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Island Explorer

Address: 101 Marshland Road, Hilton Head, SC 29926
Phone Number: 843-785-2100
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Ranked #14 of 172 Activities in Hilton Head
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Owner description: With over 30 years experience in dolphin and nature cruises around Hilton Head Island, Capt. Jim...
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
More attraction details
Attraction details
Hours:
Sun - Sat 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Owner description: With over 30 years experience in dolphin and nature cruises around Hilton Head Island, Capt. Jim Harkins and Island Explorer offers unique and memorable tours. With both 12-passenger and 6-passenger boats, Island Explorer can accommodate large families or groups and still offer initmate experiences.You may choose a 1-Hour Introductory Tour, a 2-Hour Dolphin and Nature Excursion, or one of our 3-Hour and 3.5-Hour Expeditions. On our popular expedition to "Vanishing Island" you'll view the dolphins, cross the Calibogue Sound, and have the opportunity to disembark on a secluded sandbar to search for sand dollars at the low tide. We offer Lowcountry Backwater tours and even a special Nature Photography tour guided by a professional photographer. Evening Sunset Cruises will bring you to beauty of the Hilton Head sunsets along with scenic views of the marshlands, birds, and dolphins that make the Lowcountry special. During the summer months join us for a Tuesday night Fireworks Cruise. Our captains are experienced, friendly, and informative. Our mid-island location is convenient to every resort on Hilton Head. Parking is always free, and there are no gate fees. Our boats are docked at the popular island restaurant, The Old Oyster Factory Restaurant at 101 Marshland Road. With years of experience on Hilton Head Island and variety of unique cruises, Island Explorer will treat you to a memorable experience for your family or group.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children

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351 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2015 NEW via mobile

Captain Cathy was great. She made it a point to learn all of our names. She involved the kids a lot in the boat ride and made sure that everyone was interested and having fun. We learned a lot of great things about the island and the whole family had a great time. She also made sure to make the... More 

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Jacksonville, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2015

Delightful, memorable experience from beginning to end! Called to find out details & got an immediate callback giving us options for when & how to book our tour. Kate, the booking agent, called me again later to confirm. So glad she assigned us to Capt. Bobby - we'll request him again next time. He was knowledgable & funny, and gave... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015 via mobile

I took 4 kids ages 6-16 on the 1hour cruise with Captain Cathy. There was another family & a couple with us. (Boat seats 12.) She was entertaining & knowledgeable. She invited the little ones to sit with her on the captain's bench. My 8year old had the time of his life. She even let him steer a little. Captain... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Tampa, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2015

Captain Cathy was an excellent guide. We saw numerous dolphins in the Creek. She shared so much of her knowledge with us about the history of Hilton Head Island, the wildlife and the ecology. We left the tour appreciating the island. We also loved seeing some of the beautiful homes that can only be seen by boat. She made all... More 

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Fairmont, West Virginia, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2015

We had a wonderful, fun, exciting time on our cruise ...We didn't have a sunset due to clouds , but we hada great time seeing egrets, pelicans, and DOLPHINS! What a fun time we had! I highly recommend this cruise!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Woodbine, Maryland, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

We were 2 couples looking to spend some time looking for dolphins. Not a problem with Captain Kathy! She was an excellent narrator. During our 3 hr. trip we seen several groups of dolphins, lots of birds, oyster beds and learn a lot about local culture. This was an off-season trip and we may have lucked out it taking the... More 

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Alexandria, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

Whole family, including my 15 YO twins and 86 YO mother, went on their vanishing island cruise last August. We had a blast. Captain Kathy provided a perfect combination of knowledge, conviviality, and professionalism. She's a former corporate exec doing what she loves. And in the "it's a small world" category, she was related to some fine people we know... More 

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IslandExplorerHHISC, Public Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

We appreciate your kind words about Island Explorer and Capt. Kathy. We are very proud of our great captains and boats, and the unique tours we offer. Thanks for choosing Island Explorer. More 

Statesville, NC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2014

WOW - four of us decided to take this cruise and we all happy we did so. Captain Bobby was fantastic, and very knowledgeable about the area and the waters. Capt'n Bobby is a great Hilton Head historian, and wildlife expert. He answered all (ALL) our questions and provided excellent positioning for photo ops - bird, sunset and dolphins. When... More 

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IslandExplorerHHISC, Public Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed your Sunset Cruise. Captain Bobby enjoyed having you along and sharing his Lowcountry knowledge with you. We'll look forward to helping you get some more great photos when you join us again on Island Explorer. More 

Naperville, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Vanishing Island was little more than a low tide sandbar with very few shells, but Captain Kathy was a great tour guide and treated us to a fun cruise with close up watching of dolphins. The boat was small enough to maneuver quickly to stay with the dolphins. Captain Kathy told us many interesting things about the wildlife, ecology, history,... More 

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IslandExplorerHHISC, Public Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Gary, It was such a pleasure to have you, your wife and friends on our trip. I'm so glad you enjoyed learning about our wonderful Island and watching the dolphin. We look forward to seeing y'all again and discovering how different the vanishing island will be as it is ever changing. Captain Kathy More 

Bath, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
180 reviews 180 reviews
32 attraction reviews
233 helpful votes 233 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2014

Captain Kathy took us on our sunset cruise and she was great. The weather had been quite bad a couple of days before when we were due to go out and the boat was larger that night as it was to hold 6 people + captain. However, the night we went out the boat was very small (there were 4... More 

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IslandExplorerHHISC, Public Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thanks for letting us know that you had a "great sunset trip" on Island Explorer. We always try to choose the best boat for our guests as we have both 12-passenger and 6-passenger boats. When we have a smaller group, they usually enjoy the intimate experience of the slightly smaller boat. Captain Kathy appreciates your kind words. More 

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  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
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