It was just the 3 of us booked onto the tour over the winter season so we were picked up by Des in his car and had our own ersonalised tour experience which was great! He kept us well informed of many sights along the journey from christchurch to kaikoura, unfortunately the dolphin swim was cancelled, however we swapped to go on the albatross tour which was great and viator refunded the difference in cost. Gary the skipper was a great host and even found us some dolphins! As we had time to kill before the tour, Des took us and showed us the seal colony and done other bits in kaikoura. All in all a great experience and would definitely recommend :
Great tour, well organised, tour guide was very helpful, Encounters Kaikoura were excellent, dolphins were amazing, would highly recommend!
David R USA
Excellent experience with close to 300 dolphins who were very friendly and playful. The guide and equipment were good. It wasn't nearly as cold as I expected (wet suits kept us warm).
Totally amazing. Best thing I did in New Zealand and I did a lot! Really really good. Dolphins everywhere, great interactions, beautiful animals. Do it!
Word of warning: at the moment (May/June 2011) Christchurch isnt very busy so this tour may not happen at all, or not on the day you want it to. My 2 dolphin swims got moved around to fit in with numbers so you may need to be flexible.
Maciej B Canada
Most amazing experience ever! Very personal, friendly tour connecting with the Dolphin Encounter in Kaikoura, which is a one-of-a-kind experience in the world. You can't miss out on this one!!
The dolphin encounter itself was an amazing experience. We got 5 swims and during the first 2 we had dolphins everywhere, swimming in groups all around us. I loved the fact they are wild and there by their own free will, not encouraged or fed. I would not want to swim with dolphins in a captive, artificial environment. I did get sea sick but to be fair they did put out a sea sickness warning and luckily it was after the swims.
My only complaint was the transfer itself, the driver was awful. I've never met a more grumpy, miserable man in all my life. He insisted on picking us up from the boat so we had to lug all our stuff around with us rather then leave it onsite and didn't get a chance to eat after. We were starving after the 3 hour drive back to Christchurch, especially after the seasickness!!
Peta B Australia
The whole day was a debacle. We didn't end up swimming because of weather but this was known before we got on the bus and wasted an entire day. The refund portion we got back would not cover even the entry to the dolphins. Not impressed.