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.

“Informative, Entertaining & Fun”

The Dolphin Explorer
Ranked #4 of 85 Tours in Marco Island
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A National Geographic approved tour, we see dolphins on every trip up-close and personal. 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 in Southwest Florida. On our trip, you will visit rookeries, estuaries and a barrier island that you can explore and shell. Two trips daily, seven days a week. A fabulous family adventure.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Rice Lake, Wisconsin, United States
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Informative, Entertaining & Fun”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

I have always wanted to see dolphins in their natural habitat, so on my recent trip to Marco Island, I decided to book a cruise with the Dolphin explorer. The staff was very knowledgable about the dolphins & it was fun to learn about them. I even got some GREAT pictures! The short visit to the beach on Keewaydin was a bonus.....lots of great shells and a welcome dip in the beautiful water. I highly recommend this experience for young and old alike!

Visited June 2013
Thank Kim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

685 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Another fantastic trip”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

This was our 2nd trip on the Dolphin Explorer. Our 8 year old daughter loves learning about the dolphins and other information. The crew inform you about their fantastic work, they are so passionate about what they do. A lovely walk collecting shells along the beautiful beach. Hopefully you will also get to meet Riley the dog, he is absolutely beautiful and I would love to take him home. Can't recommend this trip enough, good value. Thank you once again and keep up the good work, the dolphins are so precious.

Visited May 2013
Thank ALIO377
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
380 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
“Awesome Trip!”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

This trip was one of the highlights of our visit to Marco Island. We went on the afternoon cruise and the weather was fantastic. The captain and the marine biologist/naturalist on board made sure all of us felt welcomed. They explained what the dolphin project is all about, told us about the dolphins we were seeing and made sure to stop at many different locations so we could spot as many dolphins as possible. And boy, did we see a lot! We even saw a dolphin catch a large yellow tail fish. A first for me! To top things off, you get to go to an island for shelling before returning back to the dock. The naturalist took photos of some of the wildlife and dolphins, plus took a photo of us. At the end of the trip, you receive the photos as a momento! Nice! Just a fantastic trip! Kids will absolutely love this trip as will adults. Definitely give this a try if you're in Marco.

Visited May 2013
Thank jonsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, NY
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Awesome experience with lots of dolphin sightings!”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Great experience with a very knowledgeable marine biologist. We took the tour on a sunny morning in May. The tour was very informative and interesting. The captain was great about getting close to the dolphins and allowing everybody the chance to see the wildlife. I don't remember how many dolphins we saw, too many to count. The digital camera photos to take home were also a nice feature of the boat trip. 3 hour trip was wonderful!

Visited May 2013
Thank Buffalovefoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Park Ridge, IL
Level 6 Contributor
214 reviews
79 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“20 dolphins including babies!”
Reviewed April 27, 2013

I have been on a few nature boat trips and this was by far the most fun and informative.
The trip was educational and fun. Michael, the boat's captain, and James, the marine biologist, did a wonderful job locating the dolphins and then putting the boat in the best position to see the dolphins. We saw numerous groupings including moms and their babies. Generally, we were able to watch each set of dophins for several minutes. We were given the chance to identify the dolphins we saw be their dorsal fins. There was a catalog identifying the local dolphin by fins, and then we were all given a photo showing the fin of the dolphin we just saw. Then we got to find that particular dolphin using the catalog. At the end of the trip, a mother and her calf swam and jumped in the wake of the boat almost all the way back. James shared tons of information about dolphins, which was fascinating. We also saw a manatee a variety of marine birds. We stopped for 35 minutes on an island for shelling, and James took a picture of our foursome. At the conclusion of the trip, James gave each person 4 pictures--3 wildlife pictures from our trip and one of that person's group. The kids on the boat were given a clipboard with special tasks of counting dolphins and answering questions. Then they received a patch at the end. The staff was especially helpful to the kids. I went with a group of girlfriends and I can't wait to go back with my family.

Visited April 2013
Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Dolphin Explorer also viewed

Marco Island, Southwest Gulf Coast
Marco Island, Southwest Gulf Coast
Marco Island, Southwest Gulf Coast
Marco Island, Southwest Gulf Coast

Been to The Dolphin Explorer? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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

Claim Your Listing