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
This product is unavailable to book via Tripadvisor. Contact the supplier for availability.
Tour snapshot
Akaroa Harbour dolphin cruise
Duration:
3h
Group size:
12
Near public transportation
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    3h
  • Group size:
    12
  • Near public transportation
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
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
  • 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
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
  • 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
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3661SWDS_SWDW
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
  • Akaroa, Main Wharf, Akaroa, Christchurch 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Dates: 1st October through to 30th April 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.
  • You can only book to watch a swim when travelling with a swimmer
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • 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
  • Akaroa, Main Wharf, Akaroa, Christchurch 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Dates: 1st October through to 30th April 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.
  • You can only book to watch a swim when travelling with a swimmer
  • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • 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
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
110 reviews
Excellent
88
Very good
8
Average
4
Poor
7
Terrible
3

Lindsey H
2 contributions
Jan 2020
My husband and I chose to swim with the Hector dolphins with Black Cat Cruises while on our honeymoon to NZ. We were very impressed with all staff members we encountered and the overall organization of the facility/operation. Our swim met all our expectations as we understand the animals seen are truly wild animals and therefore unpredictable. We encountered several small pods of dolphins which were interested in the boat, swam near the boat for a while, interacted with us for a few minutes, then swam off. Our guides were excellent at finding nearby pods when the current pod lost interest in us humans. Due to the "lack" of interest the dolphins had, our guide ensured all passengers received a 25% refund as promised when dolphins are a little less participatory than usual. The accountability and honesty Black Cat Cruises upheld was impressive and validated our choice of a reputable company to book our tour with. Additionally, our guides were very knowledgeable about the wildlife in the area and demonstrated true concern for the overall well-being of the exquisite ecosystem Akaroa has to offer.

When we completed our swim, the waters were very cold and as an individual with a circulation condition, I would highly recommend the staff offer gloves to passengers in the future if at all possible. (Although I was a competitive swimmer my entire life and am used to differing water temperatures, my fingers turned entirely white and numb from the tips to the second knuckle after a short time in the water).
Written 28 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi W2865KGlindseym, thanks so much for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor. We really appreciate your feedback regarding gloves and will pass this on to our operations team at our next monthly meeting! Despite the dolphins being a little shy, it sounds like you still had a brilliant time out on the water! We hope you can come out with us again soon.
Written 9 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Calum M
52 contributions
Dec 2019
From the outset it is made clear that the staff at Black Cat really care for the dolphins and their future. No promises are made that you will see anything and the importance of not touching them is enforced due to the dolphin's sensitive skin that can be torn with even a sharp nail.

The boat ride through and out of the bay was great fun in itself, I highly recommend standing out on the bow to enjoy the waves and views!

It was great fun helping our guides Kate and Harry to spot the dorsal fins of the dolphins popping up to get an idea where they were.

We managed to get a great swim with around 14 of them at one point, also managing to see an albatross, fur seal and a penguin!

Kate and Harry were very informative and were just as excited as us to see the Dolphins even though they get to do it every day which made the experience that much better.

Couldn't recommend this tour enough, brilliant day out!
Written 16 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Calum M, wow thank you so much for your amazing review of your tour - Swimming with Dolphins! I'll certainly pass your lovely feedback on to Harry and Kate, they will be thrilled! Sounds like you had a brilliant day out, 14 Hector's dolphins would have been just magic! I hope you can come out on another tour with us again soon.
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

healthcarestartup
Auckland, New Zealand6 contributions
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.

