Water activity

Kaikoura: Whale Watching Cruise

Activity provider: Whale Watch Kaikoura

Kaikoura: Whale Watching Cruise

Activity provider: Whale Watch Kaikoura
Likely to sell out

From US$ 104.12 per person

Likely to sell out

Enjoy a unique whale watching experience off the South Island of New Zealand. Experience an up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator, the giant sperm whale. Look out for other wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and birds.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible — book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details.
Duration 3.5 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible


  • Enjoy close encounters with the giant sperm whale
  • See dolphins, seals, and the wandering albatross
  • Admire stunning views of the mountainous coastline
Full description

Take a whale-watching cruise off the Kaikoura coast, and see giant sperm whales in their natural environment. Enjoy onboard commentary as you encounter a range of wildlife, including fur seals, pods of dolphins, and the endangered wandering albatross.

Set sail on a catamaran, equipped with engines that minimize underwater noise and nonpolluting toilets. Take in the views from the large outdoor decks or stay inside the air-conditioned interiors with comfortable seating and plasma screens displaying marine wildlife animations.

Gain an insight into the habitat with scientific information and indigenous knowledge about these creatures from the crew. Passenger numbers are kept well below the vessel's capacity to ensure a more personal experience.

  • 2-hour cruise
  • Narration by expert crew
  • Award-winning animation
  • Food and drinks
Not suitable for
  • Children under 3 years

Select participants and date



Meeting point

The local partner’s office, Whale Watch Kaikōura.

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Important information

Not allowed

  • Smoking

Know before you go

  • The minimum age is three years old but the minimum age is subject to the sea and weather conditions at the time of check-in
  • Please note that the tour is subject to favorable weather conditions. The local partner will confirm your exact tour time by email after booking
  • Please note that your tour time might be different from the one you request due to availability
  • If you suffer from motion sickness it is recommended to take precautions prior to arriving at the office, motion sickness tablets are available for purchase at the office
  • The amount of time on the water is just over 2-hours and it is recommended to allow 3 hours and 15 minutes for the entire experience including check-in, safety briefing, and bus transfers
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 479 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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Managed to see a sperm whale and lots of albatross and enjoyed learning about the animals and how the crew use their equipment to locate and track the whales. Transport is well arranged and the boat is very well designed and impressive, it is fast and allows the captain to get to the areas of suspected whale activity really quickly. It was quite choppy for our ride but the crew were friendly and helped to ensure all passengers were looked after.

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January 22, 2023

Had such an amazing experience for my son and I. We found a sperm whale and got to follow along side him for a good 6-8 mins before he dove down and we got to see his tail come right up. After that we went to a location where there were hundreds of dusky dolphins swimming around the boat jumping and playing. The staff were extremely knowledgeable and friendly and would love to do this again. I recommend to everyone!

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December 28, 2022

We saw one sperm whale named „Holy Moly“: they know most of them by name and can tell you a little story about each! For me, the even bigger highlight was the massive swarm of dusky dolphins passing us, some of them were swimming alongside the boat. Some seals swam around the boat as well :) Worth to mention the sea was quite rough this day, but the crew cares very well about affected passengers. It would be great if the guide would speak a bit slower and clearer for better understanding for non native speakers.

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December 24, 2022

Product ID: 226204