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Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa provided by Black Cat Cruises

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Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

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Overview
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.
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
Important Information
Departure Point
The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
Duration
3h
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
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
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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.
143Reviews
21Q&A
Traveller rating
  • 86
  • 8
  • 4
  • 7
  • 3
Traveller type
Time of year
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Popular mentions
dleighb wrote a review Feb 2020
Texas75 contributions28 helpful votes
We had a wonderful time with Black Cat Cruises even though we were not lucky enough to swim with the dolphins. That is the risk when you choose trying to interact with wild animals, and it is exceptional that Black Cat Cruises has a refund policy in place in instances when
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 8 Mar 2020
Hi dleighb, thanks very much for taking the time to write us a review on TripAdvisor - we really appreciate it! I'm so glad you had a great time out on the water with our crew. Yes as you mentioned, it is a wild swimming experience and we leave it up to the dolphins entirely if they are keen to interact or not - thank you for your understanding :-) Sounds like you still had a wonderful day viewing all the dolphins around you and we hope to see you out with us for another try soon!
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Lindsey H wrote a review Jan 2020
2 contributions
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
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 8 Mar 2020
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.
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Carrie wrote a review Jan 2020
Herne Bay, United Kingdom3 contributions3 helpful votes
What an amazing day from start to finish. The staff were amazing, from the ladies behind the counter to the guys on the boat with us. The knowledge and love these guys have for the Héctor dolphins was outstanding! The day was just so special from start to finish! We saw lots of
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Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 8 Mar 2020
Hi cazr85, thank you so much for your wonderful review on TripAdvisor. Sounds like you had an amazing day out in the water despite the dolphins not wanting to play too much! Thanks for the lovely feedback on our staff, I'll be sure to pass this on to the team - they'll be wrapt! We hope you can join us again soon.
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Explore170850 wrote a review Jan 2020
1 contribution
Amazing experience, our family throyghly loved it 😎 Great team on land and on boat. Highly recommended for families.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 8 Mar 2020
Hi Explore170850, thanks very much for your review on TripAdvisor. We are thrilled you and your family had such a great time out with our crew! We hope to see you all again soon.
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MegieD wrote a review Jan 2020
Sydney, Australia38 contributions3 helpful votes
What an absolute privilege to be able to spend time around these wonderful little dolphins. As they are wild you can’t guarantee any contact, but the time they stayed to play near us was magical. Smallest dolphins in the world only found here in Akaroa. Black Cat Cruises were
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Response from BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 7 Mar 2020
Hi MegieD, wow sounds like you had an amazing day out - thanks so much for taking the time to review us on TripAdvisor. The Hector's dolphin is simply a magical creature and we are thrilled you got to swim with them in the wild! We hope you can come out with us again 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
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
Kylie B
Kylie B
00
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
alexiat198
alexiat198
00
Loved it!
Awesome trip, knowledgeable and cheeky driver. Beautiful nature and animals. Would do it again if I lived a tad clo
Pauline Y
Pauline Y
00
only way to see the dolphins
We booked through bookme.com and got a slighter cheaper deal but we noticed they did have specials at the desk!! C
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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