Akaroa – Swimming with Dolphins LT09ACS



An unique opportunity to swim with the world’s smallest, rarest and endangered Hector’s dolphins in Akaroa Harbour. Two swim times daily, however, due to small group sizes early bookings are essential

A shore excursion with the unique opportunity to swim with the world’s smallest, rarest and endangered dolphins — Hector’s dolphins, these dolphins are only found in the waters surrounding the southern half of the South Island of New Zealand. Akaroa’s beautiful sheltered harbor is the only place where you can actually swim with the rare Hector’s dolphins. With a maximum of 12 swimming participants, this tour provides a fun-filled small-group experience.  The swim boat departs every day at 11.30 am or 1.30 pm from the wharf, adjacent to where your cruise ship tender will berth and depart from. Prior to your departure you will be equipped with wetsuit, mask, snorkel and flippers.

Tour Duration is 2 hours – Two hours on the water(plus half an hour before and after)

Due to the limited daily availability, a maximum of 12 swimmer per tour early bookings are essential to avoid disappointment.

Essential Information to Swim with the Dolphins

  • A basic level of fitness is required. You will be floating in the water and will be required to swim to and from the boat – distances up to 50 metres (150 feet) at a time.
  • Swimming with dolphins is not available for children under 8 years old.   Children between 8 – 12 must be accompanied by an adult swimmer.
  • Customers should have some knowledge of English, so you can understand safety instructions and emergency procedures. If you do not speak English, you should be able to read and understand the foreign language safety instructions and be confident that you can communicate with crew using the pre-agreed hand signals in the event of an emergency.
  • Customers must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    Q:  What do I need to bring with me?

    A:  Just bring your swimming costumes and a towel, your camera and sunblock are not essential but advisable. Everything else is provided for you including wetsuit, mask, snorkel, booties, gloves and a hood if necessary. You can hire or purchase a towel from us if you forget to bring one.

    Q:  Do I need to be able to swim?

    A:  YES.  You need to be confident in the water and capable to swim at least 50 metres. If you cannot swim you can still join us on the boat as a watcher. Obviously the water is over your head and a degree of confidence in swimming is required.
    Customers must declare any pre-existing medical conditions which may limit your participation.

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Activity type : Daily Activity
Activity Time : 11.30 am and 1.30 pm
Duration : 2 hours
Maximum number of people : 12
Venue Facilities : Dolphin Swimming, wetsuit, mask and snorkel equipment provided, •Small and intimate experience, only 12 swimmers permitted per vessel,
Not Available
Departure date:
Start time:

For your convenience, you will not be charged until the day of your tour and if your ship cancels the port visit you will not be charged at all. How good is that!

Multiple Booking Discount

Book tours in more than one port and receive a 10% discount on all subsequent bookings –  Discounts applied at time of tour confirmations.

Please note:

Tour start/finish times are general and we may adjust these times to suite your cruise ship schedule. We guarantee your return to ship on time!

Client Reviews

  • "Great Experience"
    Booked this tour several months in advance for when our cruise ship was in Akaroa as this was something myself and my partner really wanted to do whilst in New Zealand. As we had been looking forward to swimming with the dolphins for so long our expectations were high and I am very pleased to say they were fully meet! Everything was great from the initial booking, through the check in and briefing to the swim itself. A truly great experience.
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  • "Amazing little dolphins"
    This tour was great. The world's smallest and rearest dolphins. I'm glad I did it.
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  • "Easy as excursion"
    The tour operated on the same jetty where the tenders arrive so it was really simple to get there, staff really helpful and booking a breeze.
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