Rated TripAdvisor's #1 dolphin tour in Akaroa

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2 hours

exploring the Akaroa Harbour

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Luxury catamaran

with all the comforts of home

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High chance

of meeting Hector’s dolphins

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2 hours

exploring the Akaroa Harbour

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Luxury catamaran

with all the comforts of home

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High chance

of meeting Hector’s dolphins

Sit back and enjoy an unforgettable dolphin sightseeing tour

Get ready for an epic adventure as you watch Hector’s dolphins gracefully dance through New Zealand’s coastal waters. Our knowledgeable, passionate crew will be your guides, sharing insights about the dolphins, our landscape and the history of the area.

Meet Hector’s dolphins and native wildlife

Thanks to our great location in Akaroa Harbour, we are in a prime location for seeing Hector's dolphins, white-flippered penguins, and New Zealand fur seals. On rare occasions, we may even spot migrating orcas, humpback whales, or dusky and bottlenose dolphins.

As the animals are wild, we can never guarantee a sighting, but we have an incredibly high success rate with Hector’s dolphins, who are as curious about us as we are of them.

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The dolphins

Akaroa Harbour's historical & cultural highlights

Soak up the scenery as we share tales about the history of the area and the people who called this land home. From dramatic cliff faces and panoramic vistas to local historical sites like Ōnuku, the Māori village where the Treaty of Waitangi (the founding document of New Zealand) was first signed by local chiefs.

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The most luxurious boat in the harbour

There’s no “roughing it” on this dolphin cruise! Our aerodynamic catamaran glides smoothly through the sea, giving you a smooth, stable ride that reduces the risk of queasiness. We offer both indoor and outdoor seating and restrict our guest numbers to ensure you have plenty of room to make yourself at home.

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Indulge all of your senses

Enjoy home baking and one complimentary drink from our well-stocked bar, full of award-winning local beverages. A cruise with Akaroa Dolphins is more than just a boat ride or sightseeing trip. For many of our guests, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we make it extra special with little touches you won’t find anywhere else.

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Our four-legged dolphin spotters

Dogs have an uncanny connection to dolphins, and on an Akaroa Dolphins cruise, you’ll get to witness it for yourself. Our dolphin-spotting dogs are experts at detecting dolphins in the area, often alerting us to their presence well before we spot them. Equipped with doggy life vests, these fluffy crew members are also partial to a pat.

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Cruise Pricing

Book your cruise

Everything you need to know before you step aboard

Our boats run like clockwork

We run a tight ship, so please make sure you’re on time for your booked dolphin cruise. Please pick your tickets up from our shop no later than 30 minutes prior to departure. Boarding is 15 minutes prior to departure from the main Akaroa wharf.

12.45 pm ~ Operates all year round.

10.15 am & 3.15 pm ~ Please check our booking calendar for availability or by prior arrangement for groups of 10+ people.


A little preparation goes a long way

New Zealand’s weather can change in an instant, with “four seasons in one day” being a regular occurrence. For your comfort, we recommend packing light but covering all eventualities. A warm jacket, sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses will ensure you’re ready for whatever the weather throws at you. We also keep spare jackets and sunscreen on board in case you forget. On days with sea swells, we recommend Sea-Legs to manage nausea.

What to bring

We’re committed to your safety

In line with New Zealand’s laws, our staff are trained for emergencies, and our boat and onboard equipment are maintained and tested regularly.

Due to the size of our boat, you’re not required to wear a life vest, but should the need arise, we have more than enough for our passengers. If you’d feel more comfortable wearing one for the journey, just ask a member of our crew.


How it works

Choose a Sailing
Choose a Sailing

Book your desired departure date and sailing time using our online system.

Collect your ticket
Collect your ticket

Collect your boarding pass from our office at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Cruise in style
Cruise in style

Step aboard the Akaroa Dolphins boat 15 minutes before your departure time.

Frequently asked questions

Can I swim with the dolphins?
Am I guaranteed to see a dolphin or other wildlife?
Do you offer tours year-round?
What do I need to bring?
What is your cancellation policy?

Hear from our
happy cruisers

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Private charters

Our private charters allow you to tailor a dolphin cruise to suit your party's needs. Embark on a personalised dolphin cruise that guarantees privacy, flexibility, and a truly extraordinary experience. Get in touch with us to plan an unforgettable voyage.