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Akaroa - Dolphin Swim - Black Cat Cruises


The only place on the planet, where you can get close to the world's smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector's Dolphin. Simply rare and unique.


  • Swim with playful Hector's Dolphins in the Akaroa Harbour
  • Rated as one of the ‘Top 10 Marine Mammal Experiences in The World’ by Lonely Planet!
  • Once in a lifetime experience with the world's smallest and rarest dolphin
  • Complimentary refreshments onboard

Swimming with Dolphins - Akaroa, watch the video above!

Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the planet where you can get close to the world's smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector's Dolphin!

These magnificent creatures have made their home base in Akaroa, a stunning French inspired sea-side village just a 90 minute scenic drive from Christchurch. The name Akaroa means "long harbour". Join Black Cat Cruises for an unforgettable journey where you’ll get the once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with these dolphins inside the naturally protected harbour, not out in the open seas.

Black Cat Cruises are a supreme tourism award winning company with an excellent safety track record and a portion of every ticket sold goes towards the conservation of the Hector's dolphin. We only allow 12 swimmers in the water at one time allowing greater opportunity for one on one interaction with the dolphins.

Success Rate:

We see dolphins on 97% of our cruises, however if you fall into the very unfortunate 3% wehave a very generous 50% refund policy. This means you get half of your moneyback if no dolphins are seen. We have a successful swim rate of 83%, however if youfall into the unlucky 14% of people who get tosee the dolphins but not swim with them then you will receive a 25% refund.

Adult $199.00 (16+ years)
Child $165.00 (8 - 15 years)

What's included

  • Our facilities here on the Main Wharf Akaroa include Briefing Area, spacious and heated Changing Rooms with Hot Showers and Lockers for valuables.
  • Excellent quality wetsuits that are 5mm in thickness.
  • Masks.
  • Hot Chocolate and biscuits on board!


  • Allow approximately 3 hours for the whole experience


  • Akaroa Main Wharf, Akaroa, 7520


  • All swimmers MUST be confident in open Harbour/Sea conditions as the Akaroa Harbour where you will be swimming is between 15 and 30 metres deep.

    All swimmers must be able to swim a minimum of 50 metres unaided as life jackets are not provided as your swimming ability and confidence must be of the standard that you do not require a Life Jacket.

    Children are required to be a minimum of 8 years old to swim with dolphins.

    Children aged 8-12 years must be accompanied by an adult swimmer.

Child Friendly

  • This experience welcomes families with children.

Bad Weather Refunds

  • If your experience is cancelled by the operator (because of the weather or anything else out of your control) you will be entitled to a full refund.


  • Please Note: Customers are required to show their My Vaccine Pass upon arrival for your experience.

    Duration: Allow approximately 3 hours for the whole experience, this includes half-hour prior for briefing and getting changed into wetsuits at our facilities. 2 hours out on the water which includes travel time prior and post-swim.

Available Bookings from 24 Jun to 30 Jun 2022

Change Dates

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Fri 24 Jun
Sat 25 Jun
Sun 26 Jun
Mon 27 Jun
Tue 28 Jun
Wed 29 Jun
Thu 30 Jun

  • Adult$139.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$165.00

  • Adult$128.00
  • Child$165.00

  • Adult$139.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$165.00

  • Adult$139.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$165.00

  • Adult$128.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$165.00

  • Adult$128.00 Less than 6 at this price!
  • Child$165.00

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


213 reviews

Showing all 213 authenticated Bookme reviews

Cody MacDonald from New Zealand wrote on 09 February 2021

Akaroa Dolphins

Amazing! Service was great. Attached photos for glimpse of experience

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rabbit99 from South Korea wrote on 23 March 2021

사랑스러운 돌고래와 수영하기!!

오픈 워터라길래 좀 긴장했는데 웻수트 덕에 그냥 균형만 잘잡으면 떠있을수 있어요 하지만 아무리 잘 버텨도 바닷물 먹는건 각오해야함 고프로 가져가서 수중촬영 꼭 하세요 수면위로는 생각보다 가까이 안오는거 같은데 나모르게(?) 발밑에 지나가고 그랬더라두요 깜찍이덜 직원분들이 배에서 계속 돌고래 위치 지켜봐주고 사진도 무료로 촬영해서 이메일로 보내줍니다 돌아가는길에 핫초코도 주고요 특별한 경험 하고 싶다면 강력 추천!!

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Grace Aberhart-North from New Zealand wrote on 20 February 2021

Absolutely incredible

We had an amazing day. The wetsuits were incredibly buoyant which definitely made us feel comfortable in the water Staff were great and had amazing local knowledge. Had an amazing time, would recommend in a heartbeat !! 5stars!

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Salome WELSCH from New Zealand wrote on 01 May 2022


We loved swimming with dolphins and all the team were really nice. Thank youuuu💚

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Rachel from New Zealand wrote on 03 April 2022

Awesome experience

Highly recommend, great day friendly service

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10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

Spaces Left

Adult 16+ years

    Child 8 - 15 years

      *This option must be made together with another price type.

      Qualmark Certification

      This award identifies a business with a high level of professionalism, a keen awareness of the impact it has on the environment and a commitment to a customer centric approach.

      This award is evidence of a sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations. Their proactive leadership and management ensure the business’s focus on continuously improving their economic, social and environmental performance to create genuine, constantly evolving and sustainable tourism experiences.

      This award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand. It denotes exceptional customer experiences at the heart of everything the company does. This business is leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

      When you see the Qualmark logo, your activity of choice is endorsed by New Zealand Tourism’s official quality assurance organisation and backed by leaders in the industry. It’s your trusted guide to iconic activities and experiences that are awarded for their exceptionally high level of quality, safety and sustainability.

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