Can you swim with dolphins in the Netherlands?

You can get close to dolphins at the Dolfinarium during our interactive programmes ‘In the water with dolphins’ and ‘In the water with dolphins V.I.P.’, but swimming with dolphins is too risky for both humans and animals. Dolphins are the stars of the Dolfinarium. They are magical animals who manage to enchant so many people. We understand better than anyone why you might want to swim with dolphins. You can get up close and personal with dolphins at the Dolfinarium during our ‘Closer to animals’ programmes, In the water with dolphins and In the water with dolphins VIP, but swimming is too risky for humans and animals. Dolphins are and remain wild animals, so swimming with dolphins entails certain risks. We also respect our animals here at the Dolfinarium, and we want to maintain their peace, their living environment and the safety of both the dolphins and the visitors.

In the water with dolphins

Have you ever wondered in which countries you can swim with dolphins? Good news: there is no need to go on holiday at all to get into the water with dolphins – you can do it right here in the Netherlands! The Dolfinarium is the only place where you get to meet bottlenose dolphins up close. Watch them swim, admire them during a show, or join them in the water.

Our interactive programmes ‘In the water with dolphins‘ and ‘In the water with dolphins V.I.P.‘ allow you to literally be face to face with these enchanting marine mammals. The caretaker, who knows our animals better than anyone else, will tell you all about how they live, what they eat and how they are cared for. The dolphins, in turn, are very eager to get to know you. Because meeting a new species up close is not only a very special experience for you but also for them…

This type of set-up of our interactive programmes is unique: it is precisely because you are not swimming with dolphins that allows for more interaction between human and animal. What’s more, our caretakers are passionate about telling you all about our animals, so you also learn a lot about the stars of the sea. Come visit and take a plunge into the impressive aquatic world – we bet you will never forget it!

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But isn’t there swimming with dolphins during a show?

That’s correct, our caretakers swim with our dolphins during shows. This is only possible because of the close bond they have built up over the years. They know and trust the animals, and that trust is mutual. Moreover, the caretakers are trained on how to properly deal with these animals.

Is swimming with dolphins dangerous?

Dolphins are and remain wild animals. So, they are unpredictable, for example, while they are playing, or if the males are a bit wilder during the mating season. You can imagine that their eighty to one hundred sharp teeth can present quite the risk. The safety of both humans and animals always comes first at the Dolfinarium, which is why you can’t swim with dolphins here. However, we have set up a special programme called In the water with dolphins. This will be supervised by a professional team to minimise the risks as much as possible. We can happily say that in all the decades we have provided this programme, there have never been any accidents, not among the dolphins and not among the participants.

Is it wrong to swim with dolphins?

We love our animals at the Dolfinarium. That is exactly why you can’t swim with dolphins. You are, however, allowed to get into the water with them. This programme respects the animal as much as possible. Moreover, the dolphins also enjoy it: meeting people is somewhat enriching for the dolphins and provides a nice change in their day. We also commissioned research into this programme (‘A Retrospective Study of Bottlenose Dolphins Participating in In-Water Interactive Programs Showing an Overall Absence of Clinical and Subclinical Respiratory Disease’). This research also demonstrates that the programme is not harmful.

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