Institute for Dolphin Therapy, Research, Dolphin Therapist Training and Manager Dolphin Coacing

DOLPHINSWIM: A life for dolphin therapy

Norbert Trompisch met the female dolphin Olin in 1997 at the Sinai in Egypt. Olin was a wild bottlenose dolphin that had been habituated to humans by a Bedouin fisherman and lived in the bay of Nuweiba for over 10 years. The encounter with Olin was a touching experience for Norbert Trompisch that would shape his life and career to this day.
In 2000, Norbert Trompisch founded the Dolphinswim Institute and presented an independent dolphin therapy concept called Alpha Therapy. This concept focused on the independent interventions of the dolphin, an approach for which alpha therapy still stands today. Norbert Trompisch's therapeutic work with dolphins took him from Egypt to Israel, then to the Crimea in 2004-2009. Since then, Norbert Trompisch and his institute have been offering dolphin therapy at the two locations Antalya/Turkey and since 2017 also in Constanza in Romania.

The development of the dolphin therapy "Alpha Therapy" was accompanied by the exchange of internationally recognised experts from dolphin research and dolphin therapy. Dr. Christel Manske (Institute for the Development of Functional Brain Systems in Hamburg) contributed her perspective and progressive methods in the support of people with disabilities. The meeting with Dr. Horace Dobbs (see photo above left), dolphin researcher and dolphin therapy pioneer, inspired and confirmed Norbert Trompisch that he was on the right track. In the cooperation with Dr. Ludmilla Lukina (Dolphin Therapy Institute, Sevastopol. See photo left) Norbert Trompisch learned a lot in terms of the therapy craft, also the handling of the dolphins and benefited overall from her immense experience in dolphin therapy. In addition, Norbert Trompisch gained a lot of insight into how dolphin training works during this time. Prof. Thomas Slunecko (University of Vienna, Psychology) accompanied Norbert Trompisch in the theoretical foundation of Alpha Therapy as a thesis professor and valued friend.

Norbert Trompisch has supervised several research projects, dissertation and thesis projects in the field of dolphin therapy in the subjects of psychology, education and biology since 2005. He is the head of the dolphin therapy training programme at his own institute and was also a lecturer in the master's programme "Animal Assisted Therapy" at the University of Barcelona in 2013-2015. In addition, there have since been numerous teaching events and specialist lectures on dolphin therapy, such as at the Sigmund Freud University Vienna-Paris.
In 2015, the Dolphinswim travel agency was founded.
Since 2017, Norbert Trompisch has been conducting research at the Museum of Natural Sciences and Dolphinarium Constanza, Romania on the topic of "Dolphin therapy as behavioural enrichment for bottlenose dolphins in human care" as part of a 5-year long-term study on the effects of dolphin therapy on dolphin welfare. Within the framework of this study, Norbert Trompisch organised the complete set-up of the dolphin therapy programme, in particular the training of the dolphins as well as the training of the animal keepers for this special field of activity. The process was scientifically accompanied and documented.

Dolphinswim Travel Agency - our services

The Dolphinswim Institute has also been a state-registered online travel agency since 2015, which allows us to offer the complete package of dolphin therapy and travel from one source. This not only makes booking and organising dolphin therapy much easier for you, the advantages are also that we have a great deal of specialist knowledge in terms of the services required for travellers with disabilities, as well as our destination. This includes the selection and booking of suitable accommodation, such as disabled-friendly hotel rooms. In addition, you will receive on-site support not only from the tour operator, but also from our staff. With regard to the needs of travellers with disabilities or limited mobility, we have a very large network of contact persons at the tour operators and airlines. This enables us to ensure a smooth journey with all the necessary special services, such as escort service at the airport or special transfers. We have contracts with all the well-known tour operators, including TUI, FTI, ANEX, Schauinslandreisen etc., which allows us to find the best offer on the market for your desired date. Since our founding, we have successfully organised trips for hundreds of our clients and look forward to assisting you in planning and organising your dolphin therapy trip.

If you book the Alpha Therapy or Dolphin Experience week, there are 3 package variants.

Variant 1: Dolphin therapy or dolphin swimming with package tour offer

For most of our participants, we combine dolphin therapy or dolphin swimming with an individual package tour. We determine the details of the travel arrangements in a personal offer. Prices vary depending on the time of booking, hotel category, availability and therapy period. We kindly ask you to contact us so that we can discuss your accommodation requirements and prepare a personal therapy/travel package offer.

Option 2: Dolphinswim holiday flat

We are happy to arrange a suitable holiday flat near the dolphin therapy centre. You can get to the dolphinarium daily either by public transport, taxi or individual transfer, which we will gladly book for you. The flats usually have 2 separate bedrooms and living room with kitchen area and are barrier-free accessible (but not specially adapted). The equipment includes air conditioning, WLAN and TV. We offer the flat all-inclusive from EUR 300.- per week. Please enquire about availability for your desired date, booking via the therapy registration form.

Variant 3: Therapy or dolphin experience only

You organise your own accommodation? No problem, you are also welcome to book only the therapy through us and organise your own travel and accommodation. You have already booked a holiday and would like to come to us for dolphin swimming or dolphin therapy? We will be happy to offer you our programme to suit your travel dates and, if you wish, we can also organise the transfer from your hotel to the dolphin centre.

The Dolphinswim Team

In Alpha Therapy you will be cared for by an international team of specialists with a lot of experience and heart. The high level of qualification is guaranteed by our dolphin therapy training course established in cooperation with the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna, where we have been training therapists for 5 years. In addition, we attach great importance to continuous training and maintaining internal communication in order to be able to offer you therapeutic care at the cutting edge of science.

Our team also includes other dolphin therapists from Germany, Austria and Russia, who take turns with the therapy appointments.

The protection of dolphins is a matter of concern to us.

The protection of dolphins is a matter of concern to us.

As a dolphin research and therapy institute, we have a great ethical responsibility towards the animals we work with. Keeping dolphins and other cetacean species in human care presents great challenges, which must be met both structurally and through great commitment on the part of the trainers and consistent research. Our dolphins are very dear to us, we often spend more time with them than with our human family members and do our utmost to make their lives as varied and meaningful as possible. We are not content with just meeting the physical husbandry standards, but are also aware that as part of the dolphin herd, we also play a decisive role in their mental health and well-being through our loving treatment and emotional bond with our animals.

We do not see our task as being limited to offering our animals the best possible living conditions in DOLPHINLAND in Antalya. We see ourselves and our dolphins as ambassadors: In all our therapy, training and seminar programmes, marine ecology awareness and education work is of central importance. Our approach is always resource- and relationship-oriented, because: "We only protect what we love, we only love what we know! As a research institute, we make our contribution to species conservation in this respect with our numerous research projects, which are carried out in cooperation with national and international institutions and on behalf of international agreements. Thus, our programmes are not only always guaranteed to be at the cutting edge of science, but this also ensures that you can enjoy your experience with our dolphins with a clear conscience!