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.
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
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
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
What to expect
Start your swim-with-dolphins tour in New Zealand’s South Island by climbing aboard a jet-powered catamaran at Akaroa Harbour—the flooded crater of an extinct volcano surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanic cliffs. During a briefing and instruction on how to interact responsibly with Hector’s dolphins, learn what to expect prior to your water adventure. Then don your provided wetsuit and mask and slip into the tranquil harbor to observe these magnificent marine mammals up close. Your knowledgeable crew ensures your safety on a memorable dolphin swim during this excursion, popular due to the limited number of passengers permitted per departure (limited to 12). The covered vessel has no propellers, making it safer for you and the dolphins. After your dolphin swim, you can warm up quickly in the heated cabin or take a hot shower, available onboard, and enjoy a warm beverage. This tour operator was the first cruise boat company in the world to get the coveted Green Globe 21, an international program to ensure best environmental practices.
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 3661SWDS_SWDW
Call +1 855 275 5071
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
The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Dates: Daily Return point: Cruise returns to original point of departure
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
The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand Departure Point: Akaroa's main wharf Dates: Daily 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.
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
Popular mentions

4.5
108 reviews
Excellent
86
Very good
8
Average
4
Poor
7
Terrible
3

Kicki
2 contributions
Fantastic experience
Jan 2020 • Family
It was a quite outstanding experience to be in the water with the wild dolphines playing around us. Supporting and informative crew. If you're not staying in Akaroa book the transfer from Christchurch as you book the dolphine tickets as it seemed to be the best option.
Written 7 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi 342annchristinel, thank you so much for reviewing us on TripAdvisor. Sounds like you had an awesome day out and thanks for recommending the transfer over from Christchurch! We hope to see you in Akaroa again soon.
Written 7 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Colin Fiske
73 contributions
Great trip
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.

Beat9935
Switzerland55 contributions
Great experience and company
We did a swimming with the dolphins with the whole family. And it was just perfect and an amazing experience. The staff is great and the equipment from black cat too. We got a lot of interesting and useful information.
Written 22 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Beat9935, Thank you very much for your lovely review of our Swimming with Dolphins excursion. We love hearing about our guest's experiences. We look forward to hopefully seeing you again soon!
Written 8 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Floriane P
2 contributions
Not recommanded
Dec 2019 • Couples
Go away ! we saw dolphins from the boat as spectators but we didn’t swim with them at all. They were far far away from us once in the water. No problem those are wild animals... On the website the company promise à 25% refund if we don’t swim with dolphins ... it is only marketing. the crew did’nt accept to refund us because they said one person in the group were very closed to a dolphin in the water ... whatever we paid for « swimming with dolphins » not to see them only from the boat... it’s very expensive to see dolphins from the boat, eat biscuits and drink hot chocolate on board ... There are other companies on the wharf ... maybe there are better ...
Written 19 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi florianep629, We are terribly sorry that your expectations were not met on this day. We hope you understand that we do our utmost to provide our guests with a good experience but we realise that not every cruise results in 100% satisfaction. The refund policy we have in place is for the few times that we are unable to deliver the trips that we know are possible. There are careful and thoughtful guidelines based around this policy and our skippers take this very seriously. Once again, we are sorry that you didn't believe your trip was successful.
Written 8 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Danielle G
Vineyard, Australia8 contributions
Fun trip
Nov 2019
Awesome staff made trip entertaining even though the dolphins did not want to interact, we still saw many of them. The trip was cut short due to extreme weather but again staff we super friendly and offered a partial refund.
Written 5 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi dani-gatt, Thank you for sharing your experience. Indeed weather is a major factor for our trips and it can really take a toll on our operations. Lucky for us most days are lovely and calm and ideal for cruising. Thank you for your understanding and we are glad that you had an enjoyable overall experience. Please come and see us again!
Written 8 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alice T
Christchurch, New Zealand26 contributions
Great trip
On my trip, we were not successful in hopping in with the dolphins as they were not interested to interact. The operator was very upfront when we checked in that the previous group was unsuccessful and we were welcome to try another day. We found 3 pods and the crew really did their best to give us a great time on the water and to find some dolphins. They were very apologetic for being able to find some interactive dolphins (totally not their fault!). Do be aware that this species of dolphin usually hangs around in small pods of around 2 to 5 animals. Mostly, we saw 2 animals at a time. I had a great time and our guide was great!
Written 17 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Alice T, We appreciate you taking the time to detail your honest experience. We are also very happy that you had an enjoyable experience despite not being able to get a swim. We are always transparent and upfront about our operations and we appreciate your understanding in this. Thanks again for your review and we hope you will be able to join us again in the future.
Written 9 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wendy J
El Dorado Hills, CA24 contributions
Fantastic Experience!
Nov 2019
We went out with Jules & Daz our skippers and Alister our guide. What a great group of guys! They went out of their way to explain what we were seeing and helped us have the most amazing experience with the dolphins. We were able to swim(float) among a pod of wild dolphins for about 30 minutes.It was the highlight of our vacation. Full wetsuits, booties and gloves were provided(and needed, the water was COLD!) Finally, the folks in the front office were very friendly and helpful. If you like dolphins, this is a "must do".!
Written 13 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Wendy J, We really appreciate you taking the time to write a review on our Swimming with Dolphins excursion. Jules, Daz, Alister and our office customer service are all very proud to be a part of this special place and we are so pleased that you noticed. Thanks again for sharing your experience and we hope that you will able to join us again soon!
Written 9 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joanne
1 contribution
Amazing experience
Sep 2019 • Couples
Loved the experience swimming with the dolphins was amazing and staff were fantastic highly recommend
Written 3 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi Jo-brown929, We love hearing that you had an amazing experience and we appreciate your review! We hope to see you again soon here in beautiful Akaroa!
Written 11 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Parker Finton
3 contributions
Absolutely Amazing!
Oct 2019
A group of 8 of us came as we were independently traveling as we are studying abroad! We booked the dolphin swim from Christchurch and the ride over was absolutely amazing. It ended up being that our group was the only on the boat and that made it even more of an awesome experience. Supposedly, we got super lucky! The normal trip sees about 5-6 dolphins that stick around for you to swim with but we ended up seeing 25-30 dolphins and swam with them for the entire 45 minutes! One of the best parts of our trip by far and would recommend to anyone! Staff was very friendly as well!
Written 19 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi parkerb1234, Wow! It sounds like you had an amazing experience on our Dolphin Swim! Indeed you were very lucky to see that many dolphins at once! Thanks for the wonderful review and we do hope that you will be able to visit us again one day.
Written 11 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Magdalena
3 contributions
Certainly a Highlight in New Zealand!
Oct 2019 • Solo
I just had the most amazing experience with Black cat cruises! I arrived a bit late, but gladly that was no problem. The crew was more than friendly and acommodating and obviously enjoyed the dolphins as much as we did. They do a great job an I would definitely recommend doing the Dolphin swimming with them!
Written 19 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Hi MagdalenaSchaefer, Thank you for the lovely review. We are so happy to hear that you had a great experience on our dolphin swim. Hectors Dolphins are pretty fantastic! A special thanks for your kind words about our friendly team, it means a lot to us. We hope you will be able to visit us again soon!
Written 11 April 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 21-30 of 96
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