Certified Marine Guide Course (CMG)


World Cetacean Alliance :

Through cooperation, the Partners of the World Cetacean Alliance aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats. By phasing out captivity and seeking to protect cetaceans in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, we are a global community of people who care for cetaceans, study and respect them.

New in 2020 to achieve a Certified Marine Guide Certificate; 


Now you have 2 options to obtain the Certificate :

  1. Full course 15 days in Picton = $1499 ( complete Learning and Practical in Picton )

2.  Complete Online Diploma= $499:  Online Marine Guide Diploma

3.  5 Day Practical Certified Marine Guide = $499  NZ ( Currently only in Picton )


See Josephine who in 2020 Completed the Courses and Now works as a Guide with E-ko in 2020.



Duration:         15 days at Training Facility or Online Course + 5 days


Time:                9.30am-5pm


Price:               $1500

Extra Days        $100 Day


Location:         E-Ko Base and in Queen Charlotte Sound

No 1 Wellington Street, Picton, New Zeland.

Phone +64 3 5738040

Book Course





Location:         Piwaka Lodge

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

Phone +64 3 9293749

Special E-Ko Training Price $350 for 7 nights

$50 a Day. This includes two healthy Meals a day.

This is a quality, safe choice within walking distance from E-Ko. Upgrade options available upon request.  


Course Overview 

Career-Focused Certified Guide Course 


Want to get a job as a Marine Guide and not wait months or years for an opportunity, then this is the course for you.

  This is the Practical and Academic training required to make you a great guide and a TOP candidate for any guide position worldwide. E-Ko training system has taken 20 years of input and been carefully tested over the past 10 years to produce world-class guides. We are now partnering with the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA ) to be able to offer Marine Guide Certification and a documented Training Record Book with Certifications to give you a clear career path and recognition of Guide experience and expertise. Speciality courses can be taken for any locations particular species so you can confidentially travel the globe as a WCA Certified Marine Guide prepared and knowledgeable.   

The training location of Queen Charlotte Sound with its calm sheltered waters, beautiful scenery and an incredible amount of wildlife available is an ideal training location. This area with 1000 Hectares of Predator FREE Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary allows us to also train you on Land Guiding with rare and endangered bird species like Kiwi. We also have Marine Protected areas with abundant marine species.

You will be immersed in hands-on training with an experienced guide and trainer. Classroom time at E-Ko base and then out in the beautiful Queen Charlotte with guests looking for wildlife. You will learn and practice the best Guiding technique and develop your own personal style and skills to ensure that you have the confidence and knowledge to embark on a fantastically satisfying Global Guiding Career.

This course is the perfect start to an incredibly satisfying career or a great way to prepare for volunteering with one of the 140 organisations who are part of the World Cetacean Alliance. WCA



Certified Guide Course Dates 2020


Certified E-Ko Guide  ( 15 day Course in Picton )


June                    10th - 27th

July                       8th-26th

August                 12th- 30th

September         9th-27th

October             14th -1st Nov

5 Days a Week study, Weekends off or Volunteer Guide Duties


  • On-board Induction and Marine Safety systems
  • Guide equipment use and care
  • Seamanship and Marine Knowledge
  • Health and Safety procedures for Guides (WCA Specialty)
  • Cetacean Identification (WCA Specialty)
  • WCA Global guidelines and local legislation (WCA Specialty)
  • Bottle-nose Dolphin (WCA Specialty)
  • Hectors Dolphin (WCA Specialty)
  • Dusky Dolphin (WCA Specialty)
  • Orca Dolphin (WCA Specialty)
  • Humpback Whale (WCA Specialty)
  • Project Jonah Marine Mammal Medic, (minimum numbers apply )
  • Marine Seabird Species
  • Marine Sanctuary Islands  and Predatory Free Wildlife Islands
  • Checklist system for Guide Procedures
  • Tour Preparations and  Communications
  • Pre-Tour Briefings and Practice
  • Guide Species practice
  • Guest Customer Service
  • Social Media and Guests
  • Photography and Customers
  • Post Tour Procedures
  • Getting Great Reviews
  • Career Planning and Job placement
  • Final assessment and Certification


  • Actual practical work experience as a Marine Guide
  • WCA Training Record Book signed off.
  • Lectures and training from seasoned professionals
  • Individual Partner membership alongside the world’s experts on whales and dolphins
  • Option to get involved with Partner working groups in WCA
  • Exclusive access to our Whale Champions community for a year, offering the chance to apply for volunteer opportunities overseas with our amazing Partners
  • Certificate from World Cetacean Alliance
  • Certification from E-Ko Tours Limited
  • Help with Career planning and placement
  • Can apply to become an E-Ko Intern


Our Qualified Certified Marine Guides will be able to apply for opportunities to volunteer with our whale watching Partners around the world to protect and conserve cetaceans. Working with onboard Certified Guides and Researchers, as a WCA certified Trainee Guide, you’ll be interacting with the public, educating them about the whales, dolphins and other marine life in the area, as well as raising awareness of the conservation work our Partners are engaged in.

For Further Information email :            e-kotraining@e-ko.nz           or call +64 3 5738040