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“Great crossing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry

Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry
Wellington Passenger Terminal, 6021, New Zealand
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Ranked #456 of 1,205 things to do in North Island
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Owner description: Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry sails every day between New Zealand’s North and South Islands. The (New Zealand owned) Bluebridge experience offers warm, friendly ‘Kiwi’ hospitality amidst stunning New Zealand scenery.
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great crossing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

We took the Bluebridge ferry from Wellington to Picton two weeks ago and had a great time. The crossing was smooth and although we didn't watch it there was a free movie. We spent most of the 3 hours outside being amazed by the fantastic scenery and birds floating on the air currents just above our heads.

Visited December 2013
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172 reviews from our community

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Hong Kong SAR, China
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Rental car? Please read this!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

During our 2-week trip to New Zealand we traveled twice on board Bluebrige Ferry. First from Wellington to Picton and than the other way round when we went back. The journey was OK, sailing was smooth and view was good near Picton. We even saw a few dolphins about 30 minutes from Picton.

The ferries were a bit slower than the Interislanders - It took almost 4 hours from Picton to Wellington and about 3.5 hours the other way around.

When we plan our trip we didn't realize that we need to change our rental car when we cross the Strait - and the drop off and pick up point for rental cars are located in the Interislander's terminals. I couldn't get a taxi in Wellington so both times I need to walk the 1.8km between the two terminals. In Picton Bluebridge has a shuttle bus that can take you to Interislander so its a bit easier.

So if you are considering rental cars you might want to consider smaller local companies that let you use the same vehicle on both islands, otherwise Interislander is the better option.

I should add that the service of Bluebridge was quite good. After explaining to them that my rental car could not get on board they refunded my ticket although it was totally my own fault.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BluebridgeNZ, General Manager at Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Dear BillKz, I hope you had an enjoyable two weeks in New Zealand and thank you for the positive comments about our service. With regards to rental cars you are correct in that not all rental companies allow for you to take the car across so this should be checked out during the hiring process. However if pre-arranged with the rental car company most will offer a service where you can drop off or pick up from our terminals. The link to this information,http://www.bluebridge.co.nz/trip-info/rental-car-and-parking-information.
Hope to see you back in NZ in the near future.
KInd regards
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Longmont, Colorado
Top Contributor
192 reviews 192 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“A room for the kids!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

Before having kids I would have avoided this room like the plague but now it makes perfect sense. There were toys, small chairs, a gate, and plexiglass to separate noisy kids from the passengers trying to watch the free movie. They also refilled the hot water for my tea multiple times. There was some confusion on where to go & park before loading the car onto the ferry and we spent a long time just waiting out there. Luckily getting off the ferry was quick & easy.

Visited November 2013
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Geraldine, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great option if you need to get a vehicle across the straight.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

We traveled across to the north island and back with our ute and moto x trailer. The staff are very friendly and helpful. Its very easy to use. It took about 3 hours, was a smooth crossing both ways.
Im not a good sailor but 'sealegs' certainly help. A great option.

Visited December 2013
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Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Sleeper Service - Excellent Option!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

I travelled from Wellington to Picton on the 2.30am sailing, taking advantage of the new Sleeper Service option. I'd done this sailing once before in a cabin, prior to Bluebridge offering the option to book a cabin online and I have to say being able to secure it online and especially board early made a huge difference. Check-in prior to 11pm was easy (had to go into the terminal as there wasn't anyone in the booth - apparently that's normal for this sailing), and actual boarding on board the boat was just prior to Midnight (the boat itself showed up into the dock about 11pm so they had to unload it first). Upon going straight to the info desk where you get the cabins assigned, they had the room card and some helpful details ready to go - very simple, very easy! I was also given a card that I could put on the outside door handle to order an express breakfast for $8 - you choose what you want, nominate the time you'd pick it up from the Café and put the card outside your door before 4am. When you rock up at the Café the next morning it would be ready for you. I didn't take up the Express Breakfast option this time but would seriously consider it in the future.

I'd put a review on here about my previous trip on the ship using the cabins, and made a comment about the jarring wake-up call - Bluebridge commented on the review that I'd hopefully get a gentler wake-up call next time. I am pleased to say that was indeed the case - the lady who knocked on the door and gave the wake-up call wasn't as keen to suddenly open the room's door open and turn on the light - as soon as I said "Morning" through the door, she stopped and gave a very cheery "Morning!" in response. Likewise I didn't come out of the shower this time to find my cabin door wedged open with new sheets. One thing I did note is that although provided with shower facilities in the cabin, nowhere in my cabin was a towel - I don't recall whether towels were provided last time I slept in the cabin but it seemed to be an unusual omission, but it might be normal. As it happened I had my own towel so it wasn't an issue this time.

On the whole I found this trip a lot better than the previous one, and being able to get that little bit more sleep makes a huge difference - I was much more refreshed in my drive down to Christchurch than I had been during my previous trip and the Sleeper Service is a definite go-to option for me now, and a service the competition simply doesn't have. Unfortunately (but understandably) there isn't an equivalent option going from Picton to Wellington, but I'm sure should circumstances permit it Bluebridge would introduce such a service. While it might have been nicer to have been able to board the ferry in Wellington slightly earlier and sneak in that little bit more extra sleep, to be fair the ferry did only arrive in the dock at 11pm and they had to unload everything and prepare for the next sailing. On the whole, well done to Bluebridge for introducing the Sleeper Service - I'll definitely be using it again!

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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