Swim with the Dolphins Cruise

Explore Vessel
Swim with the dolphins
Swim with the dolphins
Dolphin & Calf
Seal Lions

Swimming with dolphins in the warm waters of The Bay of Islands is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity! View marine mammals and swim with wild dolphins, onboard Explore NZ's purpose built 14.6 metre catamaran, Discovery III.

In the Bay of Islands Maritime Park you will encounter both bottle-nose and common dolphins. You also see a variety of whale species including Orcas (killer whales), Brydes, Pilot, Minke, Sei, Humpback, and very rarely the Blue Whale. You also encounter blue penguins, gannets, various sea birds and the New Zealand fur seal.

A short briefing is given before a swim takes place when passengers are given the option of wetsuits & snorkelling gear and instructed on how to behave while interacting with the dolphins.

Experience this unique opportunity of swimming with dolphins in The Bay of Islands on your next New Zealand holiday.


  • Swim with the Dolphins (conditions permitting)
  • Bay of Islands Maritime Park
  • See whales, penguins, seals


  • Cruise
  • Hot showers
  • Complimentary tea/coffee
  • Commentary by local skippers
  • Wetsuits, mask, snorkels and fins are provided
  • Swim with the dolphins (conditions permitting)
  • Visit the majestic Otehei Bay (time permitting)


Operates: October - April
Departs: Paihia Wharf B 12.30pm and Russell Wharf 12.40pm
Duration: 4 hours

Operates: December – April (in addition to above)
Departs: Paihia Wharf B 8.00am & Russell Wharf 8.10am
Duration: 4 hours
Note: Combines with Discover the Bay Cruise during winter (May – October)

Additional Info

Please note: There is no guarantee of swimming with dolphins. Explore Group Limited operates with a Department of Conservation permit however, for the protection of Dolphins and other marine mammals, interaction with them is governed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. If the conditions of the Act are not met or the sea conditions are not safe then some trips will be viewing only. If dolphins or whales are not seen, a non-transferable voucher will be given to come again for free, this is not a money back offer.
Please bring: swimming gear, sunscreen and a camera
Children: 5-15 years are at the child rate. Children 0-4 are not catered for.
Operated By: Explore Group Limited - Dolpin Discoveries