Black Cat Group - Akaroa Harbour Cruises & Swim with Dolphins - NZ Travel

Black Cat Group - Akaroa Harbour Cruises & Swim with Dolphins

Black Cat Group - Akaroa Harbour Cruises & Swim with Dolphins

Black Cat Cruises helps create some of the most memorable experiences to be had on the water anywhere on New Zealand’s Canterbury coastline. If you are looking for a Christchurch tour and you've always wanted to swim with dolphins, get an insider’s view of marine wildlife or charter an unforgettable trip with friends, you are in the right place. Black Cat has been cruising the waters of Banks Peninsula for more than 25 years and is a must see Christchurch attraction. We know all there is to know about the harbours of Lyttelton and Akaroa – their volcanic origins and their marine inhabitants.


Black Cat Cruises – Winner Supreme NZ Tourism Award.


Help Notes:

Client must reconfirm their booking 24 hours prior.

Check in time is 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Main Office: Main Wharf Akaroa or Norwich Quay, Lyttelton.


Distance from Town: 90mins from Christchurch.


Operating hours: 9.00am to 5.00pm.


Departures: Daily. Closed Christmas Day.

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Transfers? No need if your already in Akaroa.

Can children take part? Yes, depending on the age and swimming capability. Please read further.

Are there minimum numbers for the activities to take place?

All trips must have at least 2 customers to depart.

Do I need to book in advance?Bookings are definitely recommended as our trips are very popular - especially in Summer months. So it pays to book as early as you can and secure the most suitable departure time(s).

Can I take photographs during the trip? We recommend you do, as you will have memories of our trip together.

Weather:  All Cruise's are subject to weather conditions.

What should I wear? Please bring warm clothing, camera and sun hat.

Available Activities:
Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise


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Depart the charming historic French township of Akaroa, just 90 minutes from Christchurch, aboard the large modern catamaran, Black Cat, into the sweeping scenic splendour of Akaroa Harbour. Enjoy your skipper’s fascinating commentary as you discover playful, rare New Zealand Hector's dolphins, fur seals, penguins and many other kinds of sea birds. Visit the startling volcanic formation of Cathedral Cave, and see everything from relics of the area’s Maori and colonial past to a modern working salmon farm of today.

Two hour cruises depart daily from the Main Wharf.

Free tea/coffee on board.

Free postcard and Hector's fun activity book for kids.

Cruises subject to weather conditions.

Check-in time is 30 minutes before scheduled departure.

Summer Departures (November to April) 11.00am and 3.40pm.

All Year Departure: 1.30pm. 

Swimming with Dolphins


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Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the entire planet where you can get up close and personal with New Zealand’s playful Hector’s dolphin – the world’s smallest and rarest species. Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, depart the historic French township of Akaroa aboard one of Black Cat Cruises safe and comfortable vessels. All year round an unforgettable adventure awaits you, where everything is provided for your pleasure including: wetsuits, masks, snorkels, hot showers, hot chocolate, even a free gift pack.

You can also watch the dolphins, along with other seafaring wildlife, from aboard.

3 hours duration includes briefing and shower after swim. Up to 2 hours on the water.

Our success rate to swim with dolphins is around 85%. Dry Suits are available to use from May to September, these suits keep you dry in the water keeping you warm in the colder winter months.

Basic skill level of swimming ability required. Bring swimming bathers and towel with you.

Maximum 10 passengers.

Minimum age 8yrs.

Check-in time is 30 minutes before scheduled departure.

Summer Departures (November to April) 6.00am, 8.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

All Year Departure: 11.30am.

Information displayed on these pages are representative of products and services available through ANZCRO. ANZCRO does not take responsibility for failure of any individual products or services to provide accurate information, or for the accuracy of photographs supplied by the product/service providers for use in these pages.