Before purchasing a ticket for a Black Cat Cruise experience, you must read the following:

Our Dolphin Guarantee

The great thing about viewing or swimming with dolphins is that you are doing it in their natural habitat and completely on their terms. Therefore, we cannot absolutely ‘guarantee’ dolphins on every single trip, and nor can any other operator.

Sometimes dolphins have calves with them, or are feeding, mating or just resting. It’s important for us to not interact with dolphins when they don’t want to.

But you may be interested to know that in the last 12 months we saw dolphins on 97% of our cruises and had successful swims on 81% of our swim trips. So you have to be a bit unlucky to miss out!

We understand that a dolphin experience is important to our customers so we have devised the following policy:

Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruises

If you don’t get to see dolphins (average 3% of cruises) we give you a voucher to cruise again with us for free (there is no monetary refund, the voucher must be used by yourself, and is not transferable to other persons).

Swimming with dolphins

If you don’t see any dolphins (average 3% of cruises) you will receive a refund of 50% refund or a voucher to swim again. If we view the dolphins, but they don’t want to interact or swim with us (average of 17% of swims) you will receive a 25% refund. Refunds only apply to swimmers – no refunds are given to watchers.

Gift Vouchers

Gift Vouchers are valid for one year from date of purchase. Gift Vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with a special offer.

Tour Cancellation

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 at any time. In the event that your tour is cancelled due to adverse sea or weather conditions, you are entitled to a full refund, or we will transfer your booking to an alternative date if one is available and suitable.

If a passenger wishes to change or cancel their tour they must give Black Cat Cruises a minimum of 24 hours notice.

Date Change or Booking Cancellation

To change or cancel your booking please contact us by:

FREEPHONE NZ:              0800 436 574

International phone:+64 3 304 7641
Fax:+64 3 304 7643
Email:[email protected] Please include a contact phone number when emailing

No refunds will be given in the event of your failure to notify us of your cancellation 24 hours before the check-in time


This website might contain price information. The price advertised may not be the same price charged to the credit card account due to exchange rate fluctuations. This means that because we are based in New Zealand, we have to convert your purchase to New Zealand dollars at the exchange rate on the day it is processed. So if you purchase on this website, you will always be charged the equivalent in New Zealand dollars at the bank exchange rate of the day.

We accept VISA, MASTERCARD and UNION PAY credit cards! (Please Note: Union Pay Co-Association Visa or Mastercard can be used for online bookings, Union Pay Credit Card or Debit Card cannot be used for online bookings)

Health & Safety

If you have any mobility/medical problems or are pregnant and think you could be affected by adverse sea and weather conditions you must inform us at check-in on the travel date. You may also call us beforehand with any questions on 0800 436 574.

All experiences on the water carry a degree of risk and by participating in the experience provided by us you are expressly assuming those risks personally and are, to the maximum extent permitted by law, releasing us and our officers and employees from any liability, claims, losses, damages or expenses caused by any event, including, but not limited to: personal injury or death, property loss or damage, acts which may be construed as negligent or accidental, any other loss, damage, suffering, emotional or nervous disorder. This exclusion is subject to any rights or remedies you may have under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.



To ensure maximum safety and enjoyment of the tour by yourself and other passengers you must follow all reasonable instructions given by our staff before, during and after the tour and you agree that you will ensure that any children in your care do the same. You are responsible for the safety and protection of your own personal possessions at all times.


By purchasing a ticket you are saying that you understand and accept the above terms and conditions and also that you:

  1. agree that your successors, executors, administrators and next of kin are bound by the terms and conditions;
  2. you agree not to commence any litigation or proceedings in any country in relation to the risks and perils of the tour and to indemnify us against any such claims;
  3. you consent to receive medical treatment in the case of injury, accident or illness during the tour and to indemnify us against any claims in respect of this treatment;
  4. agree that any photographs, films, sound, video or other recordings taken of events or people by anyone during the tour will not be used in any promotion or advertising without our consent, however, we may use such images or recordings at our complete discretion without any prior approval.

Please enjoy your Black Cat Cruise experience and feel free to ask any of our staff should you require further information or clarification regarding the above terms and conditions.

About us

The award-winning Black Cat Cruises is not only an acclaimed success in New Zealand’s tourism industry but also internationally recognized as an eco-tourism pioneer. We hold the honour of being the first to introduce cruises in Akaroa, and we're proud to be acknowledged as New Zealand’s very first eco-tourism operator.

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Our Nature Cruises and Dolphin Swimming experience depart from Akaroa which is only a 90 minute scenic drive from Christchurch. The Diamond Harbour and Quail Island ferry depart from Lyttelton in Christchurch.

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