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“Fantastic outing”
Review of Black Cat Cruises

Black Cat Cruises
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$63.79*
and up
Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa
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$56.63*
and up
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
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$56.63*
and up
Akaroa Shore Excursion: Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise
Ranked #4 of 27 Tours in Akaroa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We started our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruises back in 1985 and are the original cruise operators so we know the harbour pretty well. Along the way we've been named as the supreme tourism award winner and also hold the Enviro gold award from Qualmark to recognise our dedication to the environment.Your nature cruise will be on the 'Black Cat', a large modern and stable vessel allowing great views of all the scenery and wildlife including dolphins, seals and penguins. If by some chance you do not see dolphins then we will provide a ticket to come again another day. This happens on average 2% of the time across the whole year.We look forward to meeting you and giving you the best stories from the Akaroa Harbour.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Stroller parking
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Saw lots of dolphins, a couple of penguins, seals, a blue shark (which the captain said he had not seen in two years) and very interesting geological features. Captain also did a great job of explaining the various features of the harbor and the history of the place. Because the weather was so great and the sea so calm, the captain took the boat out on the open ocean, which was a nice treat. I think this is a can't miss activity for those visiting Akaroa. Advice: bring sunscreen, a good camera and a light jacket, even if the weather seems to be pretty warm. Wind coming in off the sea can make things colder than you think, and I felt bad for those who weren't properly dressed.

Thank grabowcp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajoChristchurch, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2013

Thank you for your kind and informative review. How lucky that you got to see the shark as well! We love those kind of surprises and glad you got to experience it.

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717 - 721 of 951 reviews

Reviewed May 16, 2013

Thanks for an amazing experience Black Cat! Not only did we get to see the rich wildlife and Hector's dolphins...who are a must see for anyone travelling to New Zealand...we were also both really impressed with the crew and the skippers informative commentary. The scenery is spectacular and the history around the pretty french village of Akaroa a real insight. Well worth the 90 minute drive as Banks Peninsula and the route is just stunning!

Thank lovetravel0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajoChristchurch, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded May 26, 2013

Thank you for visiting us and leaving a wonderful review. We're glad you had a great experience both on the boat and travelling over to us.

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Reviewed May 14, 2013

What an amazing experience. We just got back today and had the most amazing day. I had high expectations for this experience and it has far exceeded them.

We found the Dolphins just out at Sea after a quick 15-20 minutes boat ride (great boat). We swam with 3 dolphins for maybe 10 minutes, then back on the boat to track down another pod and sure enough we found around a dozen extremely playful, curious, friendly Hector dolphins. The extremely knowledgable and helpful team let us have extra time in the water and we had another 30-40 minutes swimming with the amazing creatures as they circled us, splashed us, jumped way out of the water (over 2m some times) and splashed back in again. Unbelievable how close they came to us. A day I'll never forget. Truelly Awesome.

The water is cold in May (around 11oc I think), but the Black Cat team gave us full 5mm wetsuits and shoes so the water temperature wasn't a problem what so ever. The team also had hot chocolate and ginger biscuits, along with towels and coats waiting for us back on the boat after the swim.

A great friendly team, who gave awesome service.

The Photos attached were taken on our trip. We took plenty of photos ourselves but the crew also took photos which you can buy at a reasonable rate afterwards. We bought some as they were really high quality snaps and good value.

Thanks so much for an amazing experience. I can't fault it.

Thank Paul_S_Hartley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajoChristchurch, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2013

Thank you for writing such an informative review. It's most appreciated.

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Reviewed May 10, 2013

We picked up sunny day with calm seas for our trip out to the Akaroa heads, and just beyond. It was very interesting, with good photo opportunities, and the skipper did a great job of the narration - very easy to listen to, with good humour. I was grateful to have swallowed a couple of 'Sea Legs' tablets beforehand, as the water was just a little more swirly beyond the heads - my husband hadn't taken anything and was left feeling just a little queasy,

It would have been good to have had more narration about the sights on the western side of the harbour, rather than heading back to the dock with no further information after the trip round the heads.

If you're in Akaroa, try to do this trip! It has a great mix of nature and history fitted into a two hour sailing, which is just the right length of time.

Thank madmacnz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajoChristchurch, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded May 19, 2013

Thank you very much for your review and for recommending our cruise in Akaroa. It's really appreciated. We're glad to hear that you enjoyed the trip and the commentary as Akaroa is rich in its history as well as its wildlife. We'll pass your feedback on to the team and hope to see you again one day!

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Reviewed May 10, 2013

We had an outstanding experience with an abnormally high number of dolphins that swam around our group. They swam so fast that it was hard to really get to see them like I had hoped, and the tour was a limited time to allow for another boat to go out that day. One of my biggest suggestions to the company is to allow people to see more of the digital pictures taken. Our guide turned at least 50 pictures in to the desk, but we were only allowed to see about 20, none of which had my husband or I in them. We heard from another traveler that you could see them for free surfing in Byron Bay. Also helpful to know is that the road getting out to Akaroa is long, hilly and slow.

2  Thank Cindy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pajoChristchurch, Manager at Black Cat Cruises, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I'm pleased to hear that you had an outstanding experience and your comments highlight the importance of capturing every swimmer within a photo. The team do take a lot of pictures for the very reason that once back on land they need to be edited for quality purposes. Some may be repeat snap shots of the same picture, they may not all have a dolphin visible in the shot, there may be glare e.t.c. The end result is a photographic session being edited down to a smaller number of quality shots. The team on the day have advised that not all swimmers stayed in close as asked to and this meant a couple of people were missed. We will of course endeavor to capture every swimmer as the photo's are a great souvenir to take home. In terms of seeing the Hector's dolphins elsewhere they are native to the south island of New Zealand and we proudly operate the only swimming with dolphins encounter with them. The 90 minute to journey to Akaroa becomes hilly for the last part but the stunning scenery it delivers along the way makes it worth while.

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