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“10,000 Islands, 90 minutes, 15 dolphins, 5 stars”

Everglades National Park Boat Tours
Certificate of Excellence
Peachtree City, Georgia
Level Contributor
111 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“10,000 Islands, 90 minutes, 15 dolphins, 5 stars”
Reviewed January 4, 2014 via mobile

We visited at the end of December, and booked a sunset ride through the 10,000 Islands area to cap our couple of days in the Everglades. We had our passes well in advance, but there wasn't concerns of a sellout - indeed the vibe here was quite different than the rest of Everglades National Park, less visited and more laid-back.

The boat ride was 90 minutes through the islands, hitting its heights halfway when we came across a pod of dolphins, probably about 10-15 of them, flipping and such. That made the trip in itself, but we also enjoyed beautiful scenery (and that was with overcast skies) and a variety of birds - from memory, ibis, blue herons, gulls, and about 100 pelicans that had just arrived and were camped on a sandbar.

Can't compare this to the other concessioner boat rides in ENP, but I was wholly satisfied and it was a nice bridge on our trip between the more typical Everglades experience (river of grass, alligators, etc) and the Gulf Coast. Plus it's the only part of the park with restaurants in close proximity - gotta love that!

1 Thank ScottInPTC-GA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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434 reviews from our community

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English first
Naples, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“So so”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

The description of the 10,000 Island boat ride was that it "weaves through one of the worlds largest mangrove forest", but we just went straight out and straight back. (The tide was very low -- so perhaps the captain of the ship could not go where one usually goes but in that case the passengers should have been warned ahead of time.) What one sees probably affects how people rate and review the trip: we saw an osprey, two raccoons, some white pelicans, commonly seen birds, and one dolphin that simply rolled over several times exposing his dorsal fin. The price ($31.80 per adult) seemed high for what one got in a 1.5 hour boat ride.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank S_Alan_S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
132 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Dolphin fun”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

At the park marinia, you can take a 1 1/2 hour cruise on a pontoon boat out of Everglades City to the gulf and back. Along the way you can see lots of birds and the many mangrove islands in the park. When you make it to the gulf, we saw at least a dozen dolphins playing around and swimming with the boat. They would jump out of the water and splash as they went by. The captain slowed the boat to a crawl so you can get good pictures or video.
It was a very fun and intersting cruise. Good for the kids

Visited December 2013
Thank Choochoo20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
826 reviews
355 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 315 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Just a five star for the tour and Captain Josh but a star minus for the administrative issues.If you reserve one day before (or not) check with them by phone the confirmation. I did not got one and i was moved "to the next available one" after two hours. Weather was good so I had some quality time but if you are on a tight schedule... The tour was excellent and safe. Boats are electrical - low noise - with six seats - rotative chairs and the speed is a decent one. Our guide was great and professional - having a look on the group needs and interest.

Visited January 2014
Thank Aburel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“One of the best boat tours I've experienced so far”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

We took the 11 a.m. Mangrove Wilderness Tour. It started at around 11.05. Captain Nick was in charge of the small boat we were on. Initially we travelled in shallow water.The channel was pretty wide and the mangrove forests could be seen at both the sides albeit from some distance. We could see small sandbars with oysters. There were lots of birds. We saw a few ospreys in nests and other birds like ibises, egrets etc. As we went on and on he took us to narrower sections of the river offering us closer view of the beautiful mangrove forests. I am from a place which is very near the largest mangrove forest of the world(Sunderban)....and trust me even at this stage we were offered views of mangrove from a proximity unthinkable in Sunderban(one of the most fierce forests in the world). We also saw lots of birds at this section including a roseate spoonbill(people mistakes it for a flamingo), pelicans etc. Honestly speaking we would have been happy even if the tour had ended here. But then he took us to even narrower sections...almost as wide as the boat itself. The beauty of the forest seen at this stage can not be described by words. There were mangroves on both sides in full splendour with their hanging roots stilt roots and breathing roots. The canopies of the trees from both sides met overhead obstructing views of the sky. It was as if we were passing through a green tunnel. As this section was more fresh water we could see alligators at this stage. There were lots of birds and they were flying away as the boat approached. Watching the large number of birds flying together in front of us through the green tunnel is something I will never forget. But then the channel grew narrower and we had to turn back. On our way back we saw islands with shell embankments built by the native Indians long time back.
The description will remain incomplete if we donot speak about Captain Nick. He is the greatest tour guide. He pointed out birds and interesting places, told us about the different trees and gave us interesting information about the place. We asked him lots of questions and he answered all of them. He would stop the boat whenever we asked him to..and eventually I feel we were out for atleast 10-15 mins more than the scheduled time.We want to express our gratitude to him for being such a great tour guide.
We wanted to give him tips for the great tour but were unsure whether it is appropriate or not. But we took the Ten Thousand Islands sunset tour in the evening and there the crew asked for tip at the end. We still regret not giving captain Nick any tips for the great service.
I will strongly recommend this to anybody who loves nature and forests.

Visited December 2013
Thank AniG8613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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