Tours and Tickets

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa provided by Black Cat Cruises

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
4.5
Book in advance
from
AU$181.33
per adult
Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
About
Swim in the vicinity of wild dolphins on this Akaroa Harbour cruise, limited to 12 passengers. You’ll chance upon Hector’s dolphins, the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins, in their natural habitat. A wetsuit and mask are provided for your experience in the water, followed by a hot beverage and shower.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Highlights
  • Akaroa Harbour dolphin cruise
  • Swim in the natural habitat of wild dolphins
  • Covered vessel with heated cabin and hot drinks
  • Limit of 12 passengers permitted per departure
What to expect
  • Start your swim-with-dolphins tour in New Zealand’s South Island by climbing aboard a jet-powered catamaran at Akaroa Harbour—the flooded crater of an extinct volcano surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanic cliffs. During a briefing and instruction on how to interact responsibly with Hector’s dolphins, learn what to expect prior to your water adventure. Then don your provided wetsuit and mask and slip into the tranquil harbor to observe these magnificent marine mammals up close. Your knowledgeable crew ensures your safety on a memorable dolphin swim during this excursion, popular due to the limited number of passengers permitted per departure (limited to 12). The covered vessel has no propellers, making it safer for you and the dolphins. After your dolphin swim, you can warm up quickly in the heated cabin or take a hot shower, available onboard, and enjoy a warm beverage. This tour operator was the first cruise boat company in the world to get the coveted Green Globe 21, an international program to ensure best environmental practices.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Akaroa Harbour dolphin cruise
  • Swim in the natural habitat of wild dolphins
  • Covered vessel with heated cabin and hot drinks
  • Limit of 12 passengers permitted per departure
What to expect
  • Start your swim-with-dolphins tour in New Zealand’s South Island by climbing aboard a jet-powered catamaran at Akaroa Harbour—the flooded crater of an extinct volcano surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanic cliffs. During a briefing and instruction on how to interact responsibly with Hector’s dolphins, learn what to expect prior to your water adventure. Then don your provided wetsuit and mask and slip into the tranquil harbor to observe these magnificent marine mammals up close. Your knowledgeable crew ensures your safety on a memorable dolphin swim during this excursion, popular due to the limited number of passengers permitted per departure (limited to 12). The covered vessel has no propellers, making it safer for you and the dolphins. After your dolphin swim, you can warm up quickly in the heated cabin or take a hot shower, available onboard, and enjoy a warm beverage. This tour operator was the first cruise boat company in the world to get the coveted Green Globe 21, an international program to ensure best environmental practices.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3661SWDS_SWDW
Call 0061 (87) 2285 255
Important information
Inclusions
  • 3-hour dolphin swim (2-hours in water)
  • Wetsuit and mask (for those swimming)
  • Hot Beverage
  • Includes a full, live commentary from skipper
  • Hot Shower Facilities
Exclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
3h
Departure details
  • The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Dates: Daily Return point: Cruise returns to original point of departure
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not suitable for infants or children under 8
  • Children between 8yrs and 12yrs must be accompanied by an adult swimmer.
  • Children between 13yrs and 16yrs must be accompanied by an adult watcher.
  • Please note to join this activity you need to be able to swim a minimum of 50 meters unaided and be confident in open sea conditions.
  • Akaroa is ideally situated, only a 90 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport. You can either drive yourself or catch one of the shuttles, which operate daily between Christchurch city center and Akaroa.
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Guarantee - In the event of “partial swim” (dolphins are viewed from the boat but swimmers do not get into the water; or swimmers do not get full interaction while in the water as determined by Black Cat skipper & crew) Black Cat will refund 25% of fare. If no dolphins are seen, Black Cat will refund 50% of fare.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Life jackets are not provided or used, if one is required this product is not suitable, please join our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise.
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • You can only book to watch a swim when travelling with a swimmer
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travellers
Inclusions
  • 3-hour dolphin swim (2-hours in water)
  • Wetsuit and mask (for those swimming)
  • Hot Beverage
  • Includes a full, live commentary from skipper
  • Hot Shower Facilities
Exclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
  • The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Dates: Daily Return point: Cruise returns to original point of departure
Duration
3h
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not suitable for infants or children under 8
  • Children between 8yrs and 12yrs must be accompanied by an adult swimmer.
  • Children between 13yrs and 16yrs must be accompanied by an adult watcher.
  • Please note to join this activity you need to be able to swim a minimum of 50 meters unaided and be confident in open sea conditions.
  • Akaroa is ideally situated, only a 90 minute drive from Christchurch International Airport. You can either drive yourself or catch one of the shuttles, which operate daily between Christchurch city center and Akaroa.
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Guarantee - In the event of “partial swim” (dolphins are viewed from the boat but swimmers do not get into the water; or swimmers do not get full interaction while in the water as determined by Black Cat skipper & crew) Black Cat will refund 25% of fare. If no dolphins are seen, Black Cat will refund 50% of fare.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Life jackets are not provided or used, if one is required this product is not suitable, please join our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise.
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • You can only book to watch a swim when travelling with a swimmer
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travellers
Popular mentions

