Get out on the Waitemata Harbour with 110-year-old motor launch Nautilus. With a maximum capacity of 6*, it is an intimate and fascinating experience to cruise on this sweet little launch. 


*In certain circumstances, capacity may be increased. If you are booking for a group larger than six people please contact our bookings team to discuss.


High tea at sea

Book this exclusive group experience and enjoy tasty treats and tea onboard heritage vessel NAUTILUS from $98 per person. 


Perfect day out for my parents anniversary, will be back for another sail soon

Ben Michaels

Are you ship-shape and ready to cruise?

  • On all sailings, children under 14 years old are required to wear life jackets, which are supplied by the Museum.
  • Children must be able to fit our smallest life jackets. Limited infant life jackets are available. 

Unfortunately NAUTILUS is not wheelchair accessible. However, TED ASHBY is.

Yes, we are a family friendly Museum and our sailings are a great way for children to experience the water. 

All children 14 years and under shall wear a lifejacket which shall be provided by the New Zealand Maritime Museum.   
Any child not wearing a lifejacket shall not be permitted on board the vessel.
Children must have suitable adult supervision on board the vessel. The following supervising adult to children ratio below must be followed (excluding schools):
- 1 adult to every child aged 5 or under
- 1 adult to every 5 children, school year 1-8
- 1 adult to every 10 children, school year 9-13

Yes, Double and Family sailing passes are available to purchase at our Museum shop or over the phone on (09) 373 0800.

Our sailings are likely to go ahead in wet weather conditions. The Museum can offer water-proof rain jackets as needed. 

Strong winds may cause cancellations.

If it proves necessary for the New Zealand Maritime Museum to make any changes or cancellations to dates and/or times of vessel sailings for weather, safety, maintenance and/or operational requirement, staff will endeavour to provide as much notice as is reasonably possible using the contact details provided in your booking, and where possible, your booking will be transferred to a similar sailing. If another suitable date is not available, a full refund will be provided.

Sailing passes for NAUTILUS also includes admission into the Museum.
Life jackets and rain jackets are provided when necessary at no extra cost.

NAUTILUS trips are approx. 1 hour long.
The sailing duration may vary and is dependant on weather conditions.

Visitors should check in at the museum's front desk 30 minutes before the scheduled sailing time. We aim to board passengers 15 minutes before departure.

Unfortunately, late arrivals may result in non-boarding of the vessel and payment may not be refunded.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted on board. You are welcome to bring your own snacks and water, or you can purchase something from our cafe before boarding.


Nautilus has had a colourful life, travelling the world, since first being launched as a family vessel used for picnics and racing in 1913. Since then she has run public excursions, ferry trips and charters and was involved in a rescue of a survivor from a yachting accident. Nautilus was one of two motorboats carried by the hospital ship Marama during WWI which commenced duties in the Mediterranean in 1915. 

Further research is being carried out on her use as a private vessel between the late 1920s and when she was acquired by Allan Williams in 1994. While in his ownership, Williams refit Nautilus with a new engine and enjoyed 17 years of family boating before donating her to the New Zealand Maritime Museum in 2011. 

Five years of labour have gone into the restoration by a team of passionate staff and volunteers, during which every plank and component has been carefully checked.

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