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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.

Highlights

  • 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 have a high success rate for swimming with these dolphins, but they are wild dolphins, so seeing them is a great privilege.
  • The great thing about viewing or swimming with dolphins is that you are doing it in their natural habitat completely on their terms, and so of course we cannot absolutely "guarantee" dolphins on every single trip, and nor can any other operator.
  • Sometimes dolphins may have calves with them, or are feeding, mating or just resting. It's important for us not to interact with dolphins when they don't want to.
  • But you may be interested to know that in the last 12 months we saw dolphins on 98% of our cruises and had successful swims on 81% of our swim trips. So you have to be a bit unlucky to miss out!
  • In the unlikely event you don’t see any dolphins (average 3% of cruises) then we give you a refund of 50%. If the dolphins don’t want to interact with swimmers (average 17% of cruises) then we give you a 25% refund.
  •  

    Adult $185.00 (16+ years)
    Child $155.00 (8 - 15 years)

    What's included

    • All equipment
    • Excellent quality wetsuits
    • Snorkels and goggles
    • Hot showers are available back on the wharf
    • Hot chocolate and biscuits on board
    • Free souvenir postcard

    Duration

    • Allow approximately 3 hours for the whole experience

    Location

    • Departures are from the Akaroa Main Wharf, Akaroa, 7520.

    Restrictions

    • Customers MUST be confident swimmers and capable in the sea.

      Child must be over 8 years to swim with dolphins.

      Children aged 8-12 years must be accompanied by 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.

    Available Bookings from November 28 to December 04

    Change Dates

    All prices are shown in NZD ($)

    Sat 28 Nov
    Sun 29 Nov
    Mon 30 Nov
    Tue 1 Dec
    Wed 2 Dec
    Thu 3 Dec
    Fri 4 Dec

    4spaces priced from:

    • Adult$139.00
    • Child$155.00

    4spaces priced from:

    • Adult$139.00
    • Child$155.00

    4spaces priced from:

    • Adult$129.00
    • Child$155.00

    4spaces priced from:

    • Adult$129.00
    • Child$155.00

    4spaces priced from:

    • Adult$129.00
    • Child$155.00

    2spaces priced from:

    • Adult$129.00
    • Child$155.00

    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

    4.5

    158 reviews

    Showing all 158 authenticated Bookme reviews

    freyab3 from United Kingdom wrote on 14 November 2019

    Amazing!

    Couldn’t have asked for a better experience! We all had an amazing time.. Very well organised, crew are very friendly & helpful AND the dolphins are spectacular! I’ll be recommending Black Cat Cruises to everyone I know coming to New Zealand! Thanks again for a great day!

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    Jessica from New Zealand wrote on 14 October 2019

    An amazing experience

    We were lucky to end up on an extremely small trip of only 3 of us swimming in early October. Black Cat provide brilliant wetsuits, booties and gloves which kept me nice and warm in the water (and I always feel the cold). We were fortunate to have two pods of dolphins come together around us. The team was super friendly and experienced. I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone.

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    Emma from New Zealand wrote on 10 October 2020

    Dolphin swimming

    Great trip, well run. Was amazing to get to swim amongst wild dolphins, we both really enjoyed it. Thank you!

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    heathern from New Zealand wrote on 29 September 2020

    Magnificent Trip

    While we didn't get to swim up close with the dolphins this time, we did see them and hopped in the water. the boat trip overall was fantastic out to the sea. definitely want to do this again.

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    Yin Yee from United Kingdom wrote on 23 March 2020

    Wonderful experience

    We had a lovely time, spotted a pod of three dolphins. The staff were great and really knowledgeable. Highly recommended!

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    10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

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      Child 8 - 15 years

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        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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