Black Cat Cruises - Swim with Dolphins


Step aboard the Black Cat for an unforgettable kiwi experience. Voted the number 1 wildlife activity in New Zealand, your award winning cruise is packed with highlights including the rare, NZ native dolphin - the Hector's Dolphin, as well as penguins and other sea birds. And you'll see giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about Akaroa's fascinating past. Black Cat Cruises was founded by the Bingham family who were the first to offer daily nature cruises around Akaroa harbour. The families love and passion for their surrounding environment and it's wildlife live on today. Travel In Style Your modern catamaran, the 60 foot /20 metre Black Cat, is the largest, most stable and comfortable vessell on Akaroa harbour. With it's 360 deck it's perfect for viewing the natural wonders of Akaroa Harbour. There's lots of room on the two decks for unimpeded viewing and plenty of covered seating, for shade and shelter. Inside there's a bar and toilets. Relax, stretch out and discover the harbour with our award winning Black Cat Cruise team. Each cruise is fully narrated by your skipper who has extensive knowledge of the nature, wildlife and history of the harbour. So what else will you see? Also on the trip you will catch glimpses of the White Flippered Blue Penguin, the smallest penguin in the world. There are many different bird species in the harbour, including five different cormorant (shag) species and the endangered yellow-eyed penguin. You'll also see New Zealand Fur Seals sunning themselves on the rocks near Seal Bay. On every two-hour cruise we will endeavour to show you native wildlife plus the many sea caves and volcanic cliffs. As Akaroa Harbour was a live volcano millions of years ago, there are many spectacular ancient lava flows to be seen.


Dolphin Experience - Swim with Dolphins in Akaroa Voted the Number 1 Bucket List activity in New Zealand, with Black Cat Cruises you will enjoy a once in a lifetime experience, supported by experienced local crew with world class facilities. Our experience and dedication to our local environment delivers a New Zealand must do activity here in Akaroa. It's also the ultimate dolphin experience as you will be swimming with the endangered Hector's Dolphin, the world's rarest and smallest oceanic dolphin. Hector’s dolphins are protected in Akaroa Harbour by a marine mammal sanctuary and our dolphin cruise gives you the chance to see and swim with these beautiful marine mammals close up in the wild in their natural habitat. 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. We offer a fantastic dolphin guarantee policy due to our high swim success rate. 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. You must be at least 8 years old to swim and children between 8 - 12 inclusive must be accompanied by an adult. Akaroa's 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. Taking Care of You and the Dolphins Black Cat Cruises are the only operator to offer 3 fully sheltered swim vessels, with on board toilets, followed by hot showers and separate male and female changing rooms with lockers at our facilities on the main wharf. Plus a portion of every ticket sale goes towards the research and education of Hector's dolphins so by choosing to come and have fun with us you are supporting and helping the dolphins at the same time. Customers over 12 years must provide a valid My Vaccine Pass when checking in. Face coverings are mandatory for staff and passengers.

24 hours notice is required of cancellations to avoid cancellation fees. Less than 24 hours notice 100% cancellation fee applies. Groups of 5 or more require 4 days notice to avoid 100% cancellation fee.

Main Wharf, Akaroa


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