The Dolphin Explorer
Boat Tours • Eco Tours • Sightseeing Tours • Dolphin & Whale Watching
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About
A National Geographic approved tour, we see dolphins in their natural habitat. Our dolphin study team will teach you how to identify our individuals and you'll learn all about them! Join the crew of the Dolphin Explorer cruising the waters of Marco Island in search of dolphins as part of the only dolphin research study team in Southwest Florida. On our trip, you will visit rookeries, estuaries and a barrier beach and learn how important they are to our dolphin habitat plus you can explore and shell on the beach! Two trips daily, seven days a week. A fabulous family adventure led by experienced and well educated professionals.
Marco Island, Florida
Features animals

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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The Dolphin Explorer
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Travelers talk about
(90 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
1,450 reviews
Excellent
1,379
Very good
59
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
5

fkrumbe
Suamico, WI13 contributions
Feb 2022 • Family
We took a three hour cruise that included up close dolphin sightings, learning from an on board certified naturalist, and even a stop at a shelling beach. Our group of six that included a six year old and a two year old came away with a better understanding of dolphin behavior. It was the highlight of our Marco Island visit. Not to be missed.
Written February 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jen F
Naples, FL3 contributions
May 2022 • Friends
This was our second trip on The Dolphin Explorer, and I am certain we'll habe a 3rd and more in our future! This is an excellent tour, and the only way to see dolphins, living free and not captive and forced to perform. The boat is a large shaded pontoon with ample seating and a bathroom. There is a crew of two - a captain and naturalist, both extremely knowledgable about the dolphins and local wildlife. The tour is a great value at 3 hours - they provide water, a shelling bag for the beach stop, activities for kids, and photos of your party as well as of one of the dolphins spotted on the trip. We saw about 15 dolphins, as well as osprey, frigates, skimmers, terns. I highly recommend this tour!
Written May 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kelley B
Lake Zurich, IL34 contributions
Dec 2021 • Family
Our guide Bob was a wealth of knowledge. His passion for the dolphins is obvious. He did a great job of sprinkle in fun facts throughout the tour. Captain Eddie has a talent for driving the boat and spotting dolphins all at the same time. Eddie is a fantastic captain. Overall, this was a great tour. We saw many dolphins and various birds.
Written December 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cosmopolitan278177
2 contributions
Dec 2020
This was an excellent Dolphin Encounter boat trip! We took our 3 grandsons --ages, 10,8 and 4. They all had a great time learning about how to tell each dolphin apart and saw the catalog of photos of the dolphins that we saw on our trip. Captain Eddie and Captain Bob did a great job of answering questions and telling us things about dolphins. I would highly recommend.
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Walt Garcia
1 contribution
Mar 2021
Bob and Captain Ed are terrific. We saw 16 dolphins watched them play and swim after the boat. We were able to go shelling on Tiger Island, they supply the shell bags. Took a photo of the individual groups at no extra charge. Very informative guides. It was a 5 star experience all the way. Super clean boat with lots of room, social distancing adhered to.
I highly recommend this tour. Worth every penny and then some.
Written March 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DoriMichigan
Michigan29 contributions
Feb 2022 • Family
The crew, boat, and experience was all top notch. It is a new boat with a full size bathroom. We saw 17 different dolphins. And many were hanging out right next to the boat. VERY COOL!! The only reason I didn’t give it a 5 was because I felt the boat should have more speakers. It was very difficult to hear the speaker most of the time.
Written February 26, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Wendy
Ambridge, PA2 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
We had a great trip on the Dolphin Explorer on Tuesday, 9/20. It is low season, so we had a small group of passengers. James and Captain Ed took good care of us. We got to see about 15 dolphins and some groups were particularly playful, performing and hanging out near the boat. This is our 4th or 5th time on this excursion and it never disappoints.
Written September 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maryse C
Fort Washington, MD5 contributions
Dec 2020
Once again, what an amazing experience!

Every time we are in Naples with our grandchildren, I make a point to make a reservation with the Dolphin Explorer to see and learn about these beautiful mammals.

Naturalist Bob is very knowledgeable, friendly, and makes a point to explain in simple terms dolphin behavior to everyone on board. Captain Eddy was very patient and very professional.

I would highly recommend going with the Dolphin Explorer. It's a must if you are in Naples or in Marco Island.
Written December 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rachel S
1 contribution
May 2021
My family had a wonderful experience on the Dolphin Explorer. We spotted dolphins two minutes into our ride! We saw 18 dolphins during our entire boat ride. Bob was highly knowledgeable about all of the dolphins. As a bonus we were able to do some shelling on Tigertail Beach. We also learned about the Ospreys along the way. Captain Eddie knew exactly where to take the boat to see the dolphins and when to create a wake for the dolphins to surf. I highly recommend taking this boat ride as it was a wonderful educational experience as well as entertaining trip!
Written May 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

J J
Iowa6 contributions
Mar 2021
I really enjoyed the effort the guide put into including everyone with individual attention. She was sincerely interested in how we were enjoying the trip. She was really good about reminding us just who, what, where, and when we were viewing dolphins. The boat captain was not shy about explaining how he was driving the boat in order to be considerate of the other tour groups in jet skis, not disturbing the dolphins as they ate and how he was offering them a ride in his wake.
Immensely considerate tour of the ecology as well as the customer.
Written March 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Dolphin Explorer (Marco Island) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go