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Island Explorer

101 Marshland Road, Hilton Head, SC 29926
843-785-2100
Website
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Ranked #9 of 116 activities in Hilton Head
Certificate of Excellence 2013
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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281 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

Our family of four took the 3 hour excursion to Vanishing Island. We saw probably a dozen dolphins, a wide array of birds and other wildlife, and some of the most beautiful local architecture . Captain Kathy did a fabulous job sharing information about the topography and the local history. Vanishing island itself was a unique opportunity to see some... More

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Hilton Head Island
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

Recent reviews of Captain Kathy's trips did not disappoint. We were a group of 3 adults and three grandchildren (12,10 and 8) She called us the day before we were scheduled to go and suggested that we go that afternoon because tge tide was right and the weather was going to deteriorate , She was right. As luck would have... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Penfield, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

Captain Kathy is excellent. She remembered everyone's name and engaged the children (12,12,10,9) on the trip. She is a wealth of knowledge and is great at sharing it. We learned so much about HH and it's rich history. We learned about the wildlife and the many plants and life cycles on the island; who knew there are oysters that don't... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Miami, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

Just recounting our trip to Hilton Head last fall and remembering this wonderful trip. We called Island Explorer and talked to Kate, who was so friendly and helpful. She even gave us some hints about when to go to the beach (low tide). Kate arranged our tour - The 3-Hour Vanishing Island Tour - for later in the week. A... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Seneca, South Carolina, USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

I first contacted these people (Ms. K & Capt. J) by email on Dec. 6 inquiring about the availability of tours (for two people) the week of Dec 23. After some back and forth emails (and several days of phone tag) about my tour preference (3 hour Dolphin tour with Vanishing Island) and their schedule that week, I was told... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
dolphins4u2, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

We are truly sorry that you were so upset by the miscommunication regarding your tour. It is important that our guests always reconfirm your tours, and offer us a dependable way to reach you, such as a cell phone. We can always be reached on the day of your tour if you have any questions regarding the status of the... More

Zanesville, Ohio
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
28 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Our guide Jim is so informative and just a wonderful person. Our group so enjoyed all the info he gave us. Well worth the money. We were able to see the dolphins up close. There was a mom and baby to watch and they sure put on a show for us.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Warren, Ohio
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

This tour was so great! We did the 2:45 tour with Captain Kathy and had such a nice time. She is very pleasant, knows so much about the area, and makes you feel very comfortable as you cruise the waters of Hilton Head. We had 7 people on the boat, lots of space, and saw several dolphins, including a mom... More

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Sunset Beach, North Carolina
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

From Cherokee N.C. to Hilton Heads S.C. for our Honeymoon. We spent the day with Captain (chatty) Kathy. Saw lots of Dolphins, and Vanishing Island was amazing. But the ride was about Captain Kathy, Great jovial personality, Very informative on Culture, History. Wildlife, The Houses, and things to do.Loved it hope to be back soon. Jill & Joseph Cooper

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
, Colorado, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

My husband & I flew out from Denver to celebrate our 30th Anniversary, and went on this 1 hour cruise with Captain Kathy. This was my favorite of all the things we did on the trip from Charleston, to Savannh,to Bluffton, the company was the best!!! We also very much enjoyed the other family who went out with us, it... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Indianapolis, Indiana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

This was our second time on IE vanishing island tour with Captain Kathy (who rocks!). We went October 18 2013 and saw sooo many dolphins. Thx for a memorable trip - 3 As and an M

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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