Travel information

Interislander Aratere glides through bad weather

Check out these tips and weblinks for getting essential last minute travel information for your journey.

Getting the latest sailing updates

Check the latest sailing times online

The best way to find out if there are disruptions on your day of travel is to check the Arrivals and Departures board:

As well as giving you a live timetable of arrivals and departures, the board highlights any schedule changes and cancellations. Because the board shows the next 48hrs of Interislander sailings, it is a valuable resource for seeing if we have weather problems or have juggled around some sailings at the last minute.


How to recieve disruption notices

Whenever we have disruptions or cancellations, we attempt to contact all passengers using the information provided during the booking process.

If you booked online yourself, then please double check you contact details are correct by logging in:

If you booked through an overseas reseller, then please make sure they have accurate details for you whilst here in New Zealand. In the event of delays and disruptions, we will be notifying them and they will attempt to notify you.

We will always try our hardest to make disruptions run as smoothly as possible and will normally give you several options for other sailings.

Lastly, you can sign up to our Facebook page and check for updates. If there are serious disruptions then we will announce them via Facebook and Twitter.

Contacting us to check sailing times

If you want to check the status of your booking or sailing then you can call us on 0800 802 802 or drop us an email at 

Hours of operation:

Monday to Sunday: 8am - 5pm

Public Holidays: 8am - 5pm (closed 25th of December)


Alternatively, you can try calling your departure terminals for enquiries regarding arrivals, departures and sailing conditions.

  • Wellington Terminal: 04 815 9617
  • Picton Terminal general enquiries and lost property 03 520 3235

During disruptions, we may not be able to answer your call as quickly as we would like. Please be patient with us, we will be trying as hard as we can to help everyone.

Get the latest road news

Check the latest road news - don't miss the boat!

Make sure you prepare for your journey in advance by checking you route time using the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) Journey Planner. Just enter your origin and destination, and the planner will show you road closures, hazards and delays, and provides an approximate time for the journey.

Check for delays and closures on your day of travel to make sure the route remains as planned and that you are leaving in plenty of time!

Click the link below to visit the NZTA Journey Planner:


Picton to Christchurch via SH1

State Highway 1 is currently closed north of Kaikoura following the 2016 earthquake.

The New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) are working on reopening the road and hope to have it open for restricted use before Christmas 2017.

Please check the for the latest news on their progress.

Picton to Christchurch via Alternative Routes

The primary alternative route from Picton to Christchurch is along State Highway 63 from Blenheim, then State Highway 65 (via SH6), then join State Highway 7 before reconnecting to SH1 leading into Christchurch. This route takes approximately 6 hours 30 minutes.

However, there are other alternatives and if you have time then stopping overnight somewhere and taking a scenic route via Nelson and/or the West Coast is a great way to extend your holiday!

Worried about the weather?

Do I have to sail in bad weather?

Typically, strong winds and gales from the north are nothing to worry about will simply make the beautiful scenery a bit more dramatic. The water will remain calm, but our outdoor decks might be closed. However, a strong wind from the south, known as a Southerly, can cause significant swells.

Interislander ships are large and feature stabilisers, so we will sail in very uncomfortable weather. However, there are times when we will delay or cancel sailings as it is unsafe to go out there. If we anticipate extreme weather, then we will get in touch and notify you.

Your decision to sail on the day lies entirely with you and providing you notify us one hour before Scheduled Departure, you are welcome to defer to a later sailing.

How do I check the sea conditions?

To get a forecast for the sea conditions, visit and navigate to the "Swell height" map.

This will give you the expected wave heights in a colour coded format. Upwards of three metres is considered to be uncomfortable (orange and red), but anything less is fair weather sailing (green and yellow).

visit to find out the swells on the Cook Strait


Can I change my sailing because of the weather?

The decision to sail is up to you and you can always defer your sailing free of charge. So, if you want to delay and go on a sunny day, then that's fine!

You can change to any sailing of equivalent value or less free of charge. If you wish to move to a more expensive sailing, then you simply pay the difference. There are no surcharges or penalties.