We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236-1004
Phone Number:
+1 941-388-4200

Looking for an exciting, hands-on, educational and FUN experience on the...

Looking for an exciting, hands-on, educational and FUN experience on the water? We've got it!

We are located in beautiful Sarasota, Florida and work in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory to provide interactive marine science boat trips for both public and private use.

We offer several types of eco-tours including our renowned Sea Life Encounter Cruise, Guided Kayak Tours, Nature Safari and private charters aboard the Miss Explorer.

In addition to our regular cruises, you may charter a trip on one of our 40-foot pontoon boats for a private group. Private charters are available for anything from school field trips to company outings to birthday parties

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 70 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 46
  • 13
    Very good
  • 5
  • 2
  • 1
Wonderful Afternoon

Bought the combination aquarium / bay tour tickets. The aquarium was good to visit and could be seen easily in about 1.5 hours. The tour on the bay was really good. A fun... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
Denver, Colorado
Add Photo Write a Review

70 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Showing 67: English reviews
Denver, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Bought the combination aquarium / bay tour tickets. The aquarium was good to visit and could be seen easily in about 1.5 hours. The tour on the bay was really good. A fun afternoon excursion we can recommend.

Thank jkfraser2017
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
222 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2017

We booked a trip with Captain Sondra, who was both a captain and a marine biologist. There were only four of us sharing the $300 cost (we could have had two more, legally), but it was worth every cent. First, Captain Sondra was remarkably well versed in the marine biology and history of the area, from early history to who... More 

Thank krashtest d
Lutz, Florida
Level Contributor
138 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2016

I was late getting to my reserved tour, but called to postpone to the next shift. This group is flexible, knowledgeable, and efficient. I learned a great deal about the Florida aquatic habitat and how to maintain it. Beyond informative, the tour was comfortable and relaxing. What a terrific way to spent a couple of hours.

Thank Kathryn B
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
64 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2016

We took the 11am tour. The tour guide was Tanya and the Captain was Bill. The boat always has a captain who is certified to drive the boat, and a biologist to lead the tour. We saw so much of the local plants, birds, fish, and ecosystem. They bring up fish and crustaceans from the sea and show them to... More 

Thank LC34201
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2016 via mobile

I've used Sarasota Bay Explorers many times. If you have never kayaked before this is the perfect way to do it. You go out on a pontoon boat across the Bay pulling he kayaks behind you in the company of a marine biologist. Kayaking through the mangrove tunnels on Lido key is just perfect! You will make frequent stops to... More 

Thank cmb544
Lee's Summit, Missouri
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2016

Took this tour today and it was well worth the time and reasonable cost. At one point during the trip, the crew goes forward on the boat and trawls for some sea life to show the guests (returned to the sea eventually). I was impressed that all the adults on board stayed seated of their own accord, and let the... More 

Thank rt100rider
South Lyon, Michigan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2016

We took the Sea Life Encounter boat ride and it was a very pleasant experience. Our kids (9&11) had a great time. There were all ages on our trip so accessible for just about anybody. The boat ride was a shaded, refreshing alternative to another day in the scorching sun at the beach. We saw dolphins on our way out... More 

Thank jillmarquette
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2016

My wife found these people on the internet and we decided that one of their trips would be our Christmas present to each other, one of the best presents ever, We booked a four hour trip to view/find dolphins, manatee and bird life - we were not disappointed. Our guide and captain, Captain Sondra made the trip very special with... More 

1 Thank P J
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2016

The team, Captain Steve, Chloe and Jen were all wonderful guides for our group which included two young kids. Good information, much fun getting out on the sandbar and collecting marine life, and good explanations of what we found. Highly recommended!

Thank mrbutz1
Sarah W, General Manager at Sarasota Bay Explorers, responded to this review

So Glad you had a good time on our Nature Safari Tour More 

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2016

The boat tour leaves from the Mote Aquarium. I went with my 13-year-old and 8-year-old daughters. We took the 4 pm tour, which I would recommend because we had a chance to see all the sea creatures that were caught on earlier tours, and we saw the biologist put them back in the bay at the end of the tour.... More 

Thank maryP2565DU

Travelers who viewed Sarasota Bay Explorers also viewed

Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast
Sarasota, Southwest Gulf Coast

Been to Sarasota Bay Explorers? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Sarasota Bay Explorers and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Sarasota Bay Explorers staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?