Southern Star Dolphin Cruise

Southern Star Dolphin Cruise

Southern Star Dolphin Cruise
4.5
Historical & Heritage ToursBoat ToursEco ToursSightseeing ToursDolphin & Whale Watching
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Enjoy a relaxing adventure aboard Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise, as featured on National Geographic Explorer and CNN Earthwatch. Join us as we cruise the pristine waters, along the sugar-white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast. Witness the Coastal Bottlenose Dolphin in their natural habitat. Family owned and operated by Captain Steve and Wendy Wilson for 20 years, our 80’ Glass Bottom Boat is all about family fun! With over 10,000 dolphin sightings, you are sure to see something extraordinary.
Destin, Florida
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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(147 reviews)
(166 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,627 reviews
Excellent
2,226
Very good
234
Average
83
Poor
33
Terrible
51

Glenn S
Chesterfield, MO103 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This was a slow, relaxing cruise where we saw dolphins in the first 20 minutes and almost continually after that. The cruise started with the captain narrating interesting sights and history which I like but we soon starting seeing dolphins and spent much of the remaining time fixated on them. We saw singles and families and were even lucky enough to see mama with a baby a few days old just a couple of feet long and still sporting baby coloring. This of course made the trip for us! If you go in February bring a jacket. They don’t sell adult beverages but you can bring your own if you choose. We got there about 30 minutes prior to departure to get a good spot in line but honestly once we started seeing dolphins no one stayed in their seat but rather moved about to get the best view. Our less than full off season cruise had kind passengers that did not hog or block the view. We even bought the boarding photograph for $15 because it was indeed a good picture of us. We briefly went to the gulf but that is not where the dolphins were so we came back tot he harbor. The captain really was taking us where we could see the most dolphins rather than following a pre-set route and even went in a big circle for a while so the dolphins would have waves to jump in which they did to our delight. This was fun and a good value off season but warm weather I bet would make it even more enjoyable.
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dmarrs91
34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We really enjoyed our cruise on the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise. We did the sunset cruise, which was on a little bit of a cloudy day, but we did end seeing a nice sunset when the sun got below the clouds. We did however, see a ton a dolphins! The captain was really great about getting us right to where they were and we spent a lot of time chasing them around the bay. We got some great pictures and video. The cruise was well worth the expense, which we didn't think was bad for basically a 2 hour cruise. Snacks were available for those wanting it and the staff was super friendly. Would definitely recommend.
Written January 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malcolm John M
Chateauguay, Canada131 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
On a very nice sunny afternoon my wife and I decided to tale a dolphin cruise on the Southern Star. The tour cost us $25 each and it was well worth the money. We toured the inland harbor and the lake for about 2.5 hours and saw a ton of dolphins. The captain obviously new where to look and the dolphins cooperated. When a pod was found the captain took his time and even ensured that both sides of the boat got a good view of what was going on. There was a bar and snack bar on board and a photographer to take your picture as you boarded. The cruise staff were fantastic and made our stay even more enjoyable. I highly recommend this activity to anyone in the Destin area.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Family
We took a cruise on the Southern Star to see the dolphins . We were not disappointed. From the friendliness of the crew to the view. Everything was perfect. We could see from every angle on the boat. The captain pointed put where the dolphins were and stopped or went back to look . We saw more than we could count. They even let my daughter who wasn't quite a kid anymore (18) sit on the captain's chair to get her pic taken with the captain. They had it for all the kids to do also. Parents could take a pic on their own camera. They did take a family photo at first but it was affordable and proceeds went to a local organization. Food and drinks were even affordable. No price gouging like some tourist attractions
I'd go back and I'll recommend to anyone
Written March 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LiveLifeNow
Franklin, TN1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Great little tour in the Destin area. The online booking process was very and straight-forward. Everything went well with our reservation and the actual cruise. We were able to spot a dolphin or two along the boat were on. Crew was courteous and helpful. They had wait for a large group of 9 of us that were running late as we were totally new to the Harbor walk pier area where the boat docks. Their office is one of the first little huts right next to the Margaritaville restaurant where you need to buy in-person tickets or redeem online purchases for paper tickets. Recommend being there at least 30 mins earlier thatn scheduled departure time to get familiar with the area,
Written June 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SmoothKing-Queen
Pensacola, FL1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
So many Dolphins to see the captain was very proficient with shooting and directing guests attention to the right place at the right time. Very clean facilities. Love the fact they offer to take your picture & you can purchase a photo for cheap already printed & framed! Thank you for such a majestic experience! We'll be back time & time again!
Written December 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ashley S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
We booked the Sunset Cruise early in the day not sure how the weather was going to pan out. I really recommend purchasing the trip insurance because it allows you to get a full refund or reschedule up to 60 minutes before hand. Luckily, the weather cleared up and we were able to take our cruise! Parking is a bit of pain, but they tell you that at the time of purchase. All of our staff interactions on board were fabulous! The bar tender, boat hands, and the Captain are very friendly and accommodating. I was presently surprised by the prices of drinks and snacks on board. Everything is fairly priced (plus free refills on soda)! On our trip, we saw a lot of dolphins and sharks. The captain is very good about turning the boat so that people on all sides can view the dolphins! This was easily our favorite part of our vacation and we will be back.
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kimberly D
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
We highly recommend this tour for price, staff courtesy and professionalism, family friendly atmosphere and overall value.

