Sarasota Bay Explorers
Nature & Wildlife Tours • Kayaking & Canoeing
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About
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
Sarasota, Florida
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Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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Sarasota Bay Explorers
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(51 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
267 reviews
Excellent
227
Very good
27
Average
6
Poor
4
Terrible
3

parkwaydb
Weaverville, NC37 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
We have taken many scenic and adventure cruises but this has to rate one of the best. For two hours our guide kept us mesmerized with the stories of the Bay and the wildlife that inhabits it. A must for young and old alike. She was ably assisted several other knowledgeable specialists and extremely competent boat operators.
Written March 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Susan N
1 contribution
Jun 2022
Our marine biologist, Isabella, was a real stand out. She shared her knowledge of Sarasota Bay and it's wildlife in an entertaining and often humorous way. We all enjoyed being able to touch and examine the creatures pulled up in the net. This was a great tour!
Written June 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LWtravels20590
Alexandria, VA61 contributions
Apr 2021
We had scheduled the 4 pm trip and it was cancelled so it took some time for us to rearrange our schedule for the 1:30 trip. The morning trip was full so we had only one choice for the day we had available.

The ride was scenic on its own but having a biologist along made it memorable. I was pleasantly surprised for several reasons - they gave us a discount when we showed proof that we had already paid for Mote Aquarium tickets for the same day. The boat also stopped for a short time on a mangrove island and learned a lot. There is a head onboard and they sell bottles of water at a reasonable price. Not to mention the living sea creatures that we got to see and sometimes touch.

Great tour - tips are suggested and well deserved.
Written April 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rebecca VP
1 contribution
Jul 2022
The two-hour boat tour with Sarasota Bay Explorers was my family's favorite part of our vacation. My husband, four-year-old child, and I all had a wonderful time learning about the history, landscape, biology, and ecology of Sarasota. The boat has a roof, which is essential in the Florida sun, and the breeze on the water moderated the heat. The marine biologist on board was informative and entertaining, and the volunteer who led the brief island excursion was knowledgeable as well. We got to see so many parts of Sarasota (e.g., Bird Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, the intercoastal waterway) and so many different animals in a short amount of time. The bonus was when the biologist and volunteer cast a fishing net off the boat and hauled in a variety of sea creatures for us to look at and pass around in containers before returning them to the bay. Amazing!
Written July 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jemmie33063
Margate, FL203 contributions
Jan 2022
Lovely way to spend an afternoon, our captain Shannon and first mate Amanda did a wonderful presentation about the marine and bird life in Sarasota bay. As a visitor to the area I especially appreciated it when Amanda called a couple hours before the cruise to recommend bringing a sweater. That was so helpful as it was breezy and chilly. Along with recommendations for local restaurants, and a most pleasant time on the water, it was a great way to be introduced to the Sarasota area.
Written January 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nana
4 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
We took 2 of our grandkids and our niece on the boat. Amanda our Marine Biologist was entertaining and kept everyone engaged during the trip. We saw dolphins playing and various types of birds. We enjoyed the stop at the island. The kids loved seeing the marine life. The 2 hours flew by! It’ll probably be a yearly adventure when they visit!
Written July 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marnie T
1 contribution
Mar 2022 • Solo
It was easy to book. The lady taking my reservation was very helpful. The Marine Biologist was very knowledgeable and personable as was the volunteer guide working with her. The cruise is about 2 hours, it is a great way to see the sites of Sarasota and learn about the marine life that live in the bay. The cruise will appeal to individuals of all ages.
Written March 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Netrails
3 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
We opted to take a Sunset Cruise and had a lovely evening with our Captain Joey and Biologist Jill. Joey grew up in the area and had great anecdotes to share about life in this area and out on the water. When the dolphins came swimming around, both Joey and Jill had interesting facts to share. The dolphins surfacing around the boat at sunset made for a beautiful cruise. We brought our own cold drinks and that was fine. There were some cold drinks and snacks available to purchase as well. Our boat did have a restroom and there was a one-person restroom available to use if needed right before the cruise. All in all a really wonderful experience!
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paula Gerwien
3 contributions
Apr 2021
We visited the MOTE (awesome in itself) and then took the 4pm tour with Jill as the biologist guide. How wonderful to have such a knowledgeable guide! We discussed the wildlife of the bay in depth. We stopped at an island with only boat access. Jill put out a net to capture life in the bay and told us about each critter she had caught! If you love nature, this tour is for you. It was also a great ride to see the homes around the bay. Snacks and bathroom available too. Great price, great tour! And with professional staff- it was perfect!!
Written May 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ELizBoston
Boston47 contributions
Nov 2021
My #1 recommendation for environmental fun on a boat in Sarasota area. The Mote Marine trained biologists are uniformly excellent. Funny, interesting and very good with kids! The short nature walk is easy and adds to the total experience. On my latest trip we saw 4 dolphins "playing" (as the biologist tactfully described it for the kids) and then she quietly walked over to the adults to ensure we understood it was adult level "playing". Hilarious. The rookery is not to be missed. Best nesting times are later in the season - February through June - but it's always lively and interesting.
Do not miss this if you visit Sarasota area.
Written November 30, 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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Sarasota Bay Explorers - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go