Terms and Conditions
Thank you for choosing Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries ("we", "us" or "our"). Here you’ll find out about conditions of travel, fare conditions, and information regarding refund, payment, and transfer policies. Last updated on 9 June 2023.
Conditions of Carriage
Travel on Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferries is subject to:
- Holding a valid ticket for travel with us ("Ticket")
- Agreeing to these Terms and Conditions (which includes, for the avoidance of doubt, our Fare Conditions as set out below)
- Any other fare rules and conditions that apply to your travel
- Following any directions given to you either verbally or in writing by our staff either prior to or during your travel
- Acting in accordance with any applicable laws
(together, referred to as the "Conditions of Carriage").
Accepting Bluebridge’s Terms and Conditions
Valid Tickets can be purchased online, through our Contact Centre, at our terminals, or through any of our authorised resellers or agents.
The person named on the Ticket can travel on the sailing specified on the Ticket, provided that they comply with these Terms and Conditions.
A booking for 12 or more people (including drivers, adults, and children of any age) or 5 or more vehicles must be made as a group booking and is subject to both these Terms and Conditions and our Group Terms and Conditions. To make a group booking, please email email@example.com
From time to time, deals and offers will carry special terms and conditions ("Special Terms") which will be additional to these Terms and Conditions and the Conditions of Carriage. In the event that the Special Terms conflict with these Terms and Conditions, the Special Terms prevail.
Our Terms and Conditions are subject to change from time to time without notice.
As part of our service, we provide a range of fares. Below are our fare conditions ("Fare Conditions"). These may change from time to time.
We offer special discounts for eligible passengers. The eligibility criteria and conditions for these are set out on the Fare Types page on our website. These may change from time to time
When do I pay for my Ticket?
You are required to pay for your Ticket at the time of booking. If you don’t pay at this time, we may cancel your Ticket. Our website details the methods you can use to pay for your Ticket on our How to Pay page.
Making changes to or cancelling your booking
You can change your booking online.
You can request to change or cancel your booking through our Contact Centre, at our terminals, or through the authorised agent or reseller you booked through.
Depending on your fare type, you may not be able to change or cancel your booking without cost, and some fares are non-refundable. All changes are subject to availability. Your request is subject to these Terms and Conditions (including the Fare Conditions). If you are requesting to change or cancel your booking, you must inform all other passengers that may be affected by such change or cancellation.
Can I transfer my Ticket to another person?
You can transfer your Ticket to another person if you are unable to travel. However, your Ticket cannot be sold. If this condition is breached, we reserve the right to cancel any such Ticket without notice and no refund will be provided.
When transferring your Ticket to another person you will need to contact our Contact Centre by calling 0800 844 844 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise us of the change of name(s) on the Ticket. It is your responsibility to notify all new passengers of these Terms and Conditions and the Conditions of Carriage. If a new passenger makes a change to the Ticket that results in a refund, the refund will be made to the original form of payment or bank account which was used to make payment for the original booking. Where such a refund is made to the original purchaser of the Ticket, we will not be liable to any new passenger to pay or refund any amount.
Check-in and Boarding
It is important that you allow enough time to get to our terminal to check in. All customers must be checked in one hour before the departure time. If you do not check-in or board on time your booking may be cancelled, and no refund will be provided.
Under some circumstances, passengers may also be asked to present suitable photo ID. Failure to present suitable photo ID when requested by our staff is a breach of the Conditions of Carriage and may result in you being denied travel.
All gang patches and insignia must be removed before checking in. Please note that groups of travellers affiliated with an organisation and wearing a patch or insignia may also be asked to remove this before or during travel. Failure to comply with either of these conditions is a breach of the Conditions of Carriage and may result in you being denied travel.
If you have been denied travel, we may cancel that leg of your journey and charge you for booking an alternative sailing. Any refund is at our discretion. If you are denied travel, we will not be liable to you for any loss or expense incurred by you as a result.
Right to refuse carriage
Travelling aboard any of our ships is at the sole discretion of Bluebridge. We have the right to refuse to carry you, your animals, or your property for any reason, including if you, your animals, or your property do not adhere to our Conditions of Carriage including any applicable law. If you have been denied travel, we may cancel that leg of your journey and charge you for booking an alternative sailing. Whether and to what extent we provide any refund for refusing to carry you, your animals, and/or your property is at our sole discretion. If we refuse to carry you, your animals, and/or your property for any reason, we will not be liable to you for any loss or expense incurred as a result.
