Captain Dan's Around the Island Tours

Captain Dan's Around the Island Tours

Captain Dan's Around the Island Tours
5
Boat ToursPrivate ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
About
Specializing in Wild Ponies since 2006! Ask about our Afternoon Pony Tour, available daily. Family friendly nature tours of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. Our trip combines a sight-seeing and guided tour together. We search for wild ponies, dolphin, bald eagles, sea turtles, sting rays, all manner of wild fowl, and local creatures. Our signature “Around the Island Tour” covers over 25 miles of coastline, in 2-2.5 hours, never passing the same spot twice. We specialize in taking small groups, on extended trips, into isolated areas. Most trips take 6 guests max. In 2016 we added a 35’, 18 passenger boat to our fleet. We run our 35' boat on our afternoon pony tour, and by request for larger groups. Eight generations of our family have lived on Chincoteague Island. We are a real, small, local family owned and operated business by Capt. Dan, his wife Miss Abby, Dan’s father his father Capt. Ray, and now Dan and Abby’s son Capt. Gavin, a 3rd generation charter captain
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2023

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(58 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

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles844 reviews
Excellent
832
Very good
8
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Cory Dunt
Chincoteague Island, VA3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
Nothing I say here will be able to match the incredible experience we had on board with Capt. Dan. He was a warm and convivial host, accommodating of every need and request, and his love of his island is clearly evident. His humour kept us smiling, his stories of and info on the Island were fascinating and eye-opening, and his knowledge of everything he spoke of was most impressive. He's the best Chincoteague has to offer, and he certainly is the best.

That's just about the man himself; the sights and sounds were unforgettable. We saw well over 30 ponies, comprising several different groups; he knew the names of each and every horse we saw, AND knew their histories, lineage, and status in the group. We saw some possibly pregnant ponies, some bachelor loners, we were witness to a minor turf war, and even saw the oldest pony in the herd. And that's just the ponies! We saw AND heard bald eagles, and saw a bug-eating egret switch it up with a frog for dinner! Capt. Dan was just as excited as we were to see these sights; though he has been running his tours for nearly 15 years, the joy he feels on these trips is very evident. He even lingered a little longer in some spots so we could see a little more of events transpiring (like with the turf war). And then came the dolphins.

Near the end of our already wonderful trip, as we rounded the southern tip of the island, were were greeted by a pod of nearly 100 dolphins. They literally surrounded the boat, swimming towards and away from us, and even leaping clear out of the water! I've lived near the water my entire life and have NEVER seen that many dolphins, nor that close. Again, even Capt. Dan was impressed at what we were seeing. And then, to top it off, flights began coming in to Wallops Island in the fading sunlight.

While Capt. Dan said our trip would be hard to top, don't let that stop you; no matter what you see, you WILL have a great time. If nothing else, you'll experience great views of the Island and learn more about this lovely little gem. We will be making Capt. Dan's tours a regular part of our visits to Chincoteague and I recommend you do, too.
Written September 15, 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.

LBZ
Costa Mesa, CA30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Family
We had the pleasure of taking Captain Dan’s tour last week with four adults and two children under 10. We took the 8am tour which was great because the water was glassy with little wind. We were pleasantly surprised to see a pod of dolphins right as we were leaving the dock. Captain Dan was great, stopping to make sure the children could spend some time watching the dolphins. As we made our first turnaround the island Captain Dan spotted a pony for us to view and tactfully maneuvered the boat as close as possible for everyone to see. As we continued the tour Dan impressed the group with his knowledge about Chincoteague, the wildlife, the ponies, the pony auction, the oyster farms and early settlers. Dan was engaging with the children and the adults which made the trip fun for everyone. Dan then brought us to a more remote spot where we saw 10-20 ponies which was definitely the highlight of the trip. On our way back to the doc we saw swarm of jelly fish which the kids loved! I highly recommend this tour, it is two hours which is just perfect for all ages.
Written September 10, 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.

LoisSzy
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020
We have traveled with Captain Dan many times, because he always delivers a wonderful two hour tour around the island of Chincoteague and along the shoreline of Assateague. On this June 2020 trip, we saw ponies and three large eagles up close. We saw Cormorants and terns and brand new foals along the shoreline. There isn't a trip out with Captain Dan that I don't learn something new. On this trip we talked about why cormorants can be light gray, not always black. He knows where to find all of our favorite herds of ponies, and he knows them by name. My granddaughter had so much fun that she wanted to go out again and again. We did three tours in three days and not a single one disappointed.
Written June 24, 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.

