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“Good cruise and value for money.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Explore - Swim with Dolphins

Explore - Swim with Dolphins
Cnr Marsden & Williams Roads, Paihia 0200, New Zealand (Formerly Dolphin Discoveries - Swim with Dolphins cruise)
+64 9-402 8234
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Ranked #23 of 37 Tours & Activities in Paihia
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Owner description: Discover dolphins in their world. Cruise the sparkling waters of the Bay of Islands and spot these playful mammals leaping and dancing over waves. Take the plunge and join them for an unforgettable encounter…
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good cruise and value for money.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

OK, I'm the type that books in advance, so I already knew how much the tour costs per adult and children etc. I travelled with my hubby and our 5 & 1 year old this weekend just to get out of the city. I booked direct with the office the same day which was great, and the desk operator was very helpful indeed. While waiting for the cruise ship to come to dock we were behind a family which included 3 children (probably autistic and 2 in wheel chairs) ahead in the line of us. We arrived 15mins before the cruise. These people must have been waiting at least 30mins. When the guy comes up the ramp to check tickets and let people on board instead of grabbing their tickets and letting them on board first he didn't even acknowledge them. Me and my husband told him they were first but instead he so casually helped someone who pushed their way ahead of us even??? Go figure!!! Rude of him to say the least, he could've been waiting to let everyone else on board, but I highly doubt it. He didn't even talk to them.

Other then this terrible service, the cruise was well worth what they charge. Because we had our little ones I think 3 hours confined to a catamaran was more then enough for them. The conditions were perfect and we saw plenty of dolphins and fish.

Visited April 2013
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55 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“One word for it Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

This is an amazing experience excellent value for money something ill remember forever the staff are very friendly from the photographer to the captain
the picture package is excellent I can't say enough good things about this tour I highly highly recommend it to everyone

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Okay but better choices around”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Room on this boat didnt look as good as others but still had a good day not a great day with the dolphins but overall its worth doing but do your homework as there are same sorts of tours that give you a free swim with the Dolphins and other stuff so not bad but would do another way next time Thanks

Visited February 2013
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Whangarei, New Zealand
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Great Summer Afternoon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

On a spontaneous whim I booked this cruise online. There were about 40 on board with the majority who wanted to swim with the dolphins. Before we set out, the handout, Skipper and crew were crystal clear about swimming with the dolphins, the dos and donts, ones expectations. It did not take too long to come across a swimming pod of dolphins. Despite the Skipper's encouraging words to "swim fast", the dolphins did what dolphins do and kept swimming and left us behind. The second drop yielded a similar result so sometime was spent cruising around the beautiful Bay of Islands looking for another pod. Alas, that pod was not very interested in interacting either. And that is mother nature, you can't force a wild animal in it's natural habitat to perform on command. I had a great experience on this Summer Sunday afternoon. I got to see dolphins and a different view of the Bay of Islands. I would do this cruise again.

Visited February 2013
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Devonian
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“great experience, amazing dolphins, lots of people”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

This was our third trip out Dolphin swimming in New Zealand. We got on the boat at Russell, and were surprised how many people there were on the boat, around 25 - 30 who wanted to swim, plus another 10 or so along to watch. The high numbers mean that getting in the water is a bit of a scramble, and getting your shiortie wetsuit, mask and fins is a bit of a bun fight. However, the bottlenose dolphins didn't seem to mind the large number of people in the water, and came really close, squeaking away like mad, providing a stunning display of acrobatics, and coming within a few cm of us in the water. We had three swims, each a really magical experience, but the last one was the best, being surrounded by six dolphins, just jumping around and generally showing off, an experience that will live with me forever. Very different experience from Akaroa and Picton, but only around half the price, and as usual the dolphins are such stars that it would be churlish to moan about the crowded boat. On the plus side, after our swim we got a tour of the bay, hot chocolate, and the chance to just have a leisurely swim off the back of the boat. The crew were great, and dealt with the large number of people very ably.

Visited February 2013
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