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Whale Watch Kaikoura

Features Animals
Kaikoura, New Zealand
About Whale Watch Kaikoura
"THE ULTIMATE MARINE EXPERIENCE" Whale Watch® is New Zealand's only marine-based whale watching company offering visitors an exciting up-close encounter with the Giant Sperm Whale all year round. A 95% success rate means a guaranteed 80% refund if your tour does not see a whale. The Giant Sperm Whales share these waters with up to 14 other different species of whales and dolphins that migrate past at different times of the year. At times you may also see NZ Fur Seals, rare & endangered Hector’s Dolphins & a wide variety of marine birds including the wandering albatross. Designed for whale watching, the company operates a fleet of modern catamarans equipped with engines that minimise underwater noise &toilets that never pollute the sea. The main passenger cabin is enclosed and large outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities. Spacious air-conditioned interiors are fitted with comfortable seating while large plasma screens display award-winning marine wildlife animations.
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Closes in 25 min
Hours Today: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Tours and Tickets by Whale Watch Kaikoura
Kaikoura is renowned for its amazing marine life, and you’ll discover why on this whale watching tour. From your catamaran boat you’ll get up close to whales, seals, and dolphins in the deep waters off shore, as well as albatross. Learn about the animals and their habitat from live commentary on board. You are almost guaranteed to spot a whale, as you’ll receive most of your ticket price back if you don’t.
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Samantha B wrote a review 14 May
North Shore, New Zealand97 contributions40 helpful votes
This is a well-run operation. Unfortunately it has been hit hard by Covid-19 so instead of multiple outings a day, you are far more limited in terms of the time and day that you can go out. We had to plan our week in the South Island quite carefully to be able to work this activity in. The boat trip and crew were great - skilled, friendly and knowledgeable. Unfortunately it was a very windy day (a sunny day doesn’t necessarily mean a good whale watching weather!) so we couldn’t travel too far from shore. This meant no sperm whales. We did see a humpback whale although they aren’t guaranteed to provide any “tail action”. We did however see sea birds including albatross and lots of dusky dolphins. We got a partial (20%) refund for lack of whale sightings, which was a nice gesture. The only real criticism I have is the check-in process. We arrived at 10 but then there’s 35 minutes of hanging around before the bus takes you out to the marina. It would be good to either streamline this process or provide something interesting to do while you wait (the gift shop only takes 5-10 minutes to look around!).
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Superwoman888 wrote a review 2 May
Auckland Central, New Zealand317 contributions188 helpful votes
The whole excursion was scheduled to take three and a half hours, actual time on the water was just over two hours. Check in at the office was quick, then it was a half an hour - forty five minute wait. There is no longer a cafe at this location. We were transported by bus to South Bay where we boarded the vessel, Paikea . It was not their biggest craft. The weather was fine but the sea was a little rough. As a precaution, we had taken sea sickness pills prior, which as it turned out was a good move. While the boat was in motion, everyone was required to be seated in the main cabin. At certain times, a crew member would open the doors, which was the signal that passengers could exit out to the deck for fresh air or viewing. Warm, windproof clothing and beanie recommended We had very good commentary onboard during the search for the presence of whales. Once a whale was located, level of excitement heightened. We had a brief viewing before the dive, cruised about in search of another, and failing that, returned to view a second dive of the previous whale. On the return to shore, two large pods of dolphins turned up alongside the vessel and entertained us for a good half hour with acrobatic skills. Such a thrill ! Thoroughly enjoyed our close encounter with these beautiful marine mammals. The excursion was well run although the waiting time after check in could be shortened; unless this was weather dependent at the embarkation end, in which case informing the group would have been appreciated.
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Date of experience: March 2021
ukmorrows wrote a review Apr 2021
London, United Kingdom81 contributions90 helpful votes
We had a choice of activities and so pleased we chose whale watching. What a fantastic experience. The booking over the phone was easy, as was the checkin process. This company is the epitome of fantastic customer service at every touch point! We had the lovely Lisa as our bus driver and what a breath of fresh air she was, gave us a good explanation of what we could expect and showed such passion for her job and the company. Sam, our host on the boat was informative and funny throughout the whole experience, even though I’m sure she does this multiple times a day, it still felt we were treated with respect and valued as paying customers. There was not one moment that we didn’t know what was going on. Safety was first and foremost and the new boat is well designed to give maximum viewing opportunities as well as places to stand/hold onto to get optimum viewing. We were lucky to see a sperm whale which was truely special and saw a huge pod of dolphins on the way back which stayed with us for quite a while, what a bonus! I would highly recommend this company and experience, it’s good for all ages. I really appreciated Lisa’s heartfelt authentic “thank you for choosing local and for supporting our company” on the way back on the bus. Thank you for a fantastic day
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908Cathy wrote a review Apr 2021
Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom34 contributions7 helpful votes
The i site told us this trip would be 3.5 hours. We had to wait 35 minutes after the start time, then we were taken around the town by bus. The total time on the boat was less than 2 hours. We saw two small humpback whales and a huge pod of playful dusky dolphins. We were told we had to get back and we were so disappointed not to be able to spend more time with the dolphins. The lady narrating the trip was lovely and very informative. Overall we felt disappointed at seeing so little and the trip costing so much and it being so much shorter than we were promised
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Date of experience: April 2021
Erin M wrote a review Apr 2021
Auckland37 contributions14 helpful votes
Found the check-in building easy enough and greeted warmly at the front desk. Would have perhaps been helpful when booking the trip online to have been informed that the 10am tour did not actually depart until 10.30am as we were very early. We set out on a beautiful sunny and calm day on their great new vessel - plenty of room for all. Unfortunately not luck enough to see a sperm whale but were rewarded by 2 x Humpback whales mooching around on the surface, with excellent viewing for about 30 minutes. The crew were friendly and knowledgeable and captain Shannon was a great host. All in all, obviously disappointed to not sight a Sperm whale or dolphins, but can't complain about a fantastic day out at sea.
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Date of experience: April 2021