Terms & Conditions
Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter Terms and Conditions
It is essential that you read and understand and agree to the following terms and conditions.
Any reference to ‘watching’ in the following terms and conditions pertains to both Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter.
Level of Ability Required for Swimming with Dolphins:
The dolphin tour is an open ocean experience. For maximum enjoyment, swimmers need to be confident and have a reasonable level of snorkeling experience.
It is advisable to call our free phone number (0800 733 365) before 4.00 p.m. on the day prior to your tour. This is to confirm your reporting time and update you of the expected tour conditions.
• Due to our tours operating on a precise schedule (requiring the issuing equipment and a briefing video), reporting on time is essential.
• Passengers should report to the Encounter Kaikoura building at the time of their tour (i.e. 5.30am, 8.30am or 12.30pm for the Dolphin Encounter; 6.00am, 9.00am or 1.00pm for the Albatross Encounter).
• You have until 24 hours prior to your tour departure to cancel or amend your booking. Cancellations or changes after this time are non-refundable.
• In the event of tour cancellation prior to departure (due to unsuitable sea and weather conditions), a full refund will apply.
Sea / Weather Conditions:
• Please note we cannot control the weather and at times tours can be cancelled at very short notice due to unsuitable and changeable sea conditions.
• Management reserves the right to cancel tours if the conditions are deemed unsuitable.
• Please be advised that due to permit restrictions we may not be able to automatically forward you onto the next scheduled tour.
• Should weather conditions change during a dolphin tour, resulting in the tour being prematurely terminated; a partial refund will normally apply.
Dolphin Behaviour Refund Policy
The dusky dolphins are completely wild and in their natural environment. While we have an extremely high swimming success rate, sometimes sea conditions or dolphin behaviour (particularly in the event of orca (killer whales) being close by) can result in us not being able to swim.
• In this instance, if viewing the dolphins (or orca) is successful, swimmers will be refunded back to a watching rate. A full refund will not apply.
• Because this is an open ocean experience, the age limit for children participating in the swim-with-dolphins activity is 8 years of age.
• Children need to be confident swimmers and it is an advantage if they have snorkeled before.
• Management reserves the right to increase the age limit on the day of the tour if the sea conditions are deemed unsuitable for children swimming.
• Proof of age for children swimming may be required at check-in.
• The age limit for this activity is normally 5 years of age. However with the agreement of the skipper and crew, if conditions are deemed suitable, children under the age of 5 years, but no younger than 3 years, may be permitted to take the tour.
• Management reserves 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.
• Proof of age for children viewing may be required at check in.
• Child care can be arranged provided sufficient advance notice is given.
• We have a list of childcare providers in Kaikoura (please note we are not responsible for and do not operate these facilities). Please contact us via email (email@example.com ) if you would like this information sent to you.
• Those intending to swim will need a swimsuit, towel, warm clothing and a camera. A small gear bag is also necessary (please note that we do not have plastic bags available) as you take all your clothing with you on the boat.
• Wetsuits, fins and snorkeling equipment are provided as part of your fare.
• If you are viewing, you will need to be dressed warmly with appropriate footwear. As this is an open ocean experience, we may also recommend that you are prepared with wet weather clothing and/or a windbreaker depending on conditions.
• Because our tours take place on the open ocean, participants must realise that sea conditions vary and can change very quickly. If you suffer from motion sickness, it is advisable that you take something to prevent seasickness.
• You must also realise that the time spent out on the ocean is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. Even with the help of medication, there is no guarantee against the effects of motion sickness.
• For those who suffer from motion sickness (seasickness), sourcing suitable medication and taking this before your tour may make the tour far more enjoyable.
• Please note we are not permitted to dispense seasickness medication, this should be sourced from a pharmacy well before the time of your tour.
• Seasickness is not grounds for seeking a refund for the tour.
Existing Medical Conditions:
It is the passenger’s responsibility to advise Encounter Kaikoura of any pre-existing medical conditions or illnesses which may affect their ability to participate fully in this activity. We recommend you inform us if you have the following conditions, as some restrictions may apply. Please be aware that participating in the tour is at the discretion of the skipper who may decide after assessing the sea conditions that it is not suitable for you to partake in the tour.
• Heart Conditions
• High Blood Pressure
• Bone Disorders
• Neurological Disorders
• Physical impairment
Minimum Passenger Requirements:
All tours are subject to minimum passenger requirements to operate.
We operate under a Department of Conservation permit system that limits the number of swimmers we take out on our boats.