We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sarasota Bay Explorers

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy. City Island, Sarasota, FL
Phone Number: +1 941-388-4200
Improve this listing

Looking for an exciting, hands-on, educational and FUN experience on the...

Looking for an exciting, hands-on, educational and FUN experience on the water? We've got it!

We are located in beautiful Sarasota, Florida and work in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory to provide interactive marine science boat trips for both public and private use.

We offer several types of eco-tours including our renowned Sea Life Encounter Cruise, Guided Kayak Tours, Nature Safari and private charters aboard the Miss Explorer.

In addition to our regular cruises, you may charter a trip on one of our 40-foot pontoon boats for a private group. Private charters are available for anything from school field trips to company outings to birthday parties

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 57 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 36
  • 14
    Very good
  • 4
  • 2
  • 1
Great tour.

We took the Sea Life Explorer cruise. It was windy and quite choppy, but the boat was very stable. The bird rookery was really interesting. On the way back, the biologists catch... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

57 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Level Contributor
51 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We took the Sea Life Explorer cruise. It was windy and quite choppy, but the boat was very stable. The bird rookery was really interesting. On the way back, the biologists catch some sea life in a net and bring it on board for everyone to see. Everything is released back into the bay. Although, we didn't see any dolphins... More 

Thank Cyn_and_Stu
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2015

We decided to do a trip with Sarasota Bay Explorers today. The reservation process was easy and the times of the tours were very frequent and convenient to our schedule. We chose the 12:30 tour and checked in at 12:00. The roll call was right on time and then we were told to head for the dock to load the... More 

1 Thank Mike T
Capers Bend
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2015

On this tour, you get a nice boat ride around the bay and even make a stop on one of the small islands to examine the trees and plant life. Our marine biologist guide was a young lady who was very knowledgeable about the sea life and the plants. When the seasons and timing are right, you can also see... More 

Thank Traveler M
Tetbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
218 reviews
126 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015 via mobile

First time there weren't enough people wanting to go on a tour (they need 7 for the seal life encounter cruise) so went back the next day. Sure glad we did. It was a great trip. The marine biologist was informative and fun and we saw a great deal - dolphins, pelicans, cormorants, snake bird, and when they dropped a... More 

Thank JohnSFleet_Hants_UK
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2015 via mobile

The bay came alive with dolphins, birds, and fish sightings. This was a fun, educational tour on calm waters. I would go again!

Thank GiuliettainUK
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2015

We were visiting family in Sarasota and went to Mote Aquarium. We combined our ticket with a boat sightseeing trip. It was great. Nice, large pontoon boat that is covered takes you out and around Sarasota bay. The biologist talks about fish and other wildlife in the area. The captain did stop the boat when he saw a dolphin and... More 

1 Thank NCTraveler1999
New Bern
Level Contributor
36 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2015

I'll be honest - this was not my first choice for a dolphin/manatee sightseeing trip - but appeared to be the only one available during my stay in the Sarasota area - Althought nice and comfortable boat, and knowledgeable staff - although our tour guide didn't know the IntraCoastal Waterway is actually 3,000 miles and doesn't just cover area around... More 

Thank lavoie2010
Sarah W, General Manager at Sarasota Bay Explorers, responded to this review

Hello, thank you for your review of our Sea Life Encounter Cruise. Our sister company, Lebarge Tropical Cruises, does offer a specific dolphin and manatee watch cruise, but they are currently out of the water for their annual maintenance and Coast Guard inspections. On the Sea Life Encounter Cruise, the captain, biologist, and passengers do look for Dolphins and manatees... More 

Northern New Jersey
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2015

This tour was great! We sat in front and got soaked from the waves, but we dried off while stopping at the island. A storm was coming in as we were ending the trip, and our biologist continued to sift through the contents of the net and tell us about everything she caught. I love that we were protected from... More 

Thank NJ_Geology
Ackley, Iowa
Level Contributor
91 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2015

The Sea Life Encounter Cruise is great for all ages. You take a relaxing boat ride through Sarasota Bay and Roberts Bay. The boat is covered so you are protected from the hot sun and you get a nice breeze from the boat ride. We saw both manatees and dolphins swimming wild as we rode through the bay. You make... More 

Thank IggysTravellers
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2015 via mobile

We did the sea life encounter tour in conjunction with a visit to the Mote Aquarium. Our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. We saw a nice variety of sea life including Dolphins (even 2 baby dolphin!), nesting sea bird with young, and a lot of cool stuff from the net. Most of those things we were able to touch... More 

Thank myfamilystourguide

Travelers who viewed Sarasota Bay Explorers also viewed

Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast

Been to Sarasota Bay Explorers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Sarasota Bay Explorers staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?