For your thrilling Dolphin Swim – Akaroa Harbour experience, you
should make your way to the historic village of Akaroa, 90 minutes drive from Christchurch. The driving distance from Akaroa to Christchurch is 94 km (58 miles) and it takes just over 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The adventure begins at Main Wharf, Akaroa. You will receive a 30 minute briefing and then put on your wetsuit (summer) or dry suit (winter) before boarding your jet-propelled catamaran. Everything you need is provided on this tour, including wetsuits/drysuits, masks, snorkels, hot showers and a hot chocolate drink.
Akaroa Harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano, surrounded by towering cliffs. These add to the scenic beauty and ensure that the harbour is very sheltered. In the summer especially, dolphin swims take place inside the sheltered harbour.
With this tour you will enjoy an incredible experience swimming with Hector’s Dolphins – known to be some of the world’s smallest, friendliest and rarest dolphins. Hector’s Dolphins are protected in Akaroa Harbour by a marine mammal sanctuary and this cruise gives you the chance to see these beautiful creatures close up.
This tour allows only 12 swimmers per vessel, so you’ll have more chance to come face to face with the dolphins. Where possible the crew will take photos of you swimming with the dolphins and these photos will be available for purchase afterwards (NZD 15.00).
The thing about viewing or swimming with dolphins is that you are doing it in their natural habitat on their terms, and so dolphins cannot be ‘guaranteed’ on every single trip. Sometimes dolphins may have calves with them, or are feeding, mating or just resting. It’s important not to trouble the dolphins when they are not in the mood to interact.
Your activity operator offers a 75 per cent refund if dolphins are not sighted at all on your trip. They can do this with confidence because in the last 12 months they saw dolphins on 98 per cent of cruises and had successful swims on 81 per cent of their swim trips.
During your trip you will have a total of 2 hours on the water, with up to 45 minutes interacting with the dolphins. A hot drink will be provided after your swim. Back at the Wharf you can take a hot shower and debrief on your great adventure. Your tour operator will present you with a souvenir gift pack including a black and silver swim certificate, dolphin information sheet and a postcard, perfect for sending to a friend or relative.
The tour ends at Main Wharf, Akaroa.