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Kaikoura Dolphin Watch Cruise

Dusky Dolphins inhabit these picturesque coastal waters all year round as you'll discover on this inspiring cruise. Don't forget your cameras as these playful mammals like to perform for their audience!

This tour will give you the opportunity to learn about the dolphins that flock to the stunning coastal waters of Kaikoura in pods of up to a thousand as well as taking some stunning photographs.

Departing from Kaikoura in your comfortable, purpose-built vessel - don't worry, there's plenty of cover if the weather takes a turn for the worse - head out to the Pacific Ocean and keep your eyes peeled.

This is the home of an abundance of wildlife including whales, seals and a wide range of seabirds. However the focus of this trip is the local population of Dusky Dolphins.

Once the expert crew have located these playful creatures, the action begins as these good-natured mammals somersault, leap around your boat and play with the swimmers!

Why not enhance your experience by swimming with the dolphins? Please see our Kaikoura Swim with Dolphins Cruise option for more information.

Throughout the trip, full-guided commentary from the onboard experts will keep you in the loop.

Experience Includes

  • Dolphin encounter cruise
  • Watch dusky dolphins in their natural habitat
  • Complete guided commentary and helpful, informative crew
  • Transfer from base to the harbour and back
  • Light refreshments on board
  • Complimentary information pack on return from the tour.

Experience Excludes

  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Additional refreshments
  • Swimming with the dolphins


Daily, year round. Does not operate on 25th December.

Departure location

96 Esplanade, Kaikoura.

Start times

8.30am and 12.30pm. There's an additional 5.30am departure from November to April.


3.5 hours.

Terms & Conditions

  • Please follow the instructions on your voucher.
  • Management of Kaikoura Dolphin Watch reserve the right to restrict the age limit of those participating on the tour if sea conditions are such that it is not suitable for young children to participate.
  • The skipper for the Kaikoura Dolphin Watch may decide on the day of your tour that sea conditions are unsuitable for a child to be on board. Kaikoura Dolphin Watch is unable to provide this information earlier than at the tour time and there is no charge for the cancellation of your reservation if Kaikoura Dolphin Watch deem it unsafe for the child to be on board.
  • Seasickness is not grounds for seeking a refund for the tour.
  • Dolphin sightings or sightings of other specific animals can not be 100% guaranteed.