Water activity

Kaikoura: Dolphin Encounter Cruise

Activity provider: Encounter Kaikoura

Kaikoura: Dolphin Encounter Cruise

Activity provider: Encounter Kaikoura
Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 69.44 per person

Experience wild dolphins close-up on this cruise of the Kaikoura coast. Choose to watch their acrobatics from the boat or enter the water and swim with the dolphins.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today. Learn more
Duration 3.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Encounter the Dusky Dolphin species in the wild
  • Enter the water and interact with the dolphins
  • See the breathtaking scenery along the Kaikoura coast
  • Observe dolphin acrobatics from the boat
  • Snorkel in the ocean
Full description

Cruise along the scenic Kaikoura coast as you watch for dolphins. During the cruise, you'll be able to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat or watch their antics from the comfort of the boat.

Kaikoura is one of the best places in the world to encounter the Dusky Dolphins in their natural environment. The Dusky Dolphins are some of the most interactive and acrobatic species of dolphins, making them thrilling to watch and interact with. 

  • Dolphin watching cruise
  • Swim with the dolphins (if option selected)
  • Wetsuit with jacket, snorkel, mask, and fins (if swimming option selected)
  • Safety briefing
  • Commentary from expert guide
  • Souvenir information pack to take home
  • Food and beverages (available for purchase at the local partner's base)
Not suitable for
  • Children under 3 years
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • Masks are optional but are strongly recommended while indoors
Traveler requirements
  • All participants who are over 12 years and 3 months old must present proof of full vaccination

Select participants and date



Meeting point

Check-in at the reception desk on arrival

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Important information

What to bring

  • Warm clothing
  • Hat
  • Swimwear
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Charged Smartphone
  • Motion sickness prevention
  • Face mask or protective covering

Not allowed

  • Drones
  • Touching marine life

Know before you go

  • In the summer months, the water temperature rarely rises above 19 degrees Celsius
  • In the winter months, the water drops to around 8 degrees Celsius
  • All boats used for swimming with dolphins have deck showers available
  • It is advisable to wear warm clothing and sensible footwear when checking in for the tour
  • All swimmers will be supplied with a well-fitted wetsuit
  • Hot showers are available in the changing rooms at the local partner's base after the tour
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 10 reviews

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It was a wonderful tour with the dolphins.A special thanks to Instructor Emma on the boat helped me not only enjoy the swimming but also with some beautiful videos. I can't thank her enough. It's not easy to swim with the waves and beautiful, friendly dolphins. I think they know how to make everybody comfortable. I am definitely coming back :) Thank you very much

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April 21, 2022

I cannot recommend this trip more! Swimming with dolphins up close, being able to see 400 dolphins in the wild play and somersault!!? One of the best experiences I’ve ever had hands down. I wanted to cry it was so I believably beautiful. One of my bucket list items crossed off too!

January 29, 2022

Very good, and an awesome experience. The only area for improvement was the long safety video, which was mostly relevant to the swimmers.

April 24, 2022

Product ID: 408805