We may inspect your baggage and other belongings for reasons of health, safety, and security. We reserve the right to refuse to carry any items.
- Carry-on Baggage
For the safety and comfort of all customers, you may carry on board as hand luggage one small bag weighing up to 7kg as well as a small personal item. Alcohol, musical instruments, sporting equipment or large bags must be checked in.
- Checked-in Baggage
Passengers who are walking onto the ship may check in up to two bags per person with a maximum weight of 30kg per bag.
We are not able to check in canoes or kayaks. We can only carry kayaks and canoes if they are lashed to the roof of your vehicle or on a trailer towed by your vehicle.
Extra and overweight bags may be checked in at an additional charge per item. The charges are specified on our Luggage and Extras page on our website.
If you have lost an item on board or at our terminals, please contact us on 0800 844 844 as soon as possible. While we do our best to return items to their owner, lost property is not our responsibility. For sanitary reasons, we cannot store all found items (including, for example, perishable items, bedding, etc.). If any item remains unclaimed for a reasonable period of time, we may sell, destroy or otherwise dispose of those unclaimed items.
Customers are required to send us an addressed courier bag for any items to be returned and make all necessary arrangements for collection, including paying the courier costs.
Carriage of a vehicle is at our discretion and may be refused for any reason, including if we consider it to be insecurely loaded or otherwise unfit for carriage.
At the time of check-in, we may reassess any vehicle based on its type, size, length or weight, and change the applicable fare accordingly. Any increase in the fare payable must be paid before the vehicle is allowed on the ship.
When boarding, parking, securing, and disembarking your vehicle, you must follow all instructions given to you by our staff.
Before boarding, all gas bottles in motor homes must be turned off. Once aboard, all vehicles must be parked with their handbrakes applied and in gear, any alarms turned off, and the vehicle locked.
You will be required to leave your vehicle and remain within the passenger areas for the duration of the sailing. Please ensure you have your keys with you before leaving the vehicle deck and keep them with you while on board the ship. The vehicle decks are locked at the time of departure, so you will not be able to access your vehicle until the ship arrives at its destination.
As a safety precaution, we may use lashings to secure vehicles. We are not liable for any damage that may occur due to the use of lashings and/or the ship's movement.
To protect any persons or property, or to ensure the efficient loading of a ship, we may drive, tow, or load a vehicle onto, or remove a vehicle from, the ship.
Travelling with animals
Pets such as dogs and cats are allowed on board, but they must be kept in your own vehicle or in a kennel on the vehicle deck, which must be pre-booked before you go onboard. On the Connemara we also have dog-friendly cabins available, which you can prebook. This is subject to the terms which apply to dog-friendly cabins, as set out below. Additional charges will apply if your pet is kept in a kennel on board our ship or you have booked a dog-friendly cabin.
When checking in, please let us know if you will have a pet on board.
Please note that our vehicle decks are locked during the sailing, and you cannot visit your animals in your vehicle or in a kennel until the ship arrives at its destination. Ensure your animals are well-fed, hydrated, and exercised before boarding. If you are leaving your pet in your vehicle, make sure they have access to plenty of water and that your windows are left ajar for their comfort and well-being. If you are leaving your pet in a kennel, please bring a container filled with water for your pet to use.
- Assistance Dogs
Your certified assistance dog is welcome on board and can accompany you into all passenger areas. Please let us know at the time of booking if you are travelling with an assistance dog. You will need to make staff aware at check-in that you are travelling with an assistance dog and will be required to present its certification tags or documents.
On Connemara, there are dedicated dog-friendly cabins that you can prebook for an additional fee. By booking a dog-friendly cabin, you agree to the following terms and conditions, as well as those included under Private Cabins.
There is a limit of two dogs per cabin. No other animals are allowed in the dog-friendly cabins.
Dogs are not allowed in the main passenger areas of the ship (except certified assistance dogs). There is a dedicated stairwell for dog-friendly cabins that you must use when boarding or disembarking.
The only place your dog is allowed onboard the ship outside of your cabin is the communal outside dog exercise area. Access to this area may be restricted due to weather conditions or for maintenance and repair.
You agree to keep your dog under your responsibility, supervision, and control at all times while on board or at our terminals. You must keep your dog leashed or in a carrier when walking to and from the cabin as well as when in the communal dog exercise area. If your dog is considered to be of a dangerous breed, or is not very social, it must be muzzled as well.
