Akaroa Dolphins has a 98% success rate in encountering Hector’s dolphins in their natural environment, all year round. As the world’s smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins, which are completely wild, we are not able to guarantee encounters. If your tour does not see a dolphin, you will be offered another trip free of charge. No refunds will be given in the event of not seeing dolphins.
We offer an exclusive and intimate 2-hour harbour cruise on our luxurious catamaran, where we view the dolphins from the boat rather than swim with them.
Cancellations by the guest must be made no later than 24 hours prior to departure. Any cancellations after this time will incur the full cost of the cruise. No charge applies to any booking changes made up to to 24 hours before departure.
For groups over 6 and Private Charters please note, cancellations must be made no later than 7 days prior to departure in order to receive your deposit refund. Cancellations made within 7 days prior to your booking will incur the full cost of the cruise.
We reserve the right to cancel or change a tour or to replace any vessels at any time. Weather and sea conditions can change quickly and this may alter the status of your tour up to the time of departure. If your cruise is cancelled by Akaroa Dolphins, you will be entitled to a full refund or be able to hop on the next available cruise.
Please be on time. If you are late, you will not receive a refund or be able to join your harbour cruise. Like a plane, your cruise will leave as scheduled whether you are there or not. We expect you to arrive 30 minutes prior to the departure time to pick up your tickets, and boarding is 15 minutes prior to departure. If you are running late for reasons outside of your control, please make contact as soon as possible in order to find a solution.
Our cruises are always dependent on the sea and weather conditions. Our staff constantly monitor the weather and respond professionally to any changes. Passenger comfort and safety is always our utmost priority, this may mean a tour is cancelled at any stage if we feel it necessary. If it is our decision to cancel a cruise, either a full refund or transfer to another cruise will be offered.
Click here to view the highlights of our tours.
Yes, as there can be a high demand for our tours, therefore, we advise you to book in advance. To make a booking click here.
We suggest bringing along warm clothing, as even on summer days you just never know when there could be a cool sea breeze. We also recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen. Don’t worry if you get caught out though, we have lovely warm jackets and sunscreen on board for our passengers to use. Oh, and of course don’t forget your camera!
If you are susceptible to motion sickness, we suggest visiting the chemist and purchasing sea sick aid to take prior to your cruise. Once on board chat with our crew where the best place on the boat is to be, as certain spots do move less than others. We also have a few tricks up our sleeves to help with motion sickness – so don’t be shy to mention to our crew if you do feel a little under the weather.
A complimentary beverage, including wine, beer, soft drink or orange juice, along with some home baking, is included in your fare. We also have further drinks on board for sale.
We welcome passengers of all ages, from newborns to the seniors, as our vessels are very stable, have secure railings, various indoor and outdoor areas to choose from, and space for pushchairs etc. We have plenty of lifejackets aboard, including those for infants and children, however, if you are travelling with young children, we do ask for their safety that they are supervised at all times.
We happily cater to passengers with disabilities, and welcome customers in wheelchairs with an able body companion. As our vessel sits flush with the wharf when boarding, there are no steps which need to be negotiated. Please note though that due to the width of the gate on the vessel, it may mean that wheelchairs need to be lifted onto the boat. Due to this, wheelchair passengers may need to be briefly out of their wheelchair – please don’t feel discouraged by this though as our crew are there to help, and once on board, there is room to move around in your wheelchair both inside and outside of the vessel.
Our location is very close to where you will arrive on your tender boat. Once you disembark your tender, walk to the very end of the wharf. Here you will see a small yellow/orange building to your left with our Akaroa Dolphins signage on it. This is where you pick up your boarding passes. Boarding will then be back on the wharf.
If you book our 10.15 am cruise, it is best to be on one of the first tenders to come ashore, just so you don't run late. Please watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVS9Iyr333M We depart directly in front of the blue buildings.
Full refunds will be given in the event of your cruise ship not making it into Akaroa Harbour due to unforeseen circumstances. Please contact us if this is the case.