Travelling with your pet on a Cook Strait ferry

One of the great advantages of taking the ferry is that you can bring your pets. To ensure your pet is comfortable and safe during the journey, we ask you read our tips and policies for pets on board.

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This page as all about bringing your family pet on holiday. For guidance on farm and hunting dog transportation, please see our Transporting farm & hunting dogs page

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A holiday for the whole family!

We know that your pets are part of the family. And one of the great advantages of our Cook Strait ferries is that your whole family can holiday together. 

We don't yet have pet spaces aboard our ships, but we do offer your pets a comfortable journey within your car or in one of our onboard kennels.

While aboard, our crew will check on your pet to make sure they are happy and well. You can also visit your pet during the journey if you get anxious about their wellbeing - just ask the onboard crew and they'll take you down if conditions allow.

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Disability Assist Dogs are allowed in the passenger areas of our ships. For easy identification, we ask your dog wears its official Civil Defence disability assistance dog tag.

Animal welfare information

Thousands of family pets travel with us each year and we have an Animal Welfare Policy that helps us ensure our furry guests are safe and comfortable. So please read the following policies and travel tips to ensure you and your pet are ready for the journey ahead.

Your Pet should not travel if they are:

  • Sick or injured (unless certified fit for travel by a practising veterinarian)
  • In their final trimester of pregnancy
  • Pets that have given birth in the past 14 weeks
  • Under 8 weeks old or still weaning

Quick guide to travelling with pets

Our quick guide to travelling with pets on a Cook Strait ferry covers the essential requirements for a comfortable and safe journey for your pet:

 
 
 
In a vehicle
 
 
In a kennel
 
 
Max capacity
2 per vehicle+,
3 per camper/ caravan
2 per kennel
 
 
Space
Pets must be able move freely
Our kennels provide plenty of space*
 
 
Ventila­tion
Windows lowered by 7cm
Our kennels provide excellent ventila­tion
 
 
Water
Pets must have access to water
We provide a water bowl
 
 
Wellbeing
No injuries, illness, or signs of stress
No injuries, illness, or signs of stress

*Our kennels are typically 80cm wide, 80cm tall, and 60cm deep. Please call us in advance if your dog requires a bigger kennel.

+Accredited dog transport companies are permitted to carry according to their licence criteria.

Travel Tips & Welfare Requirements


Tu Meke premium dog treats at Interislander Check in

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This summer, we'll be gifting our furry dog passengers Tu Meke Friend Premium Dog Treats at check in while stocks last. Woof, woof!

Bringing pets in your vehicle

Your pet can remain in your vehicle for the journey at no extra charge providing the conditions within the vehicle are comfortable and safe. We will not let any pets aboard if we feel they are in any danger of harm or discomfort. 

Please note that no more than two dogs are allowed in a vehicle and no more than three are allowed in a campervan or caravan.

During Peak Season, we recommend you book a kennel if you are bringing a dog as we cannot guarantee shaded parking will be available on the day of travel.

Travel checklist 


Before travel:

  • Please check your animal is fit and healthy on the day of travel - don't force them to travel if they aren't feeling well
  • Prepare them for the journey by familiarising with staying in your car alone with toys and blankets 
  • Feed, water, exercise and toilet your pet before boarding

During travel

  • Inform check-in staff that you have a pet in your vehicle and they'll give you a special hanger to attach to your rearview mirror
  • On seeing your hanger, our marshalls will lead you to a shaded space to park
  • Open windows to a gap of 7cm and leave your pet with water for the journey before locking car and proceeding to passenger area
  • During the journey, our crew will look for your hanger and monitor the wellbeing of your pet 
  • If crew find your pet is uncomfortable or stressed, then an announcement will be made over the ship tannoy calling your vehicle model and registration
  • You can visit your pet during the journey by requesting the assistance of a crew member

Your responsibilities

  • You are responsible for your pet's welfare at all times
  • Your pet needs to be comfortable and have enough space to travel in its normal posture (i.e. make sure it can stand up and turn around)
  • Your pet must be inside the vehicle at all times while aboard the ferry (it must not be tethered outside or on the back the vehicle)

 

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Specialist dog owners and professionals can apply to carry above our given limits by sending details of their sailing, numbers of dogs, and method of transport to animals@interislander.co.nz. Please apply well in advance and include images of any specialist equipment or trailers you'll be using to protect your dogs' wellfare.

 

Bringing pets by foot

You can bring your pet along for the journey on foot by booking a kennel in advance. All of our ships are fitted with spacious kennels that are cool, sheltered, and well ventilated.

It's best to add a kennel at the time of booking to guarantee availability as you will not be able to travel without one!

Travel checklist 


Before travel:

  • Please check your animal is fit and healthy on the day of travel - don't force them to travel if they aren't feeling well
  • Train your pet in the weeks before travel by introducing them to staying in the cage or carrier unattended, rewarding them with treats or play will create a positive association with the cage
  • Feed, water, exercise and toilet your pet before boarding
  • Ensure pet carrier is sturdy, well-ventilated, and suitably sized so that pet can move freely 

During travel

  • Pet dogs should be tied outside before entering the terminal to check-in and all other pets should be inside their carriers
  • Check yourself and your pet at the Check-in counters within terminal
  • Check-in staff will provide instructions on where to take your pet
  • We will provide your pet with water
  • Leave your pet with familiar items such as toys, blankets, etc
  • You can visit your pet during the journey by requesting the assistance of a crew member

Your responsibilities

  • You are responsible for your pet's welfare by adhering to all advice provided by Interislander
  • You must ensure your pet is comfortable and has enough space to travel in its normal posture (i.e. make sure it can stand up and turn around)

 

Booking into our kennels


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Brings some treats, toys, and maybe a familiar blanket to help your dog feel more at home and comfortable.

Adding a kennel to your booking

Pricing

$15 per kennel

All of our ships are fitted with spacious kennels in cool, well-ventilated areas.

We recommend adding your kennel when booking your sailing. If a kennel is not available on the extras page, then try selecting an alternative sailing.

When travelling as a foot passenger, you must book a kennel otherwise your pet will be unable to travel.

Details

  • Kennels are cool, shaded, safe, and well ventilated
  • Water is provided
  • Typical dimensions are 80cm x 80cm x 60cm (WxHxD)
    • Sufficient for most animals

Your responsibilities

  • Leave your pet with familiar items (such as toys, blanket, bed or basket) so that it feels comfortable and relaxed
  • Ensure your pet is well-fed, watered, toileted and exercised before travel
  • Ensure your pet fits comfortably inside the kennel so that it can move freely and stand in a natural posture (see typical kennel dimensions above)
  • Ensure that your dog has up-to-date vaccinations (ask your veterinarian for advice).

Check-in information for kennels

Foot Passengers

Proceed to check-in as normal and obtain a boarding pass for you and a kennel voucher for your pet (please leave your dog outside the terminal while you check in).

The kennels are located on the vehicle decks, which means you will board via the vehicle ramps rather than the gangways. Please follow the instructions of our staff at all times.

Vehicle Passengers

Advise the assistant at the vehicle check-in that you have booked a kennel and obtain your boarding passes for you and your dog. The check-in assistant will give you a special hanger for your rear-view mirror to identify that you have booked a kennel.

When boarding, our marshalls will see your hanger and direct you to the kennel area.

 

Find out more...

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Transporting farm & hunting dogs

Find out how to transport your dogs safely across Cook Strait with Interislander
Find out more