Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

Make a date with the worlds smallest, rarest and friendliest dolphins only on Akaroa Harbour. There is only one place on the planet where you can swim with wild Hector's dolphins, also known as the New Zealand Dolphin, and that is the beautiful destination of Akaroa Harbour.

With only 12 swimmers per vessel this is an intimate wildlife experience. 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 blue waters to observe these magnificent marine mammals up close.

After your dolphin swim, you can warm up quickly in the heated cabin and enjoy a warm beverage and biscuit, available onboard, followed by a hot shower when back at the wharf.

There is an option to join this experience as a spectator of the swim experience. This option to watch is only available when booking and travelling with a swimmer.

per adult from


Duration 3 hours
Voucher Mobile ticket

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No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • 3-hour dolphin swim (2-hours in water)
    • Wetsuit and mask (for those swimming)
    • Hot Beverage
    • Includes a full, live commentary from skipper
    • Hot Shower Facilities
    What's excluded :
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: Akaroa Harbour, Canterbury, New Zealand

    Akaroa Harbour is a sheltered harbour, a flooded crater of an extinct volcano surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanic cliffs. With a group limit of 12 people per vessel, the Akaroa swimming with dolphins tour means it will be an even more intimate experience.

    The 3-hour dolphin tour is very popular due to the limited number of passengers permitted per departure. Book now to avoid disappointment.

    You will be guaranteed a safe and memorable dolphin swim.

    Dolphin Sightseeing Guarantee - If you see dolphins but for some reason do not get to swim with them, then receive a part refund. 50% refund if no dolphins are found and a 25% refund if dolphins found but you are unable to swim with them. In the last 12 months we saw dolphins on 98% of our cruises and had successful swims on 81%.
    • All crew are highly trained. This means that you'll get a great briefing on how to interact with the dolphins and what to expect prior to your journey. They'll also give you safety instructions to allow you to enjoy your experience. If you are new to snorkeling and use of a wetsuit your crew will be on hand to help you out.
    • All equipment is provided including wetsuit, masks and snorkel. You only have to bring a swimsuit and a towel. With hot showers available.
    • The vessel is a heated, covered, jet powered catamaran. It's safer for you and the dolphins because there are no propellers. It's also heated so after your swim you can warm up quickly in the cabin.

    Stop At: Akaroa, Akaroa, Canterbury Region, South Island

    The historic French Village of Akaroa and its spectacular harbour is just a 90 minutes drive from Christchurch.

  • Departure Point :
    The Wharf - Akaroa, 75 Beach Road, Akaroa 7520, New Zealand
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not suitable for infants or children under 8
    • 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
    • You can only book to watch a swim when travelling with a swimmer
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by Black Cat Cruises

Activity ID: V-3661SWDS_SWDW

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