We booked this excursion online and we’re surprised by relatively low cost for tickets. The website was user friendly and we received a confirmation email. Checking-in dockside was very simple also. The cruise was excellent. The staff onboard were exceptionally welcoming. The ship’s captain was wonderful and piloted the ship to where the dolphins were. All total we saw more than 20 dolphins from the ship. The facilities and the ship itself were both clean and neat.

We were also impressed with captain and it’s crew’s devotion to God and country. We noticed signs on the ship that stated; “expect a miracle” and “to God be the glory.” Before ending the cruise, The crew saluted military members (active and veterans), first responders and their families; very classy.

We do not have young children but the tour was very family friendly even for those with young and school-aged children.

Food and drinks alcoholic and non-alcoholic were available for purchase during the tour.

We would highly recommend Southern Star Dolphin Cruise to anyone looking for an enjoyable time at a reasonable price.
Written February 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lisa B
Clemson, SC7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020 • Friends
our cruise began with delightful harbor cruise and history review of Destin. We ventured out into the gulf to follow scattered dolphin pods and singles as the sun gloriously set back over the Western ski. Children squealed with joy as our captain directed our focus to catch glimpses of these dear swimming playful creatures.
Written May 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jennifer H
Mount Washington, KY3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We loved our sunset cruise experience. Despite emails from the company warning to arrive very early to find parking, parking was no issue at all when we arrived 45 minutes before our departure time. The boat was a little crowded for my niece's taste but we got seats on the bow of the boat (front) which I highly recommend. The dolphins like to ride the wave of the bow wake so we got to look over the railing and see lots of dolphins cruising and playing right below us. We probably saw at least 20 dolphins on our trip including a couple babies. If the captain saw them to the left side of the boat he would spin the boat around so those sitting on the ride side might get a chance to see them too. I had my 7 1/2 year old boy/girl twins with me in addition to my 20-yr-old niece and my husband. There is some glass bottom window thing but we were having so much fun on the bow that we never remembered to go to the back of the boat to explore that. One reason I picked this boat was because it has bathrooms, and you never know when young kids will have to go "rightnow" but it turned out only my niece needed to use the facilities. The captain was great answering questions from guests and talking about the area, and they only played some fun music at the end as we were cruising back into the dock (I have seen reviews of other boats complaining about loud music so while I don't have a comparison I can say it's not a problem on this boat). Wish we'd had a longer trip to the beach because I think the kids would have loved their pirate ship too, which you get a discount on if you have done the dolphin cruise.
Written October 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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