4.5
108 reviews
Excellent
86
Very good
8
Average
4
Poor
7
Terrible
3

healthcarestartup
Auckland, New Zealand6 contributions
Kiwi magic
Jan. 2021
Really magical morning on the water, with our crew a lovely combination of high professionalism and practical kiwi character. We bought the swim with dolphins as a Christmas treat for our kids. What we got was an atmospheric trip out of the harbour and along the coast in a gentle rolling swell spotting dolphins and their calves, seals, and albatross. Twin hull boat was very stable and uses jets instead of props to protect the dolphins. We were at last approached by 2 groups of dolphins as we were heading back and our skipper Chris and crew Lily ran over schedule in order to get us 2 swims with every passenger getting a close fly by from the curious Hectors. A couple (Hectors not humans) even showed off with a bit of aerial gymnastics. Back to base across a glassy clear harbour in full sun. The whole experience left us all with a huge buzz and wanting more.
Written 20 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi healthcarestartup, We really appreciate your wonderful review of our Swimming with Dolphins excursion. It is always so wonderful to hear about our customer's experiences and understand what it is that they appreciate the most about the trip. Thanks for taking the time! Come back and see us again soon!
Written 12 April 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen T
6 contributions
Saw baby dolphins
Dec. 2020
A good briefing, helped into wetsuits & out on the water within half an hour.
Take sea sickness tablets if you usually feel sick, 3 people threw up on our boat.
Saw a few dolphins in 2’s & 3’s, and saw some babies.
Got in the water at one stage but the dolphins didn’t stick around.
Because we didn’t literally swim with the dolphins we got a partial refund which was nice. Lovely people to deal with.
Written 10 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi karentL5898RC, We appreciate you taking the time to write a review of your excursion with us out on the water. We are more than pleased to hear that you were able to view the rare and beautiful Hectors Dolphins even though the conditions may have been a bit bumpy. We hope that one day you will be able to return and have an even closer experience in the water with these wonderful beings.
Written 11 January 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dlynne7
London, UK180 contributions
More fun for us than for the dolphins!
Feb. 2020
Friendly from the start, helping us to find the correct wet suits and storing our possessions. We were briefed about what to expect and it wasn’t long before we were on the boat seeking dolphins. The staff were very competent and determined to find dolphins for us. We had three or four opportunities to swim in areas where dolphins had been spotted and although the dolphins chose not to get too close to us it was an exhilarating experience amongst dramatic scenery. We were given a partial refund as there weren’t as many dolphins as had been expected, but we would have been happy even without this. We followed it with one of the best fish and chip lunches ever at Murphy on the Corner. Highly recommended.
Written 10 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
It's wonderful to hear that you had such a great experience with us here in stunning Akaroa! A special thank you for your kind words about our friendly and knowledgeable team. We hope to see you again in the future!
Written 11 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Voyager560420
11 contributions
Swimming with Dolphins
Mar. 2020
We drove here to Akaroa from Christchurch, which in itself was a really nice trip with stunning views. On arrival we were sent of to get fitted into out wet suites and then out onto the boat. At all times all the staff were very helpful and nice. We left the Quay and headed out to look for the Dolphins. Over the hour to two hours we were out there the skipper took the boat to varying places and once when we had found the Dolphins we stopped. There was quite a swell that day and though we saw lots of Dolphins, we were not always allowed into the water as they had small babies with them )I was very impressed with this attitude by the crew). We did get in a couple of times, but didn't get a decent swim with them, so they gave us some money back. We still really enjoyed our trip and it was great seeing these small Dolphins in the wild. Would highly recommend this trip.
Written 3 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Voyager560420, Thank you for choosing Black Cat Cruises to introduce you to Akaroa Harbour and the wonderful Hectors Dolphins. We are very pleased to hear that you had an enjoyable experience. It is very important to us that all of our trips are fun, safe and sensitive to the nature that surrounds us. We appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and we hope to see you again soon! All the best
Written 6 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bev185
Toronto, Canada20 contributions
Fun with the dolphins
Mar. 2020
We had a great time with Black Cat. We weren’t able to swim with the dolphins but saw them close up and had fun trying. We received a partial refund because we didn’t swim with the dolphins which was unexpected. Had a great time and would definitely recommend this excursion.
Written 18 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Bev185, thanks very much for reviewing us on TripAdvisor. Sounds like you had a great time despite not being able to get in the water with the dolphins. I hope you can join us again in Akaroa soon.
Written 20 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

