I’ve got some exciting news to share!
On Monday this week I purchased a company called Island Cruising NZ. It is a business that has been around since the 1980’s and was formed to help encourage New Zealand sailors to head up to Tonga.
Since then it has grown to run rallies all over the Pacific and includes all sorts of help and advice for sailors preparing for the voyage, as well as getting access to out of the way places that otherwise sailors wouldn’t be able to check in and out of by flying officials in to out of the way places.
I was approached by Nigel and Amanda – the former owners of ICNZ earlier in the year, and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing we finally managed to catch up on Monday this week and sign the deal.
With many of the Island maritime borders currently being closed with COVID restrictions, yacht rallies to the Pacific at the moment aren’t exactly in hot demand, however that gives me a good opportunity to get settled in and figure out just exactly how I want things to run.
Island Cruising NZ is best known for its Pacific Circuit Rally which departs each year around May/June and heads up to Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu & New Caledonia before heading back to New Zealand.
There is also a rally combined with the Bay of Islands Cruisers Festival back in New Zealand in November which welcomes international cruisers who happen to be up in the Islands and encourages them to sail down to New Zealand to shelter from the Pacific Cyclone season and undergo repairs and refits over the NZ summer.
I plan to collaborate also with Down Under Rally – my friends John & Leanne Hembrow, who run a similar organisation taking cruisers from Australia to the Pacific. John was actually instrumental with helping me get to this stage after having recommended me to Nigel & Amanda in the first place when they started thinking about selling up.
And while the borders are still closed I am also planning a rally to the South Island over our summer to encourage some of the yachties in the North Island to head our way and experience some of the amazing cruising destinations we have down here.
Lots of people have been asking me what Island Cruising is all about, and I’ve been doing a bit of strategic planning, so here is my vision:
You can become a member of Island Cruising NZ for just NZD$75 and get access to some great deals from our partner/sponsors and join our training to help you get prepared for an offshore voyage. The training is starting in August and is going to be via email and webinars as well as in person seminars around the country later in the year and is going to cover off things like getting your boat all set up for Cat 1 & 2 – which are the safety regulations that NZ vessels need to comply with to go offshore or on a longer coastal passage and all sorts of other things along the way.
We also have a free newsletter which I am working on now and goes out to a huge email database of sailors, marine businesses and all the yacht clubs in New Zealand. I’ll share the link here and on the Facebook page once I get it finished off so you can tell me what you think!
In addition to the rally to the South Island and the Pacific Circuit next year, in 2023 I am helping with a rally to Japan.
And of course all the administration and learning that comes with setting up a new company. Thankfully Nigel and Amanda are there in the background helping me out until I find my feet.
So lots on!
I will keep you posted with how things progress here. Or you can also follow the Island Cruising NZ Facebook page.
Hopefully you’ll soon be reading about all sorts of sailing adventures in the South Pacific. Hopefully you can come join a rally sometime!
Here are some of the articles about the changeover: