Interislander - Cook Strait Ferries

Travelling with dogs

One of the great advantages of taking the ferry is that you can bring your dog. To ensure your dog is comfortable and safe during the journey, please read our tips and policies for dogs onboard. 

Interislander taking pets on board 1000x680 Dog Kennels A7302835 LR 1 Interislander Kaiarahi Kennels with Willow RH3456 1000x680 2

A holiday for the entire family!

We know that your dogs are a special part of the family and one of the great advantages of our Cook Strait ferries is that you can all go on holiday together. 

Your dog can have a comfortable journey in the familar surroundings of your car, or we have onboard kennels you can book.

Listen for the announcements during your sailing and, weather conditions permitting, a crew member will take you down to the vehicle deck to check on your dog.

Disability Assist Dogs are permitted in the passenger areas of our ships.

For easy identification, your dog needs to wear 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 ensure our furry guests are safe and comfortable.

Please read the following our 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
  • have given birth in the past 14 weeks
  • are under 8 weeks old or still weaning

Travel Tips and Welfare Requirements

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 onboard if we feel they are in any danger of harm or discomfort.

You should leave a window down at least 7cm to provide ventilation and ensure your pet has access to water during the journey.

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. If you are travelling with more dogs, you need to apply for an exemption by emailing us at animals@interislander.co.nz with details of your sailing, number of dogs, and method of transport. Please apply well in advance.

Bringing pets in your vehicle

  • 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
  • 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
  • You can visit your pet during the journey - keep an hear out for the onboard announcement and a crew member will escort you down.
  • 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)

Farmers, hunters or those transporting multiple show dogs can apply to carry three or more dogs by sending details of your sailing, number 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' welfare.

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!

Bringing pets by foot

  • 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 
  • 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
  • Listen for the onboard announcement and one of the crew will take you down to check on your pet, weather permitting.
  • 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)