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The Dolphin Explorer

The Finest Dolphin Study / Eco-Tour on Marco Island MOTTO: PASSION, INTEGRITY, EDUCATION

IT'S FALL AND THAT MEANS BIRTHING SEASON FOR OUR LOCAL DOLPHINS. SO FAR WE HAVE SEEN 2 NEW CALVES....MOM AVERY GAVE BIRTH TO SNOWFLAKE AND MOM BATMAN (YEP, BATMAN'S A GIRL) GAVE BIRTH TO GOTHAM. SPARKY, KAYA, RAKES, ORANGE, SINTAS, NADINE, DOLLY AND SEVERAL OTHER FEMALES MAY GIVE BIRTH THIS FALL AS WELL. WHO WILL IT BE? HOW MANY WILL WE SEE? STAY TUNED OR COME JOIN US! BOOK NOW ON THIS WEBSITE!

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Discovery, exploration, and adventure aboard The Dolphin Explorer!

Join our dolphin research team and get to know the local dolphins on our Marco Island dolphin cruise – both fun and educational! Launched February 1, 2006, the 10,000 Islands Dolphin Project is a long-term study of the abundance, distribution, movement, association patterns, and behavior of bottlenose dolphins of Southwest Florida. Located on Marco Island with close proximity to Naples and the Everglades, we offer a one of a kind tour!

The Project is the only on-going study of wild dolphins in SW Florida and the only one in the United States that engages and is supported by the general public.

Using ‘photo-identification,’ our dolphins are recognized by their dorsal fins which act as their ‘fingerprints.’

You have the opportunity to participate in locating, counting, and confirming of individual dolphin sightings on our exciting Marco Island eco-tour. For more about the study, visit our dolphin survey results.

Rated 5 Stars on TripAdvisor

Lots of fun

Sept 2022 We had a great trip on the Dolphin Explorer on Tuesday, 9/20. It is low season, so we had a small group of passengers. James and Captain Ed took good care of us. We got to see about 15 dolphins and some groups were particularly playful, performing and hanging out near the boat. This is our 4th or 5th time on this excursion and it never disappoints.

– Trip Advisor
What a way to spend 3 hours- brilliant and you won't regret it

August 2022 This is a top class experience - we've been at least 6 times and every time it's different and special. This trip was exceptional with twenty (yes that's right, twenty!) different dolphins spotted and all described expertly by Bob on board. Bob is absolutely brilliant, he's hosted every one of the trips we've been on and his passion and enthusiasm make the trip even better. He takes great photos and you get a copy for your memories at the end. The explorer trip is puctuated with a 30 min drop off at Tigertail beach for shell collecting, a walk or, in my case, a swim in the warm and inviting waters. Bob also takes a photo of your party too on the beach to add to your memories. Captain Eddie was in charge of the boat this time - also extremely knowledgeable and mindful of balancing what you want to see against the needs of the dolphins,. Of course, the best part of this trip is when the dolphins engage and follow the boat to jump and play in it's wake - Captain Eddie nailed this with two or three such events. I cannot recommend this trip highly enough - it's a bargain at twice the price. Sign up for it and go have fun - you will not regret it.

– Trip Advisor
What an amazing day!

Aug. 2022 If you are looking for something fun to do with the family, this is it! Bob and Captain Eddy will make sure you see lots of dolphins... and even give you a history lessen about each dolphin you encounter. The boat ride itself was incredible with gorgeous views and a stop to shell on a secluded island. This is an adventure you do not want to miss!

– Trip Advisor
Superb experience

Aug. 2022 Superb experience - Bob and Eddie are clearly very knowledgeable and can identify the individual dolphins from hundreds of feet away! Fantastic seeing the dolphins swimming and jumping in the boat's wake. Our little one enjoyed it hugely and even got a badge at the end!

– Trip Advisor
Great time!!

August 2022 Hands down the best experience of our vacation. Bob and Captain Eddie were very knowledgeable and friendly. They know the individual dolphins. We saw 13-14 dolphins. The best part was when 5 adolescent males lined up with our boat waiting to ride our wake! What a view! We had a 3yr old and 8yr old with us, and they were able to make great memories.

– Trip Advisor
Best money spent on a day trip for the whole family

August 2022 Captain Eddie and Bob were the best . They were extremely knowledgeable and identified over 10 dolphins by name. We saw a group of manatee, brown pelicans, and so much more. I would highly recommend this trip for families of all ages and Captain Eddie and Bob.

– Trip Advisor
WOW!!! Wonderful experience!

July 2022 Wow!!! We enjoyed our Dolphin and Shelling Excursion so very much!!! It was one of the highlights of our trip to lovely Marco Island!!! The boat was very comfortable and Captain Bill and Naturalist Bob did a great job making sure we were comfortable and safe!! We were thrilled to see 11 dolphins on this trip and several birds as well!! A couple of dolphins jumped and played in the wake of our boat which was so exciting!! There was even a manatee near a sand bar which Bob pointed out to us. We then went to Sand Dollar Spit and got out of the boat and collected many beautiful seashells along the shore!!! Some people even found whole sand dollars!! They provide a bag for your treasures and a HD photo of you and your friend/family. Totally worth the money paid for this excursion!!! Will do it again if back on Marco Island in the future!!!!

– Trip Advisor
What a Blast!

July 2022 WOW, what can I say. There were 19 family members on the tour. 5 were 16 or younger. There were 4 who had gone on the tour before. My wife and I have been on this tour since 2015. We were taken out by Capt Eddie and James. What an adventure. I saw more dolphin in one group(9-11) than I have ever seen before. James provided expert commentary and everyone had a blast. Everyone was still talking about the tour 3 days later. While every tour is different, Capt Eddie has been a constant. It was worth every penny we spent. BTW - we will be doing the tour again in Nov 22.

– Trip Advisor