Local History, Wildlife And Maritime Museum
Local History, Wildlife and Maritime Museum
Make a trip to the Otago Peninsula Museum and discover this unique museum that was started by locals in 1974, with a small room in the Portobello Coronation Hall used to display photographs and historical items. In 1986 the museum opened on its present site. The main office building and display room were built and an original settler's cottage from Portobello was donated. A replica barn was built to house farm machinery and equipment collected from locals and the surrounding countryside.
The museum also collects local family histories and genealogies as well as photographs relating to the Otago Peninsula and its families. In 2012 the staff at the museum wrote a book "Portobello - A Brief History" and this was reprinted in 2013. This is a fascinating account of the history of the Portobello community and its early beginnings as a settlement in 1840. With a range of historic photographs of places, houses and people this local history is a must for genealogists and those interested in this historic area.
The picturesque scenery of Portobello has long captured the imagination of many visitors to the township and remains a popular place for visitors today. The Otago Peninsula Museum is run by local volunteers who along with a hardworking committee manage the exhibits, grounds, and buildings.
Make your way next to the Portobello Village located beside the Otago Harbour halfway along the Otago Peninsula. It lies at the foot of a small peninsula between Portobello Bay and Latham Bay. Like scores of Dunedin features, it was named after a locality in Edinburgh, Scotland, also called Portobello.
Here you can watch demonstrations at some of the local shops where products are made and sold. Some of the souvenirs that can be purchased here include the iconic and authentic Maori greenstone carvings and Happy Hens ceramic souvenirs.
See the very best of some of New Zealand's wildlife during your harbor cruise conducted onboard a custom-made vessel with an experienced local guide who is ready to show you the area's wildlife such as albatross, penguins, seals and much more.
Travel the length of the shipping channel from Port Chalmers to the Taiaroa Head nature reserve. This area is home to albatross, seals, sea and harbor birds, shags and cormorants. Typically, you may also see penguins and sometimes sea lions and dolphins.
There are many other animals too that will occasionally make an appearance. This tour will allow you to view between 10-20 different species of animals. Receive a wildlife sheet to take home with the animals you have seen to help you remember this very special day on the water.
Passing the main port, you may also see different ships, tugboats, fishing vessels, and sometimes pilot boats and other workboats. You may also pass the quarantine stations on Quarantine Island, viewing the shipwrecks that reside there as your boat skipper guide will point out navigational markers and other interesting things.
Please Note: Tours are rarely canceled due to bad weather. The boat has a comfortable, heated cabin with large windows, so the cold, rain, or wind is never a problem. We heat the cabin to between 18-25(C) degrees and there is a modern and heated toilet/bathroom onboard. The skipper will never take the vessel out if they are in doubt as to the safety of the passengers or vessel due to the weather conditions.
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.
We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.
Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.