You must be at the boat at 7:30 to check in and you will be back by around 4pm. Orca is an ocean going vessel that has been selected as the ultimate boat for both viewing and swimming with dolphins. She is fast, stable and has 360 degree unrestricted viewing. We have customised her for dolphin swimming with a boarding platform and innovative swimbars. These are designed to give you the best swimming and underwater viewing experience, especially for those who are not that confident in the water. Orca comfortably carries 28 passengers plus the crew, making the excursion a more personal experience where you get to spend more time in the water with the dolphins.
We have been taking people out to swim with dolphins for many years, it is extremely unlikely to not find dolphins or other marine mammals on a day out with us. We have a 99% success rate, a 80% swim rate and, if we don't find any marine mammals you are guaranteed a free trip.
Full day dolphin swimming trips include a BBQ and snorkel at an amazing island as well as getting the opportunity to swim with the dolphins.
We are available for group bookings for up to 20 divers, and we can customise trips to your preferences.
Birthday parties, weddings, any celebration we are happy to accommodate you.
We are happy to do drop offs and pick-ups from Mayor Island for those wishing to go camping and tramping around this incredible Island.
We have two options depending on where we find dolphins and the sea conditions:
- You can hold onto the boat using our custom made swim bars or swim mat. The dolphins swim underneath the surface so it is important to look down through a mask – we provide these and snorkels. We don’t enforce the use of the snorkels but you will need to be able to lift your head up to breathe without a snorkel.
- When the sea conditions are calm you can free swim with the dolphins in open water. Don’t do this if you are afraid of very deep water. You will be wearing a wetsuit so you will float on the surface but you should also be fit enough to swim several metres back to the boat.
Our swim mat is specially designed to cater for people who are not confident in the water, it is designed to be a safe alternative to the bars. It offers much the same viewing experience.
We offer a full-day excursion on our launch ORCA for customers to experience the wonderful coastal area of Tauranga. We start our trip with a safety briefing and all passengers need to sign an indemnity form. We do not accept responsibility for loss or damage to passenger property.
Dolphin and Marine Mammal Rules
Our tours are subject to a Department of Conservation (DOC) permit and we must comply with rules for all encounters with marine mammals. Customers must be aware that the dolphins are wild and that we are visiting them in their own environment. Passengers must comply with crew instructions during any encounters.
We can’t guarantee you will be able to swim with dolphins on your trip but swimming is possible on most of our tours. The two reasons you may not be able to swim are: We will not put swimmers in the water if the sea conditions are too rough. We cannot put swimmers in the water with dolphin pods that still have dependent juveniles. This is a condition of our DOC permit. We don’t encourage anyone without water confidence to attempt to swim in the open ocean. The bar swim can be strenuous and it is possible to view the dolphins clearly from the boat. Less confident swimmers can use our custom swim mats to view under the water.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We assess sea conditions daily and reserve the right to cancel on the basis of the weather prior to any trip. We will make every effort to advise customers by text or email by 6.00pm the day before. Customers who have not received either a confirmation or cancellation text need to contact us before 8.00pm. If we cancel a planned trip the customer can either, choose to re-book for another date or request a refund through us or the booking agent. (Note that some agents do not refund the booking fee and they will advise you at the time of purchase.). Special Deals will be refunded and customers can rebook. If you cancel your trip within 72 hours of the booking you will not be entitled to a refund. You may ask to re-book or for a refund but we require 72 hours notice to authorize this.
Free Trip Offer
We have a very high success rate in finding marine mammals and often we encounter a wide variety. In the unfortunate event that we don’t find a marine mammal, we will offer you a second trip free. This only applies for existing passengers and cannot be given to another person. The free trip must be used within the same season. We do not refund on trips with no sightings as our costs are the same.