Those looking for a fun ride on the water should check out the Sanibel Thriller. Living up to its name, this high-speed motor boat powers its passengers in style around the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva before heading out to the Gulf of Mexico with hopes of spotting leaping dolphins and other Southwest Florida wildlife.
From this exciting 55-foot-long speedboat you can enjoy all the landmarks of Sanibel including the lighthouse and beaches. After passing Blind Pass, which separates Captiva from Sanibel, you can see the smaller and less inhabited Captiva Island with its waterfront restaurants and white sandy beaches.
Piloted by a U.S.C.G. Licensed Merchant Marine Officer, this powerful diesel-powered yacht is impressively long and powerful. The speedy yet extremely smooth ride has earned its reputation as the most exciting boat ride on Sanibel Island. The 90-minute trip circumnavigates the islands as the captain shares fascinating local stories and historical information about the area’s inhabitants, from the Calusa Indians to present day writers, artists, snowbirds, and local residents who enjoy this natural preserve.
Dolphin Spotting from the Sanibel Thriller
As part of this family-friendly tour you are likely to see several dolphins jumping together and putting on a delightful show so have your camera ready. The tour guide shares their local knowledge of dolphins, diving pelicans, ospreys, and other local wildlife sightings.
These bottle-nosed dolphins measure anything from 7 to 9.5 feet in length. They are a common sight in the Gulf as they reproduce in the back bays and estuaries around the many barrier islands along the Southwest Florida coastline. They live in pods or families of 15-100 creatures. You may see a dolphin catching its favorite meal of mullet, which it stuns with its tail, flipping the fish into the air then swimming back to devour it.
Tips for Booking a Ride on the Sanibel Thriller
As you can imagine, Sanibel Thriller tours are anything but dull. Tours depart from Sanibel Marina, east of the Sanibel Causeway on N. Yachtsman Drive on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island.
Reservations for rides aboard the Sanibel Thriller are necessary, as tours fill up quickly. You also need to arrive ahead of time to line up and ensure you get a great seat aboard the 43-passenger power catamaran. The bench seats are plump padded and comfortable, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the sights. Every seat has a good and unobstructed view, but the back three rows get the best views of leaping dolphins. If you prefer, opt for one of the front rows of seats where you are allowed to stand up for viewings and photographs.
As well as your camera, bring a bottle of water, sunscreen, and a jacket as it can be windy and cool when you get out on the water.
If you’re ready to see Sanibel Island from a different perspective, the Sanibel Thriller is definitely the tour to include during your visit!