Up Close and Personal Dolphin Trip
Take a unique dolphin cruise for a memorable family vacation experience aboard the 30-foot catamaran, Dolphin Explorer. Join a survey crew aboard the Dolphin Explorer’s twice daily, three-hour expedition in sighting and studying the bottlenose dolphins of Southwest Florida. The 10,000 Island Dolphin Project is the only ongoing study of wild dolphins in Southwest Florida. CNN Travel wrote a story about ten places that can change a child’s life and include The Dolphin Explorer on the list.
It will be an experience you won’t forget as you cruise the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in search of dolphins and explore the subtropical estuaries of the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Your adventure is part of a long-term study to document the lives of coastal bottlenose dolphins and more than 300 area dolphins have been photo ID’d, named and cataloged to date. Read our blog article about The Dolphin Explorer here.
On the tour, you will see and have an opportunity to photograph bottlenose dolphins as they play and travel with friends. Learn their names and what they do from the professional crew, which includes a USCG Master Captain and Mate who is a Master Naturalist and Wildlife Photographer. You will even get to name a dolphin if you sight a new one while on your cruise! You will also walk along a barrier island beach on the Gulf of Mexico graced with the beautiful sea shells the area is famous for. The Master Naturalist will point out the different types of shells, and you are free to take some home with you.
The Dolphin Explorer is featured in the National Geographic book entitled 100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life: From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth.
A complimentary souvenir photo, shelling bag, water, and soda are included with the tour. Guests are also welcome to bring along their own snacks and beverages. There are two survey trips daily; one in the morning departing at 9 a.m., the second departs in the afternoon at 1 p.m.
Advance purchase of tickets is strongly recommended. Check availability and buy tickets online.