About Us

Company background

Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari was established in 2000. Our vessel functions as a platform of opportunity for marine researchers and we also privately fund and support marine wildlife studies through universities, trusts and government departments. Our goal is to inform and educate our passengers about the fragile balance between human existence and our direct impact on the incredible marine life and marine environment.

Over the course of 20 years we’ve carried more than 150,000 passengers, delivering a tangible connection between tourism, positive social outcomes and behavioural change through education and awareness.

As well as our tours and onboard research, our vessel the Dolphin Explorer is available for charter for events and functions.

Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari is part of Entrada Travel Group, a New Zealand-owned company providing amazing experiences around Aotearoa.

Our Mission Statement

The preservation of species and the environment through research, education and awareness

Our Vision

Discover today – Protect for Tomorrow

  • Share our unique sea safari – unforgettable from the moment you leave our central city wharf
  • Connect with the abundance of wildlife, including rare marine mammals, birds and stunning island scenery
  • Learn from the marine researchers on board working to protect the whales, dolphins and their fragile home

Responsible Tourism

As an ecotourism company, we strive to provide an environmentally responsible travel experience where all our customers can enjoy and appreciate nature with minimal impact on the environment. Our focus is to:

  • minimise negative social, economic and environmental impacts
  • make positive contributions to the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage
  • provide enjoyable experiences through meaningful connections with marine mammals, the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park and sharing our environmental best practices


We actively drive our conservation commitments by working closely with the NZ Department of Conservation (DOC), universities and local conservation organisations.

We contribute significant funds and in-kind support towards a variety of projects that support marine mammals, the marine environment and habitats, recovering species and clean up initiatives. We also make it easy for you to protect the environment by donating to counteract your carbon emissions.

Visit our Conservation page for more information.


Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari is proud to hold a Qualmark Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award. This award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do. Since 2016 we have been part of the Sustainable Business Network.

Our environmental practices include (but are not limited to):

  • The development and implementation of an Environmental Policy, combined with an Environmental & Sustainability Operations Plan. Embedded into daily operations via our Maritime Transport Operator Plan (MTOP)
  • Revised Procurement guidelines for the Company towards more sustainably focused suppliers/providers
  • Use of the ACE Carbon Footprint Calculator to internally audit our carbon emissions
  • Installing the lowest emission diesel engines we could get for our purposes
  • Engines are only started immediately before trip departure, and shut down every time we stop to view mammals or conduct research
  • Using fuel additive ‘Fuel 360’ from Lower Emissions Ltd giving a more consistent fuel burn, better economy and lower emissions
  • Using the latest silicon antifungal technology, ensuring less fuel burn through drag elimination (between 5.5% – 12%). The antifungal is non-ablative and lasts 5-8 years

 Quality Assurance

The management and staff of Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari share the responsibility for product quality. The Quality System is designed to ensure that all processes and procedures meet established requirements that allow us to manage the business and provide the best possible customer experience. Our Quality system covers (but is not limited to);

  • Crew and Operating Policies
  • Booking and Reservation quality and control
  • Customer Satisfaction and Feedback
  • Workplace Health and Safety Policies
  • Ship Operating Policies
  • Ship Maintenance logs
  • NZ Qualmark Gold Certification