Island Cruising was started in the 1980’s to provide assistance for sailors wishing to sail from NZ to the Pacific Islands and back. Over the past 30+ years the name Island Cruising has become well known by cruisers not only in New Zealand and the Pacific but also World Wide.
The Island Cruising Association was formed by Don and Jenny Mundell back in the 1980's. The aim at the time was to attract more cruising sailors to Tonga.
Their efforts were very successful, with many keen sailors joining them to explore the Kingdom and further afield.
Brian & Joan Hepburn were next to take the wheel in the 1995. They expanded Island Cruising to take care of all the documentation and helping members with everything from checking they are properly prepared to go offshore to finding additional crew. The Hepburns were on hand to see all their cruising clients away from New Zealand, and they were there at the destination to ensure there are no hassles with officialdom. The Hepburns, who between them had more than 100,000 miles of bluewater experience, introduced the comprehensive preparation courses for their members planning to go offshore for the first time. Courses included a total how-to-cope exercise that covered everything a would-be sailor could imagine happening on a bad day at sea. There was even a body-dunking session for everyone to show how to get into and out of a liferaft in full wet-weather gear. The Hepburns owned the business for 11 years and also wrote a number of books about sailing in the South Pacific.
John & Lyn Martin were the third owners. They purchased the business in 2007 and escorted rallies all over the South West Pacific from on board their vessel Windflower. John & Lyn enjoyed 10 years running rallies throughout the South Pacific. During this time they also started writing cruising guides for the South Pacific and building the incredible databases and wealth of information & resources that Island Cruising has on hand to share with members and rally participants.
John & Lyn sold the business in 2017 to Nigel and Amanda Richards, who renamed the business Island Cruising NZ.
Nigel had a lifetime of sailing experience, growing up in the South of England messing about in boats with his master boatbuilder father. Amanda began sailing when she met Nigel 25 years ago. Together they operated Island Cruising from their vessel Varekai, a Bruce Roberts 53. Nigel and Amanda ran two very successful rallies before 2020 and COVID came along and scuppered the Pacific Circuit Rally plans. With a house ashore and a horse riding fan teenage daughter, the Richards family decided a seachange shore based life was afoot and they started putting out the feelers for someone new to take on the business to the next leg.
Nigel and Amanda approached Viki Moore in 2021 to discuss their plans to sell the business and gauge Viki’s interest. Viki jumped at the opportunity to get on board.
Since then Viki has continued to build on the wonderful work that Nigel and Amanda, and other predecessors of Island Cruising have achieved over the years.
Down Under Rally
In November 2014, John Hembrow created the Down Under Rally and, since then, has assisted hundreds of Australian sailors & international cruisers in achieving their cruising goals.
In 2023 John sold Down Under Rally to Viki Moore. With many synergies between the two businesses, it made sense to bring both together under one umbrella. John has retired and Viki is now at the helm and excited about the future ahead.