You are responsible for cleaning up any mess created by your dog while onboard or at our terminals.
All dogs travelling on board must be fit and healthy prior to boarding. Injured and/or diseased dogs are not permitted to travel in the dog-friendly cabins.
You are responsible for following the instructions provided within the cabins or in the dog exercise area. You must also ensure that your dog does not disturb passengers in neighbouring cabins or communal areas. We reserve the right to request that your dog is immediately muzzled, and/or immediately removed from communal dog areas and confined to a kennel, your car or your cabin as deemed necessary.
We will try to ensure that other passengers do not approach your dog, but we cannot guarantee this will not happen. You may wish to consider, for the safety of your dog and other passengers, muzzling your dog. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability or damage caused by your dog while on board or at our terminals. You understand that if an injury or incident occurs which was caused by your dog, you may be reported to the relevant authorities, and in some cases, it could give rise to criminal or other legal liability.
If your dog causes damage to our property, we reserve the right to charge you by invoice to make good the damage. This includes, but is not limited to, any loss, cost, damage, or expense incurred due to property damage, cleaning fees, and guest compensation, etc. We will use reasonable efforts to repair the damage ourselves before contracting a specialist, and to keep any costs you incur to a minimum. Criminal charges will be pursued in extreme cases.
- Horses & Livestock
Horses, llamas, and alpacas can be booked online or through our Contact Centre by calling 0800 844 844. For their safety, horses, llamas, and alpacas are unable to travel with us when swell heights exceed 2.5m. If the swell heights affect your booking, you will be notified prior to sailing.
Please note hay and/or straw are considered dangerous goods. Vehicles carrying hay and straw must be booked through our freight team. For more information, refer to the Dangerous Goods section on our Check-In page.
Carriage of dangerous goods is at our discretion. If you intend to travel with dangerous goods, you must contact us on 0800 844 844 to get our permission to do so. You must provide us with any declaration requested by us or required by Law in relation to the Dangerous Goods.
Please take time to familiarise yourself with the dangerous goods limits which are available on our Check-In page.
Dangerous goods must be declared to us when you check in. If we have given you permission to carry dangerous goods, you must store them securely in your vehicle or carry them as checked-in baggage. Dangerous goods cannot be carried on board in your hand luggage.
You must pack, label, and load any dangerous goods in accordance with any applicable laws. If you breach any of these conditions relating to dangerous goods, we may hold you liable for the full extent of any loss, cost, damage, or expense we suffer or incur as a result.
Further information on what is meant by "dangerous goods" is provided by Maritime NZ here.
If you have any questions about the goods that you are carrying, please contact us on 0800 844 844.
Firearms and munitions
Firearms and munitions must be declared when you check-in and must be locked securely in your vehicle or carried as checked-in baggage. All firearms must have their bolts removed (where applicable) and must otherwise be rendered inoperable to the maximum extent applicable whilst on the ship. You will need to present suitable photo ID to collect your checked-in firearms and munitions.
You are welcome to sit where you like on the ship. However, we do ask that you are considerate of others and take only one seat per person. Our staff may ask you to move to another seat so that families and groups can sit together. We ask that you please comply with this request.
No alcohol is to be consumed on Bluebridge premises while waiting to check in or board the ship. No alcohol may be brought on board for consumption on your sailing. We reserve the right, at our discretion, to confiscate without compensation any alcohol believed to be for this purpose. Only alcohol purchased on board may be consumed on the ship.
Any alcohol you wish to transport must be stored in your vehicle or, alternatively, declared and checked in. Alcohol cannot be carried in your hand luggage.
Smoking or Vaping
You are not permitted to smoke (including the use of e-cigarettes or vapes) on board or at our terminals, except in the designated smoking areas.
Private cabinWhen booking a private cabin, you agree to the following terms and conditions.
No smoking (including the use of e-cigarettes or vapes) is allowed inside the cabins. Anyone found smoking (including the use of e-cigarettes or vapes) in a cabin will be banned from using our services in the future.
If you, another person travelling with you, or a guest visiting your cabin causes malicious, wilful, or negligent damage to our property, we reserve the right to charge you by invoice to make good the damage. This includes, but is not limited to, any loss, cost, damage, or expense incurred due to property damage, smoking, cleaning fees, and guest compensation, etc. We will use reasonable efforts to repair the damage ourselves before contracting a specialist, and to keep any costs you incur to a minimum. Criminal charges will be pursued in extreme cases.
