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Tour code: 3661PRTCHCSWDS_SWDW
This Akaroa Harbour dolphin swim is the ultimate shore excursion while your ship docks at the port. You can observe Hector’s dolphins from the boat or don a wetsuit, mask and snorkel and dive into the water to swim with the New Zealand dolphins — the smallest and rarest in the world. Enjoy a complimentary hot beverage and shower after your swim. With a maximum of 12 swimmers permitted per vessel, this 3-hour tour provides a small-group experience.


  • Akaroa Harbour dolphin swim shore excursion
  • Enjoy a 3-hour cruise by a heated jet-powered boat
  • Includes wetsuit, mask and snorkel equipment
  • Spend 1 hour swimming with Hector's dolphins
  • Small and intimate experience, only 12 swimmers permitted per vessel
  • Not covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

What You Can Expect

Akaroa Shore Excursion: Swim with Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour

Swimming with Dolphins in Akaroa

When your cruise ship docks in Akaroa, catch the tender to the main wharf, arriving at least 30 minutes before departure. Hop aboard a heated and covered jet-powered boat for your dolphin cruise. 

You’ll learn from the trained crew what to expect during your Akaroa Harbour dolphin swim and discover how to safely interact with New Zealand’s rare Hector’s dolphins.

If you’ve opted to swim, slip on the provided wetsuit, mask and snorkel, then jump into the tranquil waters of the sheltered bay to frolic with these friendly and inquisitive sea mammals, whose calves can be seen between October and March. Then enjoy a warm beverage and hot shower, available after your swim. 

If you’d prefer to stay dry on board, select the dolphin watch experience and snap photos of friends or family interacting with the dolphins in the water. (The dolphin swim option is not recommended for children under 8 years of age.)

This shore excursion is located within a 5-minute walk to the cruise port, so you determine the time you return to your ship in Akaroa. Please allow yourself ample time to ensure your timely return to the port. This excursion is not covered by our worry-free policy.

Customer Reviews

Gerard C Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Great day even though the dolphins weren't in the mood to swim with us. The staff were excellent. We had great views of the dolphins from the boat but once we got in the water they took off. We received a partial refund which was unexpected. Will do this again if we are ever in Akaroa again.

Troy m. M USA

4 star rating: Recommended November 2015

Enjoyable. Interaction with the Dolphins on that day was limited, but the experience was great non the less.

Andrea K

4 star rating: Recommended December 2013

I stayed in the boat and took pictures while my son swam with the dolphins on a beautiful December afternoon. Claire and our driver (sorry I can't recall his name) were fantastic. They gave us great instruction, information and history of the area. Very impressive.

From USD $ 58.44

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