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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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2 adults
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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
  • 83
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Traveller type
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Popular mentions
Joe T wrote a review Nov 2017
St Albans, United Kingdom17 contributions15 helpful votes
I was a bit apprehensive about doing this as, although they I am a reasonable swimmer, I am uncomfortable out of my depth in water. However, I need not have worried. The experience was amazing. The wet suits provided are both buoyant and warm. The experience of being in the
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Date of experience: November 2017
Response from pajoChristchurch, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 6 Jan 2018
Fantastic and good on you for having this experience with us. We have to ensure that all swimmers can swim but appreciate that open ocean is quite different to being in a pool so well done! Best wishes and safe travels... From all of us at Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa x
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Mrdavid65 wrote a review Nov 2017
Christchurch, New Zealand19 contributions19 helpful votes
We did see quite a few dolphins from the boat however none appeared to want to interact with us. We were told to enter the water on a couple of occasions even though the dolphins didn't show any signs of wanting to interact and they disapeared completely whilst we were in the
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Date of experience: November 2017
Response from pajoChristchurch, Manager at Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
Responded 17 Dec 2017
Hi there, Many thanks for your review and we do completely empathise with the disappointment that can happen when working with the endangered dolphins in the wild. As an eco-tourism operator we do not track, nor feed or upset their natural behavior in order to produce a human encounter. We record all of our swims, with data going back many years, hence we can confidently say we see them on 97% of all trips and have full fantastic swims 87% of the time. We will always offer the opportunity to re-book when we know we have availability, however as we only take 12 swimmers out per boat I do hope you can appreciate that during the summer months in particular the opportunity to re-book very rarely happens. This is why we have a two tier refund policy, the only swim operator in New Zealand to have something like this and whilst we understand how much our guests want to have the full swim experience we do our best to provide a sustainable operation for all. Regardless of refunds we still donate the same portion of every ticket sale to the research and education of Hector's dolphins and we are the only cruise operator in the whole of Canterbury to be graded Gold by NZ's official auditor Qualmark for our practice both on and off the water. We do hope you take some great memories away from Akaroa and having seen one the worlds most endangered marine mammals in it's natural travels to you.
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Read 35 more reviews on Viator
About the operator
By: Black Cat Cruises
Special Experience
We had a lovely cruise of the Harbor. The captain was very experienced at spotting and attracting the wildlife.
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Toronto, Canada
Fun with the dolphins
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
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Saint John, Canada
Great experience!
We had a great time on our trip to swim with the dolphins even though we didn’t get the full experience and had
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Amazing Harbour Cruise
Black Cat deliver a fantastic tour which I highly recommend. Over the course of two hours we saw multiple
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Fantastic experience - saw lots of wildlife
Friendly and helpful crew led by the wonderful Kate. Saw dolphins, penguins (which apparently are rare but on that
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Melbourne, Australia
Great 2 hr cruise
Take anti emetics prior if cruising on a choppy day. Very pleasant cruise. Seen dolphins and seals and a great
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Andrew B
Dolphin Experience
Travelled from Christchurch to see this and it was well worth it.Family run business and they look after you
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Dilip D
Swimming with Dolphins
Excellent!!! Black cat cruise Swimming with Dolphins is an vary enjoyable experience worth the effort to get here.
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Mt Martha, Australia
Nice side trip from Christchurch
If you are going to visit Christchurch, you will find it is totally unlike Auckland as far as the number of
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Don't miss this!
Did the Akaroa Harbour Cruise with Black Cat as a shore excursion from Princess NZ Cruise, Feb 2020. Cannot
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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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