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“Lots of dolphins!”

Carino Sailing & Dolphins
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Come sailing on Carino NZ. Help to hoist sails or sit back and relax. We are the only yacht licensed to swim and view wild dolphins in the Bay. Included is an island stopover for Snorkeling tours, Island walks, beach games and BBQ lunch. Depart Paihia 9.30Am-3.45Pm daily.
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“Lots of dolphins!”
Reviewed February 19, 2012

As explained by the crew, you may not always see dolphins or get to swim with them if they are feeding, have a baby, or fighting. This is the wild, and nothing can be guaranteed.
Lucky for us, we found a pod and were able to observe the dolphins for over 30 minutes. We saw amazing jumps and they came very close to the boat. Unfortunately, they had a baby and we were unable to get in the water. But still, it was amazing to see them up close and we were very lucky!
We saw a few penguins in the water, and had barbecued hotdogs and salad for lunch. Overall, this was a great trip.

Visited January 2012
Thank hum823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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173 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best way to cruise the Bay of Islands”
Reviewed January 31, 2012

After searching for a trip to see the dolphins in the BoIs I came across Carino. I had been wanting to get out onto the water but was hoping to avoid the large tourist boats & get more of a sailing experience...and this was the ticket. The Carino is a lovely good sized cateraram with a friendly & entertaining crew. The captain Vanessa is great value, strong, informative & fun, she interacts with everyone throughout the day. Right from the moment you step aboard the Carino you know your in for a great day. Sails, dolphins, penguins, sea, islands, walks & snorkelling, topped off with a BBQ...what more could you ask for!

Thank jafachick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Port Richey, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not what was expected”
Reviewed January 29, 2012

It was a lovely day and, as a sailor, I truly loved watching all the regattas throughout the day. While this was NOT at all what I was expecting, the day was nice. Frstly, this review is SUBJECTIVE. I am a woman captain that owns my own sailing charter company. Carino & my company, perhaps, have different goals and objectives with our guests. We are also on opposite ends of the earth with a different culture.

I have travelled and sailed many a catamaran/dolphin adventure all over the world and this was, a bit "sterile" for what I am used to. 99.999% of all the catamaran cruises I've boarded are fun and a party like atmosphere. I have always been able to chat with the captain about the different licensing requirements of the country and always got behind the helm for a couple of hours as we bantered of our experiences sailing and our guests.

This captain had her ivory tower helm in which dicussing anything, let alone speaking with her - was difficult. She towered above you and almost made you feel as if she wanted nothing to do with you.

The crew was not versed in any sailing terms whatsoever. Perhaps they used "laymans" terms for the tourists, but "ropes" are "lines" and "maps" are "charts".

The "Kiwi BBQ" was MOST disappointing. They were hot dogs on stale buns. That's it. They make no allowance for vegetarians or those that don't eat red meat/pork. Even fish/chicken or more salads would have given this a review a bit higher star rating.

While we did not see a single dolphin that day, it was no heartache for me as I sail with them every day at my company. My concern is for others who have never sailed, it is a rather boring day for them with no music, no drinks (well, shall I say no COLD drinks - you could pay for beer and colas but they were warm!!!)

Again, perhaps this is a cultural difference? New Zealand is about the America's Cup, racing, RYA and things done in a certain way only. My business is about tourists, having a FUN, FUN, FUN time, music, great food and if we get to encounter a dolphin (which is 90% of the time) - mega bonus!

Bring a book, snacks & drinks.

Visited January 2012
3 Thank WindsongCharters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CarinoNZ, Owner at Carino Sailing & Dolphins, responded to this review, February 3, 2012
Dear Wind song Charters

I am sorry that our tour was not what you expected. Our tour is designed to show the environment and enjoy the natural beauty of the Bay of Islands.

Most of our guests are not sailors as enjoy the sounds of sailing, when the engines are turned off, this is a new experience for them.
I am sorry the captain did not talk to you personally, as you noted, no dolphins were found on that tour, the crew and captain were on lookout for any signs of marine mammals.
Our lunch is optional and only $6.00 pp, if the crew had know that you found it disappointing, we may have been able to offer you a alternative.

Thank you for your feedback, I appreciated all comments and feedback. We endeavor to provide a great experience for all out guests and feedback helps.

Vanessa McKay
Carino Sailing and Dolphin Charters
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Today we experienced an amazing trip on the Carino. Personal service........ just a few passengers....fabulous crew....I am a Kiwi and whoa what a treat it was to have 6 hours in the Bay of Islands ....sailing..snorkelling....swimming...BBQ lunch.....dolphins, penguins and gannets...suitale for all ages and needs....lots of different experiences and places........this is unbeatable so do it - you wont be disappointed....well done Carino

Visited December 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“One amazing days”
Reviewed December 17, 2011

A fantastic days sailing, viewing & swimming with the dolphins was just awesome - a real once in a lifetime trip. Vanessa & Scott were fantastic with so much knowledge & passion for what they do. Highly recommended - don't go on the big boats, go with these guys!

Thank Steve1237
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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