GKimb
Saint John, Canada220 contributions
Great experience!
Mar. 2020
We had a great time on our trip to swim with the dolphins even though we didn’t get the full experience and had some of our money refunded! The folks at Black Cat are great and make the experience a lot of fun. We were thrilled just to be able to float off the coast in New Zealand!
Would highly recommend this tour!
Written 16 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi GKimb, thanks so much for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor. Sounds like you had a fab time out in the water, we really hope you can join us again soon!
Written 20 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dilip D
12 contributions
Swimming with Dolphins
Excellent!!! Black cat cruise Swimming with Dolphins is an vary enjoyable experience worth the effort to get here. The road to get here is (Akaroa) is around the hills is a very winding.
Written 28 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H 967dilipd, thanks very much for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor! We hope you can join us on another tour soon.
Written 21 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Johnny
Seattle, WA4 contributions
Unforgettable experience!
Swimming with Dolphins is something wanted to do for years and Black Cat cruises did not disappoint! We had three opportunities to jump in the water and swim with dozens of Hector dolphins. Many of them came within feet beside or underneath me! Both our guide and captain were very knowledgeable and great at pointing out where they are. The ride itself is beautiful and we got hot chocolate and cookies on our ride back. Highly recommend!
Written 27 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Jltboy11, thank you very much for your review on TripAdvisor. So amazing you got to fulfil your dream - and so glad you chose us to do it with!! Such a magical experience. We hope you can join us in Akaroa again soon.
Written 21 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tony P
Springfield, Missouri19 contributions
Fantastic & professional
Feb. 2020
We had a very informed and professional setting up and ride to the dolphins along with sightings and a few dolphins came alongside. The only reason I did not give 5 stars was because of the passengers that spoil't it (the made noise in the water on 2 locations and the Hectors disappeared. They gave us a refund, but damage done. The little we saw was exciting.
Written 26 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Tonyp4357, thanks very much for your review. We apologise that your trip didn't quite meet your expectation but sounds like you still had a great time out there! We hope you are able to come and join on another tour in the future.
Written 21 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sofiel379
28 contributions
Wow Great Experience and Service
Feb. 2020 • Solo
I really loved this tour. The experience to get close to dolphins is so unique, especially Hector dolphins which you can't really see anywhere else. I love how the team conduct the tours in a very eco friendly approach and on terms of dolphins and not humans. what was really impressive was how friendly and considerate everyone on the team was, always there and ready to listen and help. A great representation of NZ hospitality!
Written 19 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi sofiel379 We appreciate you taking the time to leave your thoughts and experiences here and we are so happy that you enjoyed your time with us. We hope you took away some incredible memories and we hope that you will be able to visit us again in the future!
Written 7 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 96
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Black Cat Cruises
LeanneCassieB
LeanneCassieB
00
Great day out with the kids
What an amazing family day excursion. The kids and adults loved all the knowledgeable information from our captain
dramaqueen42
dramaqueen42
00
Enjoyed every minute
Two hours on a comfortable boat with excellent commentary and friendly helpful staff. We saw Hector dolphins, littl
chocaholic5
chocaholic5
00
Fantastic Akaroa activity or day trip from Chrustchurch
Great excursion! Just 2 hour drive each way from Christchurch so can be a great day trip if not staying in Akaroa.
janellefletcher
janellefletcher
00
Sur la mer - On the Ocean
Currently living on a gorgeous lake, I was also looking forward to getting out on the sea in Akaroa. From Sonja's w
Stirg
Stirg
00
Black Cat Harbour and Wildlife Cruise
This 2 hour cruise is informative about the wildlife, birdlife and geological features of the Akaroa Harbour. For
nzski2014
nzski2014
00
Awesome
Did the Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise this morning with Black Cat Cruises. Saw two Hectors Dolphins at the front of
Mandymc900
Mandymc900
00
great trip
thank you so much guys, what a wonderful trip. we so enjoyed the morning cruise, visiting bays and watching seals a
triciad108
triciad108
00
Great adventure
Great cruise! Excellent skipper and narrator during the cruise. Saw a penguin, hector dolphins, birds nesting, seal
pretcnz
pretcnz
00
Sea. Scenery. Seals. Dolphins. Delivered.
Awesome morning on the water, which delivered all that was promised - including a dolphin pod with calves. Awesome!
ValentynaVelidchenko
ValentynaVelidchenko
00
Magic boat trip ! Must do in Akaroa
Huge thanks to Black Cat Cruises team for this magic day in the ocean 🌊 🚢 We’ve got so lucky to see many dolphins
BonnieBorowczyk
BonnieBorowczyk
00
Money well spent
We got a cheap deal on bookme, it was definitely worth it! The crew (Hamish & Helen) were great, friendly and full
Terry L
Terry L
00
Spiffing
A great couple of hours of entertainment and relaxation with a bit of education thrown in as well. Dolphins, seals
caughleyp
caughleyp
00
Exceeded our expectations
A great day out - with a friendly and welcoming crew. The guide kept us entertained the whole trip with historical
TheBismarck
TheBismarck
00
Excellent experience
Outstanding tour which was both comfortable and enjoyable. There was excellent commentary and knowledgeable staff.
wellingt0nkirby
wellingt0nkirby
00
Exactly what was promised
Last did this trip more than a decade ago. Booked for Fathers Day gift and redeemed today. Yesterday we were rung
Frequently Asked Questions about Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa price starts from AU$181.03. Discover and book Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa on Tripadvisor

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa on Tripadvisor

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa is hosted by Black Cat Cruises. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Black Cat Cruises on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa on Tripadvisor