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Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

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2 travelers
    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.
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    Important Information
    Departure Point
    Akaroa's main wharf
    Return Details
    Cruise returns to original point of departure
    • 3-hour dolphin swim (2-hours in water)
    • Hot beverage after swim
    • Hot shower
    • Wetsuit and mask (for those swimming)
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
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    Additional Info
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not suitable for infants
    • 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.
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    Cancellation Policy
    For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
    Reviews (100)
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    All reviews wet suits black cat cruises hot chocolate boat ride once in a lifetime refund policy offered the option beautiful animals new zealand their natural habitat recommend this trip great trip excellent staff warm water amazing experience hand warmers endangered species
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    1 - 5 of 67 reviews
    Reviewed 5 days ago

    We had such a great time with Black Cat. The crew was very friendly and of course the dolphins were incredible!!

    Date of experience: October 2019
    Thank Whitney R
    Reviewed 1 week ago

    We had booked day before but trip cancelled by company due to weather. Very grateful for that decision, as it showed the company really do care about safety, and whether you are likely to see the beautiful Hectors dolphins. On our re-scheduled trip, weather was...More

    Date of experience: October 2019
    Thank Teresa W
    Reviewed 3 weeks ago

    Had an amazing morning out with black cat cruises and got to spend time in the water with the dolphins. Alister and the skipper did everything they could to get us as much time with the dolphins as possible and got some great pics of...More

    Date of experience: September 2019
    Thank Bevelshj94
    Reviewed August 26, 2019 via mobile

    My husband and I were on our honeymoon, and we were really looking forward to the swim with dolphins activity. It was raining on the day of our activity, and we were later told by the person in-charge that the waters' really choppy and there...More

    Thank Fishyu1012
    BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

    Hi Fishyu1012, thank you for taking the time to review Black Cat Cruises - Swimming with Dolphins on TripAdvisor. Such a shame the weather wasn't the best for your trip but so glad you still got to spot the Hector's dolphins and had a great...More

    Reviewed August 26, 2019

    Recently went on the Swimming with Dolphins trip in Akaroa with my friend, and could not have asked for a better experience! Everyone from Black Cat Cruises were so helpful and nice, special shoutout to Alastair and Chris who led our tour. We went in...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank geetravels19
    BlackCat_NZ, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

    Hi geetravels19, wow thanks so much for your wonderful review! It sound like you had an incredible day out with Alastair and Chris and I'll be sure to pass your lovely feedback onto them! Thanks for the recommendation to others and we hope you can...More

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    Questions & Answers
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    August 26, 2019|
    Response from Michael W | Reviewed this property |
    no problem to swim with dolphins in the rain and you will have a thick wetsuit so that whatever the water temperature, it wont be a problem either
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