Welcome aboard!

CanSail, a member of the worldwide Sail Training fraternity, is dedicated to the personal development of children and young adults through the challenge of crewing a Small Ship.

Operating from October to April each year, CanSail offers groups of 20-25 youngsters a three-hour Sail Training experience in the stunning waters of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. We sail in Lyttelton Harbour prior to Christmas, and Akaroa Harbour after the New Year.

CanSail's Sail Training is enjoyed by schools and youth groups. Over 25% of CanSail's trip are crewed by young people with physical disabilities, and behavioral and learning difficulties. Adult leaders and parent supporters are welcome to join your group which will be under the expert care of our professional skipper and volunteer crew. The maximum number of people you may bring on board is 30.

CanSail is supported largely by our funding partners. Through their generosity, 80% of your $500 trip is sponsored. We invite schools and youth groups to contribute $120, which works out at less than $5 per person for a group of 25. However, no group is prevented from sailing by economic hardship.  

Bookings are essential. CanSail's Small Ship, STV Fox II, is available for daily sailings: 9:00am-12:00 noon and 12:30-3:15pm. Evening voyages can be arranged from 4:00pm onwards. We have an on-board barbecue which can be reserved on evening trips - you bring the sausages, sauce and serviettes! Sailing times are more flexible for trips during the weekend. You are welcome to book more than one CanSail trip if necesssary to accommodate your numbers.

Want to come aboard? Email for a booking form or phone us on (03) 379.9202

If you have time to make a day of it, CanSail offers the Diamond Harbour Experience: half a day sailing, half a day on the far side of Lyttelton Harbour. Enjoy the Cliff Walk round to Church Bay, stomp up some of the Mt Herbert Walkway for a great view or wander down to Purau Bay for a quick dip. The Diamond Harbour Experience is ideal if you have two sailing groups: once we have ferried half your party across the harbour, the rest spend the morning sailing. At lunchtime, we swap the groups at the Diamond Harbour jetty. At the end of the day, the afternoon crew is dropped at Lyttelton before the non-sailing group is collected. Extra time is required for the Diamond Harbour Experience which runs 8:30am - 4:00pm. There is no extra cost: each CanSail trip is $120. So, if you have two groups doing the Diamond Harbour Experience, swapping over at lunchtime, the cost is $120 each, ie: $240 in total.

Alternatively, your non-sailing group can explore Lyttelton. There is a well-documented historic walk around the town, complete with a map and kids' quiz available from the Lyttelton Information Centre in Oxford Street. The Timeball Station hosts educational visits, while the Torpedo Museum and town museum each house a wealth of local history. For the more energetic, the Bridal Path offers a short but steep route to the Summit Road from which there is a great view of Christchurch and walking access to the excellent display on volcanoes at the Gondola Terminal. For those still keen to explore the harbour, the Diamond Harbour Ferry calls regularly at Quail Island during the summer. A volcanic outcrop in the middle of Lyttelton Harbour, Quail Island was a one-time farm, a former leper colony and the C20th quarantine station for Captain Scott's Antarctic-bound dogs and ponies. Today, the island has a fine swimming beach, crumbling shipwrecks, volcanic cliffs and an easy, 90-minute round-island trail.


If you have any questions or for a booking form, please email or phone (03) 379.9202.

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