Tours and Tickets

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa provided by Black Cat Cruises

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

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Low Price Guarantee
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.
  • 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
Important Information
Departure Point
The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
  • 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
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
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Additional Info
  • 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
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
  • 86
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Traveller type
Time of year
Popular mentions
healthcarestartup wrote a review 19 Jan
Auckland, New Zealand6 contributions
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
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Date of experience: January 2021
Karen T wrote a review Dec 2020
6 contributions
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
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Date of experience: December 2020
Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 2 weeks ago
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.
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dlynne7 wrote a review Apr 2020
London, United Kingdom180 contributions2 helpful votes
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
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Date of experience: February 2020
Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 11 Apr 2020
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!
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Voyager560420 wrote a review Apr 2020
11 contributions
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
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Date of experience: March 2020
Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 6 Apr 2020
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
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bev185 wrote a review Mar 2020
Toronto, Canada18 contributions8 helpful votes
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.
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Date of experience: March 2020
Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 20 Mar 2020
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.
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About the operator

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

By: Black Cat Cruises
great trip
thank you so much guys, what a wonderful trip. we so enjoyed the morning cruise, visiting bays and watching seals a
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Great adventure
Great cruise! Excellent skipper and narrator during the cruise. Saw a penguin, hector dolphins, birds nesting, seal
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Sea. Scenery. Seals. Dolphins. Delivered.
Awesome morning on the water, which delivered all that was promised - including a dolphin pod with calves. Awesome!
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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
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Money well spent
We got a cheap deal on bookme, it was definitely worth it! The crew (Hamish & Helen) were great, friendly and full
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Terry L
A great couple of hours of entertainment and relaxation with a bit of education thrown in as well. Dolphins, seals
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Exceeded our expectations
A great day out - with a friendly and welcoming crew. The guide kept us entertained the whole trip with historical
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Excellent experience
Outstanding tour which was both comfortable and enjoyable. There was excellent commentary and knowledgeable staff.
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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
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Kylie B
A Family Must Do!!!
Highlight of our family holiday to Canterbury 👍 Beautiful day and we saw alot of dolphins. Bith kids aged 13 and 6
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Loved it!
Awesome trip, knowledgeable and cheeky driver. Beautiful nature and animals. Would do it again if I lived a tad clo
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Pauline Y
only way to see the dolphins
We booked through and got a slighter cheaper deal but we noticed they did have specials at the desk!! C
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Christine L
A great experience
The 12.45pm cruise was great. Very professional yet friendly. Found.lots of dolphins and seals. Even one penguin.
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Nz Nature tour
What a joy it was to see a slice of pure NZ stretching out to the Pacific Ocean. The boat was well appointed and co
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One of the best things I've ever done
This has definitely been one of my favorite things I've ever done. We saw a few Dolphins, unfortunately they didn't
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Key Details
  • Akaroa Harbour, Akaroa
  • Duration: 3h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
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