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“Amazing swim”
Review of Dolphin Encounter

Dolphin Encounter
Ranked #1 of 28 Tours in Kaikoura
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Swim with the dolphins in their natural environment or watch their acrobatic displays form the comfort of the boat.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Amazing swim”
Reviewed 20 February 2012

The staff are friendly, seem to like what they do, and as a result the tour is a well organized and fun adventure. We went on a slightly windy, overcast morning and there was a moderate sea sickness warning. I've never struggled with sea sickness before, but did a little - I didn't need the bucket, but several others did (so, I would recommend taking the motion sickness pills ~ can't hurt). It was a little difficult to spot a good group to swim with, as the 5:30 a.m. crew had seen an Orca (predator to the Dusky dolphin) - so they were a little more spread out and skittish than they might've been otherwise (wouldn't you be?). But, we got in a full swim at one spot and another shorter swim at another. The dolphins are fast and and incredibly beautiful when they swim and jump around you. I was nervous that the slightly uncomfortable journey back would tarnish the experience, but once back on land, all I could think about was how amazing the dolphins were. Highly recommended!

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Sara V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinEncounter, Front Office Manager at Dolphin Encounter, responded to this review, 21 February 2012
Kia Ora Sara. Thank you for your review!

Yes Orca do pass through the area every now and again, its usually every few weeks at this time of year. Unfortunately we dont know when or how close to the shore they will appear, they just appear! They can also be choosey with their prey and can make dolphins nervous!
Sorry you got sea sick on the tour, we do operate on a very exposed area of coastline which is prone to sea swells. Glad to read the dolphins kept your mind distracted!

All the best, Encounter Kaikoura.
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lafayette hill, pa, usa
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Dolphins and a surprise iewing of Orcas”
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Great fun watching all the dolphins. Plus we also happened to see some orcas. The crew is very knowledgeable and provide an informative commentary. People who went swimming with the dolphins seemed to have a great time also.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank bearsfolks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinEncounter, Front Office Manager at Dolphin Encounter, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Hi and thanks for the review, glad that our rew were able to share their love and knowledge of our environment here with you! How fabulous that you got to see Orca on your tour too! They are not resident here in Kaikoura, although they do pass through our waters from time to time. It's always a phenomenal suprise and joy for us too when they grace us with their awe inspiring presence! :-)
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Kent, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Great Experience With Beautiful Creatures”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

We are huge believers of seeing creatures in their native habitat and Dolphin Encounters provided this.

The whole setup is very well run, slick procedures, purpose built comfortable boats and a great crew. It runs like a well oiled machine and the character of the guides & staff adds to the whole experience.

The briefings are clear and concise and the knowledge of the guides is ably passed on whilst underway to locate the dolphins. As soon as the dolphins are found and the swimmers are ready in you go to swim with the amazing creatures.

The staff closely monitor the creatures and your time in the water to ensure that they are not harassed and that they are given the peace they require at the right time.

Although the water was 'chilly' the equipment provided, combined with the adrenaline keep you warm enough. The hot chocolate and ginger nuts back on board help for the return journey!

One you finish swimming the crew then locate the dolphins again to allow for photo opportunities and it would seem that the dolphins know these and play their part too, barreling out of the water summersaulting for your lens.

If you want to see dolphins come and see them in the wild rather than in captivity in places where they are kept just to pull in the crowds!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank AngusDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinEncounter, Front Office Manager at Dolphin Encounter, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Hello Angus and thanks for your review! It was a delight to read as we do indeed view interaction with the amazing marine life here in Kaikoura as a priviledge and not a right and endeavour to pass our passion and appreciation of this on to all our customers! Glad you also had some "crew encounter" too, I often think they can be as entertaining as the dolphins! :-) Hope we see you again someday!
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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing experiance”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

Guides were helpful and knowledgeable about the different species in the area, the equipment and boats seemed well cared for and clean. During our trip we didnt encounter a large number of animals but the group we did find stayed with us for a long time there was no shortage of time with dolphins.
The hot water hose and hot chocolate was very well welcomed after our swim

The only down side to the trip was that we were encouraged to make noise when the animals were present to keep them intrested in us, 20 something people splashing on the surface is probably pritty intimidating and why the main group of swimmers was avoided by the pod.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank Nick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinEncounter, Front Office Manager at Dolphin Encounter, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Hi Nick thanks for your review and your feedback we're stoked you enjoyed your Dolphin Encounter here in Kaikoura!
Sometimes we swim with large pods here in Kaikoura and sometimes we swim with smaller scatterred pods, everyday is different and we never really know what we are going to encounter until the day. Regarding our encouragement to make noise in the water we generally find that the dusky dolphins are a very interactive species of dolphin, and respond positively to aural stimulation. It's great to read that the dolphins you encountered were interested to stay with you for a long time making your trip a great experience! :-)
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USA
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Adventure of a lifetime”
Reviewed 13 February 2012

TThis was amazing. My daughter and I went. These guys are pros--they provide you with everything you need to safely swim in the Pacific with dolphins, including wetsuit, mask and snorkel. They even had a mask in my daughter's prescription; she was delighted! They prepare you with a short movie, teach you onboard how to use mask and snorkel safely, and then--once the dolphins appear--turn you loose in the water! I think they gave us five separate swimming-with-dolphin stops, plus another couple to admire the seabirds.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank MarinaUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinEncounter, Front Office Manager at Dolphin Encounter, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Thanks MarinaUSA - so glad you and your daughter had a great time here in Kaikoura! We do pride ourselves on providing quality gear, safety and service! :-) The rest is down to those amazing dolphins! So pleased to be part of one of your lifetime adventures! :-)
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