walks – uneven terrain, slips & trips, cliffs & steep drop offs, getting lost.
Chemicals – poisoning, burns.
Remote location – medical facilities and immediate access to medical care are limited and may be significantly distant.
Vessel Emergencies – Person overboard, vessel grounding, steering, loss of engine power, fire, abandon ship, encounters with marine mammals.
Natural Hazards – Tsunami, waterspout, wildfire.
Personal Property – risk to personal property being damaged.

By participating, you signify your acknowledgment and acceptance of these inherent risks, and agree to conduct yourself in a safe manner.
Your safety and enjoyment are our priority, and we appreciate your cooperation ensuring a safe experience. You agree to inform all others in your party of the above risks.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page!

Good to Know

Cruises depart Tues /Thurs/ Fri/ Satm Dec during summer from December to March, and daily by demand through the peak Christmas/New Year holidays. Bookings are essential.

All cruises require a minimum number of guests to depart, so this makes booking in advance essential. The boat and crew will only be ready to sail if there are bookings made in advance of departure time.

During peak summer the cruise is very popular so be sure to make your booking so you don’t miss out as we don’t have large capacity.

We may be able to take late notice bookings by phone, however the online booking calendar closes to bookings at 3pm on the day of the cruise, so please call to make a booking after 3pm.

This cruise is designed with the active traveller in mind, a reasonable level of physical ability is required to board the boat safely and to be able to move around the boat while it is underway. This is not difficult on a calm day, but if there is a bit of wind and waves this can be challenging for some people, particularly if you have mobility problems in the knees or legs. If you are unsure whether it will suit you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, we are happy to help.

The swim stop is an anchorage in a sheltered bay, swimming in deep water is for competent swimmers only. We don’t provide life jackets for swimmers.

The water temperature ranges from 18 degrees in October, warming up to around 20 degrees in December and makes its way up to a peak in February of around 23 degrees, before slowly cooling off to around 20 degrees again in May. People swim all season long on this cruise, depending on their version of “warm enough!”

The seating is arranged on deck. There is a range of seating from bean bag seating to comfortable bench seating in the cockpits with the crew. There is no specific shade cover on the boat, however you do get shade from the sails on different parts of the boat while we are sailing.

Private Charters are available for your group exclusively, check out the Private Charters page or call to enquire.

Gift vouchers are available

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