If you or another person travelling with you removes any item from the cabin without consent, we reserve the right to charge you by invoice for the full replacement cost of the missing item.
Where we intend to make any deduction from the debit/credit card used for your booking, we will only do so after providing you reasonable prior notice.
You must take all reasonable precautions for the safety of yourself and those in your care. This includes paying attention to any safety briefing we give, using handrails and guardrails as provided, and making sure children are always accompanied by a responsible adult.
You and those travelling with you must always conduct yourselves in a manner that protects the health, comfort, and safety of everyone on board. This includes following any applicable rules, restrictions, regulations and laws enacted or otherwise established by the New Zealand Government and/or any public health authority (including, for the avoidance of doubt, in response to COVID-19) when using our services. You must also comply with any reasonable request made by a member of our staff. If you fail to comply with these requirements, we reserve the right to refuse to allow you to board the ship, require you to disembark, and/or require you to leave the terminal. If you are denied travel, you may not be refunded any money that you have paid for the relevant journey, and we will not be liable to you for any loss, cost, damage, or expense incurred as a result.
All passengers travelling must hold a valid Ticket prior to boarding the ship.
If you are driving a vehicle and are discovered to be harbouring a person without a valid Ticket ("Stowaway"), you and the Stowaway will be denied boarding of the ship, your Ticket(s) will be cancelled without refund, and you may be issued with trespass notices by the New Zealand Police.
Stowaways discovered on board the ships will be required to pay the price of a Flexi Sail Ticket, and the New Zealand Police will be notified to issue trespass notices on arrival at the nearest port.
Bluebridge reserves the right to seek subsequent prosecution for all Stowaways.
Our liability to you
Nothing in this agreement (including in the liability sections that follows) affects any rights you may have under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, or other legislation like the Fair Trading Act 1986, where you are a "consumer" as defined by those laws.
If you are "in trade" within the meaning of the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 or Fair Trading Act 1986, and acquiring our services for "in trade" purposes, you acknowledge and agree:
• that the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 and sections 9, 12A, 13 and 14(1) of the Fair Trading Act will not apply to you; and
• that it is fair and reasonable for the parties to contract out of the applicable sections of each of those Acts.
Limited liability for goods
Our liability to you in respect of each unit of goods is capped at $2,000.00 in accordance with section 259 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017. Our liability for loss or damage to property may be further limited if you fail to take steps to eliminate the risk of loss, damage, or theft of your property.
Notice of any claim against us in respect of loss of or damage to property carried on our services must be given to us in writing within 30 days after the date on which our responsibility for that property has ended and in accordance with sections 274 to 277 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017.
Liability for delays or cancellations
Sometimes our sailings will be delayed or may need to be cancelled. Our schedules, departure times and journey times are not guaranteed and may be subject to change. For example, journey times are approximate and may be affected by tidal and weather conditions, and other factors beyond our reasonable control.
Without limiting anything set out in the paragraph above, we are not liable for any direct or indirect loss or expenses suffered by you because of any sailing departing or arriving late or early, or any cancellation of a scheduled sailing for any reason. We also do not assume any responsibility for you or other passengers making alternative travel arrangements, meeting any appointments, engagements or deadlines or any other obligations. We will use our best endeavours to let you know of any changes in schedules, departure times and journey times as soon as we can.
We are not liable for any loss or damage caused by circumstances not reasonably foreseeable by us, or beyond our reasonable control.
Errors, omissions and representations
We are not liable for errors or omissions in publications of schedules or in statement, or representations made by any of our employees, agents, or representatives in respect of any of our services. None of our agents, employees or representatives has the authority to give undertakings or make representations in relation to the provision or timing of any of our services that are inconsistent with these Terms and Conditions. Any such undertakings or representations will not bind us, except where we provide our prior confirmation in writing.
Liability of our agents, etc
Any exclusion or limitation of our liability in this section applies to and for the benefit of our agents, employees, representatives, and contractors.
Insurance recommendedWe strongly recommend that passengers hold motor vehicle, personal or travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances that may arise (including cancellation fees, missed connections, medical and curtailment expenses, early departure from holiday due to death or illness, etc). Your insurance should provide cover against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability. We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance before entering New Zealand. We (or our related entities) do not accept liability for inadequate insurance as well as any failure to effect insurance on your behalf.