The R.Tucker Thompson is Northland’s iconic tall ship located in the Bay of Islands. Operated by a not-for-profit charitable trust, she operates tourism products for visitors over summer, using profits to support sail training activities for Northland youth over winter.

Our summer tourism sailings allow visitors to experience the Bay of Islands on board a tall ship; profits from these are used to fund our youth development voyages which run during winter months. Step on board and have an experience you’ll never forget!

The traditional gaff-rigged schooner, R. Tucker Thompson was started by R. Tucker Thompson in the late 1970s as a project to embody the best features of a traditional design, married to the materials of today. After Tucker’s death, the R. Tucker Thompson was completed by Tucker’s son Tod Thompson and Russell Harris. The ship was built in Mangawhai, New Zealand and launched in 1985.

The ship’s current survey is class seven foreign vessel which means that she can carry passengers around the coast of New Zealand as well as off shore. She has been built and maintained to the highest standards and is professionally manned and equipped to go anywhere in the world at any time. The R. Tucker Thompson has a very high reputation in the traditional sailing world and is considered a perfect example of a working Tall Ship with the advantage of being new and safe. We have carried hundreds of people around the world and around the Pacific with no accidents, as well as over 120,000 people on day pleasure trips.

Daily sails prices

Adult: $149, Child $74.50

Sailing times:

Departs: 9.30 am Paihia (via Bay Belle), 10.00 Russell Wharf
Returns: 3.30 pm Russell, 4.00 pm Paihia (via Bay Belle)

Opening Hours


8am – 5pm


8:30am – 5pm


8am – 5pm


8am – 5pm


8am – 5pm


8am – 5pm


8am – 5pm

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