Janelle B
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
A must-do when visiting Chincoteague Island. From start to finish - from the friendly initial booking and clear docking directions, to fun stories shared by the Captain, up close sightings of the wild ponies and unique wildlife, to the prompt return to shore, Captain Dan's Tours delivered. We enjoyed being out on the water, listening to the history of the special island and exploring the sights. The Captain set us at ease with his friendly professionalism. Highly recommend taking the tour early in your Chincoteague/Assateague stay, as Captain Dan's enriching tour helps visitors become familiar with the neat sights and fascinating stories.
Written April 20, 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.

bcbcbc
Columbus OH272 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
I wish I could rate this experience a 10 instead of a 5. There are just not enough superlatives to describe it. We (3 couples) had booked the sunset cruise on a Friday night well in advance. Unfortunately, as of Thursday, it did not look as if the weather would cooperate; they were calling for thunderstorms. I was notified by text that the tour may or may not be cancelled, depending on the weather, and was asked to all if I wished to reschedule. When I called, I was able to reschedule for an 11:00 tour on Saturday; there were no sunset cruises available during our stay. However, we so wanted the sunset cruise that I did not want to cancel. The lady I spoke to said “No problem” and kept our booking, but also penciled us in for Saturday morning. There were six of us, so we took the private tour. By the way, the discount for cash was very nice. The weather changed, and although we knew we might get rain, thunderstorms were not expected and we were able to get our sunset cruise. We had Captain Doug, who was absolutely a delight. He was informative, funny, and personable. Although of course, the main purpose was to see ponies, we also were able to travel around some of Chincoteague and Assateague and see many points of interest and learn much history. We got lots of information about the ponies, the pony swim, crabbing and all sorts of wildlife. The view of the lighthouse was a perfect Kodak Moment. Of course, we also saw ponies several times and Captain Doug stopped to give us plenty of time. At one point, he pulled right up to the land and we were just feet from the ponies. Captain Doug knew the ponies and their history. We never felt rushed, and Captain Doug managed to keep us away from the rain. The boat was comfortable and if we did not see anything at all, I think we just would have enjoyed the ride! This simply is a must do experience in Chincoteague.
Written September 4, 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.

Sue Johnstonbaugh
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
I have cruised with Captain Dan and Captain Ray more times than I can count. The experience has always been fun, informative, relaxing and above all-safe! Captain Dan and Captain Ray are friendly, polite and professional. Blankets are always offered on chilly days and there is even a bathroom on board that can be set up in minutes for use. It is clean and private and he even cruises with hand sanitizer.
Book your cruise with Captain Dan's Around The Island Tours! You'll have a great time on the water and may see bald eagles, osprey, dolphin and of course, the famous Chincoteague Ponies! 5 stars from me! Tours fill up fast, and safety for the passengers is their first priority, so if it's very windy and gusty, have alternative plans! So much to see and do in Chincoteague and The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge! If you do get the chance to take a cruise with Captain Dan or Captain Ray, you will remember it for a lifetime!
Written January 17, 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.

Dawn G
Princeton, NJ3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Every time I come to the island I try to book a tour with Captain Dan. I so enjoy the boat rides and seeing all the wildlife thanks to Capt Dan's amazing spotting skills. I've see Ponies, Eagles, Dolphins, Blue/Pink worms, Cormorants, Osprey and so many other species. His knowledge of the island, history, weather, wildlife is incredible and I learn something new during every tour. He has a calming and fun personality that makes you feel like part of his family. I highly recommend anyone to take his tour - there is something for everyone!
Written January 17, 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.

Phelpsda
Portsmouth, VA45 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
We went on a Sunset Tour piloted by Captain Doug and it was absolutely fabulous! The cruise was over two hours in length but because it was so enjoyable the time seemed to fly by. The pontoon boat was clean, well maintained and comfortable. Captain Doug was pleasant & professional. He went out of his way to make sure we had a great time. He took us to various locations to show us the wild horses and even knew their names and history of each one (Captain Dan should be proud). Prior to our departure, the weather was questionable. But they told us that because of the uncertainty of the weather we could cancel at the last minute and still receive a full refund. This business isn’t about making a buck but rather making sure you have a good time. No need in looking for other tours as this is place to be!
Written June 2, 2023
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.

Allison D
Montoursville, PA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Friends
Every time I am on Chincoteague I go on at least one boat tour with Captain Dan (and usually more than one). He is an excellent captain and tour guide and is also extremely knowledgeable about the island and the ponies. He also takes great pride in his boats. They are very comfortable and in excellent condition.
Written January 17, 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.

Cindy S
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
A generational Chincoteaguer, Captain Dan has a wide ranging knowledge of the island, the marshes, and the wildlife on the refuge. Dan knows the ponies by name or band and does his best to seek them out for viewing pleasure. He will travel farther along the coastline than any other boat tour I know of in an effort to satisfy pony lovers and other nature lovers alike. Dan will go with one passenger or up to as many as the boat is equipped to carry. I am a local and have limited mobility to see the ponies in the northern regions of the wildlife refuge so a boat ride is my best option and Dan does whatever he can to accommodate. Captain Dan was unable to squeeze me in one day and rather than leave me disappointed, he gave me his business card which (on ths back) came with suggestions of possible other boat tours that may have been able to meet my needs that day! I will always try Captain Dan's Around the Island Tour first when booking a boat tour! Book early for summer tours... He fills up fast! No worries if the weather or plans go "south" you can always opt out without penalty.
Written January 17, 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.

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Captain Dan's Around the Island Tours - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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