Daily from excursion departure wharves at Paihia and Russell. Summer season (October to April) 8.00am and 12.30pm from Paihia, 8.10am and 12.40pm from Russell. Winter season (May to September) 8.00am from Paihia and 8.10am from Russell.
4 hours. Clients on summer season morning departures only may opt for a free afternoon on Urupukapuka Island, returning to Paihia at 5.30pm (9.5 hours).
Board your fast, water jet propelled catamaran and go in search of the Bottlenose and common dolphin which frequent the Bay of Islands. Watch them play and, if conditions are right, join them for a swim. Fullers has a better than 90 per cent success rate in seeing dolphins. Orca (killer whales), Minke and Brydes whales are frequently seen at different times of the year.
Call at Urupukapuka Island after your swim for a hot shower and a complimentary hot drink.
Transport on water jet powered catamaran. Swim with dolphins (provided conditions are suitable). Use of snorkel, goggles, fins and wetsuit when required. Optional souvenir swim video at extra charge. Knowledgeable crew to answer questions. Stop at Urupukapuka Island for a hot shower and complimentary hot drink after swim. Clients on morning departures in the summer season can stay on the island without charge until late afternoon.
Fullers Northland Dolphin Encounters find dolphin on more than 90 per cent of trips. If you do not see a dolphin or a whale, you will receive a free ticket on another trip. The company operates a water jet propelled catamaran as it is less intrusive than propeller power and safer for dolphins and swimmers. When you find a pod of dolphins the boat's skipper will decide, following strict guidelines, whether conditions are right for you to join them in the water. You will be provided a snorkel, goggles, swim fins and, if it is cold, a wetsuit. The catamaran is fitted with underwater microphones so you can hear the dolphins 'talk'.
It is an incredible experience to swim close to the dolphins and watch their behavior below and above the water. The crew is responsible for ensuring your being in the water will not stress or harm these beautiful mammals. They may be feeding or have youngsters whose bond with their mother may be broken. There cannot be a guarantee you will be allowed to swim. As a bonus, there is a good chance you will see a whale. Brydes whales and orcas are seen frequently at different times of the year. Several other species are sighted occasionally.
Wear a swimsuit under normal clothing and bring a towel, sunglasses, sunscreen and something warm to wear.
For those who choose to extend their morning trip on Urupukapuka Island, there is a cafe serving meals and wines, several well marked walking trails featuring Maori archeological sites, and many sandy beaches.
There is no guarantee clients will be allowed to swim with dolphins. If you wish to swim, you should be confident and competent in the water. Clients who do not see a dolphin or a whale will receive a free, but non-transferable, voucher for another trip.
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