A whale of a time for cruise passengers

07:33, May 26 2013
Humpback whale
DROPPING IN: A humpback whale plays in the water near Akaroa.

Passengers on board an Akaroa Harbour cruise in Canterbury today were treated with views of a breaching humpback whale.

Black Cat Cruises managing director Paul Bingham said the whale provided some spectacular sights leaping out of the water.

He said the mammal was just off Akaroa heads and briefly came into the harbour.

The whale was thought to be on its way north from Antarctica to warmer tropical waters.

Humpback whales have wide-ranging but distinctly seasonal migration patterns, travelling thousands of kilometres between high-latitude summer feeding grounds and low-latitude winter breeding and calving grounds, Bingham said.

They travel mainly along the east coast and through Cook Strait during winter and return along the west coast in spring.

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