The following information outlines the Encounter Kaikoura policy for child participation in the Dolphin Encounter and Albatross Encounter Tours and it is essential for the maximum enjoyment of our tours by young children that you read and understand the policy.
The ocean waters off Kaikoura where the tour take place are open and exposed, with very little protection from the elements of wind and swell.
Because this is an open ocean experience the age limit for children participating in the swimming with dolphins’ activity is 8 years of age. It is also an advantage for your children to have had some degree of snorkelling experience and to be a confident swimmer. The water temperature varies between 8 degrees in winter to 18 degrees in the summer and whilst we provide winter weight wetsuits year round to protect from the temperate conditions some children do not enjoy the cold environment.
We strongly recommend that all children wishing to swim are accompanied by an adult in the water, and this is required for children aged 10 years and under. Children aged 10-14 years wishing to swim unaccompanied should be experienced swimmers and snorkellers in open water, and their being able to swim solo is at the Skipper's discretion; subject to the sea conditions on the day.
Swimmers have to get into and out of the water from a boarding platform at the rear (stern) of the vessel in a variety of sea conditions. For the maximum enjoyment of children taking this tour, it is important that this is understood as there are no grounds for a refund should the child decide they are not confident enough to enter the water or fully complete their swim.
Dolphin Watching & Albatross Encounter
The age limit 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.
Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by an adult on board at all times by the accompanying parents/guardians.
Management reserve 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 to participate. The skipper for the Dolphin Encounter tour may decide on the day of your tour that sea conditions are unsuitable for a child to be on board. We are unable to provide this information earlier than at the tour time and there is no charge for the cancellation of your reservation if Encounter Kaikoura deem it unsafe for the child to be on board.
Childcare details can be provided on condition that sufficient advance notice is given however Encounter Kaikoura is not responsible for the care provided.
Seasickness is not grounds for seeking a refund for the tour for any tour participants.