Sample delicious New Zealand Greenshell mussels at the source

Greenshell Mussel Cruise FAQs

How do I find Havelock?

Havelock is a small seaport township on State Highway 6, the main road between Blenheim and Nelson – about 30 minutes drive from Blenheim. Click to see a map. Havelock is the gateway to the Pelorus Sound and Kenepuru Sound, two of the main sounds that make up the Marlborough Sounds. The third sound is the Queen Charlotte Sound, out of Picton, that many visitors get to see if travelling on a ferry. Havelock is a great little township to explore with lots of arts and crafts, cafe and restaurants. These days Havelock is known as the ‘Greenshell Mussel Capital of the world’. There are more Greenshell mussels brought in through this port than anywhere else.

Where and when do I board the cruise?

Our launch, MV Spirit, is docked at Pier C at Havelock Marina. Turn towards the water from Havelock township and drive down and park near the Slip Inn Café. Pier C is directly to the right of the Slip Inn Café, when you’re facing the water.
For 1.30pm departures, please arrive to check in by 1.15pm. For 1pm departures, please arrive to check in by 12.45pm.

What’s available onboard?

As part of the Marlborough Sounds cruise we serve freshly-steamed Greenshell mussels with a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. There is also a licensed bar facility on board which has a good range of Marlborough wines, along with beers, juice, bottled water. You can also purchase a range of light food items including chips and peanuts. EFTPOS, Visa and Mastercard can be used onboard. The launch has a range of indoor and outdoor areas for your comfort and for viewing the beautiful Marlborough Sounds scenery.

What should I bring along on the cruise?

Bring your camera, a sunhat and sunscreen. It also pays to bring a light windbreaker jacket, in case there is a chilly sea breeze. In the middle of summer you may wish to bring your swimsuit and a towel, as there may be an opportunity to have a swim while we are anchored.

Will I get seasick and should I take seasick medication?

No, getting seasick is very unlikely. The Marlborough Sounds is a very sheltered waterway and doesn’t get ocean swells or waves. We generally have fairly flat sea conditions in the inner Marlborough Sounds area that we cruise. A strong wind can make things choppy but it’s uncommon to encounter rough sea conditions on this cruise. Our vessels, such as MV Spirit, are very large and stable, they are the largest charter cruise boats in the Havelock marina.

I am travelling by myself – will your cruise still operate?

Our cruises have a minimum of two people. Send us an email with the date/s you will be in Marlborough, and we can let you know the best day/s to come on a cruise when we have other guests booked in.

Should we have lunch before the cruise?

Yes - the Marlborough Sounds cruise is designed as an afternoon scenic with a great tasting of fresh mussels. You will get lots of mussels to eat but we wouldn't call it a lunch, so it is best to have lunch before you come out. The Slip Inn Cafe in Havelock is a great spot for lunch and it’s right next to our departure point at Pier C in the Havelock Marina.

Do you have group cruise departures?

Yes - if you are travelling with a group and require a group tour, please let us know. Our group cruises often depart on a morning cruise at 9.30am or we can arrange a time that suits your group itinerary. We have multiple large launches for this Marlborough Sounds cruise so we can be flexible on departure cruise times for group bookings. We operate a range of Marlborough group cruises and tours, and South Island tours.

What if I don’t have transport?

If you don’t have transport to Havelock, consider booking on our full-day Marlborough Icons Tour where you’re collected and taken on a Marlborough wine tour, enjoy a Marlborough Sounds waterfront lunch followed by a seafood cruise in the Marlborough Sounds. Then we drop you home at the end of the day. What could be more relaxing than that?

Terms & conditions

Head to our Terms & conditions page for more info.