"Sail like the Stars of Team New Zealand" Top 5 Page for this destination Viaduct Basin & Downtown waterfront Tip by Kakapo2
Viaduct Basin & Downtown waterfront, Auckland: 15 reviews and 26 photos
This is really something: the experience of sailing in one of the boats which were built for the America's Cup, the world's oldest sporting trophy and most prestigious watersport event. The NZL 40 and NZL 41 were originally built for the America's Cup 1995, but the first one was not finished in time and was used as a trial boat for the 2000 America's Cup in Auckland, and the second was raced by the Japanese Nippon Challenge which sailed in the Louis Vuitton semi-finals (this is a kind of preliminary competition of the America's Cup). Later it was used as a training boast and raced in the America's Cup Julilee 2001.
Both boats have been changed as little as possible to give passengers an authentic experience. The most surprising thing is that the boats are so basic and do not even have a toilet... ;-) They really use buckets in the case of emergency! And there is no room for comfortable seats. Depending on which side you stand, either you are high above the water and fear to fall onto the passengers on the other side, or you sit on the lower side with your bottom nearly touching the waves... A little scary for non-sailors and fascinating at the same time.
These boats have nothing to do with the million-dollar cruise ships of the billionaires that anchor in Waitemata Harbour. They are pure racing boats for races that last some hours. The crew encourage the passengers to become crew, take the helm or wind the grinders. But it is also allowed to just sit back against the railing and let the others do the work, sailing though Auckland Harbour and under the Harbour Bridge.
The sailing tour takes two hours and costs NZ$135 for adults, 110 for kids (Jan. 2007), a match race like at the America's Cup takes three hours and costs NZ$ 195/175.
Address: Viaduct Harbour
Directions: If you walk down Quay Street to Viaduct Harbour the boats are at the first pier on the left, opposite the i-site. There is also a ticket kiosk. Another ticket office is on Quay Street, between Queens and Princess Wharfs.
Phone: (09) 359 5987, (0800) 724 569)
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