Georgia F
5 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We had an unbelievable trip with black cat cruises to see the hector dolphin, Harry and Hannah were especially brilliant they had top knowledge and were super friendly. We saw a mother and baby dolphin followed by swimming with 12 dolphins, truly amazing both on and off the boat. Would recommend the 6.30am trip, it’s painfully early but well worth it.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi georgiafrost4, thanks for reviewing us on TripAdvisor - we appreciate it so much! Sounds like you had magic day out on the water with Harry and Hannah - I'll make sure to pass on your feedback to them. Awww amazing you got to see a mother and baby, that's so cool and such a treat! We hope you can come out with us again soon!
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beccah E.
5 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
We unfortunately did not get to swim with any dolphins, which is not the fault of the company, as the dolphins are wild and unpredictable. But the low rating comes from the lack of adequate advertising. IF the dolphins chose to come near you, you aren’t really swimming with them. You wade water and cross your fingers that they come near you. Don’t expect to see them underwater, it’s only what you can see above water. Also, the description says it’s a 3 hour tour and you’ll be in the water for 2...that actually means one hour of instructions and getting ready, 2 hours on the boat, and about 15 minutes in the water. Also, the nice, warm showers is a communal room of shower heads. Hope you enjoy stripping down in front of strangers! Not worth the money for a small chance to be in the water at the same time dolphins are nearby. Look for something else.
Written 11 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi TNtoNZ, thanks for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor. We are sorry that the tour did not meet your expectation and will certainly take your feedback on board. One of things we pride our tours on, is that the experience is completely in the wild and on the terms of the dolphin, hence we cannot guarantee that the dolphins will come up to you. We hope you can come out with us again soon.
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dstuijvenberg
Nijmegen, The Netherlands9 contributions
Loved the experience to swim with the dolphins. We were very lucky to encounter a small group of dolphins that played in front of the group and kept swimming around us.
Still, these are wild animals and you have to be lucky. The crew also gave a lot of information.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi dstuijvenberg, thanks very much for reviewing us on TripAdvisor. Amazing you got to spend some time with a group of Hector's dolphins - they are so special aren't they!? I'm glad our crew were able to give you lots of background info on them and you enjoyed the tour. Hope to see you out with us again soon!
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sofiel379
28 contributions
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.

Karen T
6 contributions
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.

Johnny
Seattle, WA4 contributions
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.

Colin Fiske
73 contributions
Nov 2019
We booked this independently as it was something we really wanted to do and we had a great time. There is no guarantee that the dolphins will oblige as they are wild animals. However, our skipper Kate found plenty of dolphins for us but they didn't want to play once we got into the water and as such Black Cat gave us a partial refund. My wife and I had a good laugh trying to get our wetsuits on and off which just added to the fun. A great day and to be recommended.
Written 6 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Grumpy G, sounds like you and your wife had a wonderful day out with Skipper Kate! Thanks so much for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor. Hopefully next time the dolphins will want to play. Thanks again and hope to see you again soon.
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 98
About the operator

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

By: Black Cat Cruises
zemmanuel
zemmanuel
00
best harbor cruise experience
Excellent cruise, such a thrill. We are so thankful to the captain and the hostess; she was so kind and helpful. It
Donna E
Donna E
00
Perfect , well planned and great staff
This trip was amazing , perfect calm day, with the brightest most beautiful colour water in the world, we saw a pod
61raewynh
61raewynh
00
Loving the experience - a must do
This was fantastic - great commentary and perfect weather. Saw a Hectors Dolphin almost immediately - stunning to
Jess W
Jess W
00
Amazing Cruise 🛳
Amazing trip from start to finish. Office staff were so welcoming and polite, Lovely commentary from the skipper Da
psycoMuriel
psycoMuriel
00
Dolphins dolphins!
If you have teenagers this is the trip for you. We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of dolphins that we sa
Curious25081405386
Curious25081405386
00
Very rude staffs to my 3.5 years old son!
Very rude staffs. My 3.5 years old boy and I went to enquiry about the cruise timetable. My son saw a Kia soft toy
tonybonne
tonybonne
00
Outstanding Nature Trip
We weren’t sure what to expect, however, we were very pleasantly surprised. The commentary was informative, very in
Lara_Harrison21
Lara_Harrison21
00
Magic tour
Amazing tour! Must do trip when you are in Akaroa. The scenery is stunning and we've got so lucky to see a lot of
67asherr
67asherr
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Quail Island Adventure
Quail Island Adventure! We were looked after by super friendly staff when checking in, once all was sorted there we
WiskyKing
WiskyKing
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Not great customer service
Purchased some vouchers via TreatMe for a trip to Quail Island with BlackCat. However, after my 2nd Covid jab was n
Nigel2312
Nigel2312
00
An experience not to be missed
I definitely recommend doing this excursion. The staff were very accommodating when we asked to move the date due t
terrydeb22
terrydeb22
00
A great experience out on the Akaroa harbour.
We had a perfect morning on the harbour. The crew was friendly and the commentary informative without being too int
R5054OWjoyh
R5054OWjoyh
00
Dolphins and Penguins up close
It was a cloudy grey day but there were so many little Hector dolphins all around us for much of the trip, we didn'
Ed R
Ed R
00
Awesome experience
Awesome experience and great company. We saw Hector Dolphins, fur seals and white penguins on our trip. The skipp
kiwichic13
kiwichic13
00
Loved it - get on board
We loved every minute of the Nature Cruise. We were lucky enough to see loads and loads of dolphins, a few penguins
Frequently Asked Questions about Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa price starts from $189.24. 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