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Island Explorer

101 Marshland Road, Hilton Head, SC 29926
843-785-2100
Website
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Ranked #12 of 121 activities in Hilton Head
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Tours
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... more » 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. « less
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
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302 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    259
    27
    11
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
19 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014 NEW

Captain Kathy was great to deal with and was very fair. Unfortunately for her we had little ones who were napping when we were supposed to go out but she delayed it for us for almost an hour because we really wanted to go. She was very informative about the island and the different areas. She was great to deal... More

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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014 NEW

We really enjoyed the experience of watching the Shelter Cove 4th of July fireworks aboard the Island Explorer. The fireworks viewing was included at the conclusion of our 2 hour dolphin watching excursion as we made our way back to the dock. Our captain was very friendly and knowledgeable about the Hilton Head area. We had a group of 12... More

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014 via mobile

Captain Kathy was very informative and in touch with the desires of her passengers. She shared hilton head information and gave us some island tips. We had a great time!! Highly recommend a tour with her!!

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Bluffton, South Carolina, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

Captain Billy was a very informative tour guide for our journey! He kept us informed of nature and our landmarks making it easy for us to realize where we were at in regards to the land around us. We especially enjoyed him spotting 2 Oyster Eater birds on the shoreline and stopping the boat for us to watch them for... More

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West Midlands
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
13 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

We had a great time on the 2 hour dolphin and nature tour. Captain Kathy was very knowledgeable about the area and wildlife & was good fun too. It was great to do a tour on a small boat that takes up to 12 people as opposed to the larger tour companies. It was a great few hours on the... More

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Charlotte
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Our family (grandparents, parents, and kids aged 3, 5 and 7) had a wonderful time on the 1 hour dolphin tour! Captain Kathy was great and really tried to engage all the kids. We were lucky to find a mother and baby dolphin and just sat and watched them for most of our time, which was amazing!

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Hilton Head, South Carolina
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014 via mobile

Unfortunately this tour was disappointing for us. We took our 3 girls, ages 10, 7, & 4. We did see dolphins on the way out which was neat, but the main reason we paid the extra money for this tour was the opportunity for the girls to find treasures on the island. They were so excited and when we got... More

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dolphins4u2, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thank you for joining us on the Island Explorer. Each Vanishing Island excursion is a unique experience, and every day we see new and different things. We're glad that you enjoyed seeing the dolphins along the way and were excited to go exploring on the beach on such a beautiful evening. We are sorry to hear you express disappointment in... More

2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

We went on a one hour tour with Kathy. Our group included 4 kids between 2 and 6 and four parents. Kathy was great with the kids and gave us exactly what we wanted to get out of our trip. We will definitely go again next year!

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Ohio
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

We vacationed recently on Hilton Head and wanted to do something new. So we went on the Vanishing Island excusion. It was fantastic. There were 7 in our group ( 4 adults and 3 children, ages 12, 12 and 10). When the men found out is was a 3 hr trip they were hesitant to go. They thought that would... More

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

Take the 3 hour "disappearing island" tour - our captain Jered was excellent and shared a lot of detail about the sound and surrounding areas. He steered the boat near dolphins and other wildlife, explaining things along the way. The highlight was spending an hour on a sandbar/island between HH and Daufuskie Island that appears/disappears as the tide goes in/out.... More

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