Dolphin encounter - swim with dolphins

With Black Cat Cruises you will enjoy a once in a lifetime experience; it's the ultimate dolphin encounter by swimming with the Hector's Dolphin. Hector’s dolphins are protected in Akaroa Harbour by a marine mammal sanctuary and our cruise gives you the chance to see these beautiful marine mammals close up in their natural habitat.

Listed as 1 of the Top 10 Marine Mammal Experiences in The World

Hector's dolphins are endemic to New Zealand, meaning that you will not find them anywhere else in the world, and Akaroa is the only place you can take a trip out to swim with them. They are also the world's smallest and rarest dolphin. An encounter with a Hector's dolphin in the wild is truly a once in a lifetime experience. This is possibly why Black Cat Cruises dolphin swim experience is listed in the Lonely Planet guide as on of the 'Top 10 Marine Mammal Experiences in The World'!

Close Encounters

Black Cat’s Dolphin Swimming adventure allows only 12 swimmers per vessel, so you’ll have more chances to come face to face with the dolphins. With only 12 swimmers allowed per vessel, cruises are frequently sold out, which makes it essential for you to book in advance. You must be at least 8 years old to swim and chidren between 8 - 12 inclusive must be accompanied by an adult.

Volcanic Surroundings

Akaroa Harbour is the flooded crater of an extinct volcano, set within picturesque Banks Peninsula. Apart from the huge and awe-inspiring volcanic cliffs, this also means that the harbour is very sheltered. A lot of the time, especially in summer, your dolphin encounter will be inside the sheltered harbour.You'll be swimming with the world's smallest dolphins in the world's largest ocean!

Taking Care of You and the Dolphins

Black Cat Cruises are the only operator to offer 3 fully sheltered swim vessells, with on board toilets, followed by hot showers at our facilities on the main wharf. Plus a portion of every ticket sale goes towards the research and education of Hector's dolphins. 

Schedule & Prices

 Swimming With Dolphins
Departs Sept 1st - Apr 31st report time at 8.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm.
May 1st -31st report time at 11.30am only
Swimming is closed during Jun, Jul & Aug for the winter)
Duration Two hours on the water(plus half an hour before and after)
Adult $150 ($79 to watch)
Child $120 [8 to 15 years] (watching $35) [5-15 years]
  Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include GST.