Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

The Dolphin Explorer

MULTI-AWARD WINNING DOLPHIN STUDY / ECOTOUR!

2024 FIRST QUARTER STATS....THE SURVEY TEAM DOCUMENTED 1,883 SIGHTINGS OF THE 128 DOLPHINS IN OUR LOCAL POPULATION. SEVERAL FEMALES LOOK VERY PREGNANT....THIS FALL SHOULD BE A GREAT BIRTHING SEASON! 2023 ANNUAL OVERVIEW...OUR TEAM DOCUMENTED 4,763 INDIVIDUAL DOLPHIN SIGHTINGS OF 128 DIFFERENT LOCAL, IDENTIFIED DOLPHINS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. 9 NEW BABIES WERE RECORDED FROM 9/12 THRU 12/11.

Book Your Tour

"Passion, Integrity, Education" is our motto. Our beliefs are reflected in our passion to educate!

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

Fabulous experience-Sign up now

July 2024 Always our favorite when we're in Marco and so excited to be moving down here so we can do it more often. It is so exciting to see and learn about the dolphins and I feel like we need to keep visiting Razz who my granddaughter helped name :)

– Trip Advisor
Enjoyment for a great cause

July 2024 Wonderful experience and for a great purpose. It was three hour tour filled with dolphins, shelling and just being on the water. The captain and marine biologist was filled with great educational info about dolphins and had engagement activities for kids too. Our enjoyment also helps fund the dolphin study for the area so win win for everyone. Definitely would go again!

– Trip Advisor
The Best dolphin tour I've ever experienced

July 2024 This was the best dolphin tour experience I’ve ever been a part of. I took my family on this tour and it was an unforgettable experience. We were fortunate enough to see several dolphins from young to old, male and females, as well as a young manatee on the trip. The highlight was when the dolphins started surfing behind the wake of our boat and were jumping out of the water. We were all in awe of their playful and graceful nature. It was 1000x better than any trip to Sea World as we got to witness their uniqueness in a natural environment.

– Trip Advisor
5 STARS!

June 2024 This was the perfect trip for our family which includes 7 kids ages 5-11. They were pulled in to see and understand the research and were engaged the entire trip. Our tour guide/researcher was super knowledgeable and engaging and patient with the kids. It was much more that just a fun day on a boat. Highly recommend!

– Trip Advisor
Dolphin Explorer a must if you want to see dolphins in their natural habitat

June 2024 The Dolphin Explorer tour is a must if you love dolphins! We saw over 27 dolphins and the scientists know them by name. Fun to see how the dolphins are studied and researched. Informative, fun and interactive! Also stopped for shelling along the way. My family loved this excursion

World Class!

June 2024 The Dolphin Explorer takes sightseeing in the Gulf to a whole new level! This experience goes far above and beyond a simple Dolphin sightseeing adventure. James and Eddie are world class marine biologists and enthusiasts who not only show you the dolphins in the natural environment, but they study each and every dolphin in the Marco Island ecosystem. This trip was extremely educational, as much as it was enjoyable. Highly recommend this amazing experience for adults and kids!

– Trip Advisor
First Class!

May 2024 First class experience! Highly recommended, wonderful insightful tour leads ( marine biologists) , not in the least commercial. A fantastic trip for kids and adults alike. We saw many dolphins in natural environment, and other wildlife! Would revisit.

– Trip Advisor
Mothers Day Treat!

May 2024 We live on Marco and have never been on the Dolphin Explorer and i wanted to go for Mother's Day. It was simply AMAZING. Bob was so informative, and we were so happy that we got to see so many dolphins. Its like they know Bob because they are so happy to see the boat :). We also got to see several groups of stingrays as well as some manatees from the distance. I will encourage my friends and family to do when visiting. Thanks again for such a great time Bob and Captain Ed.

– Trip Advisor
Best Dolphin tour in Marco

May 2024 This is the only dolphin tour you should take. These guys are so passionate about the dolphin community and take the time to show you all of the named dolphins that they have identified by the markings on their fins. They have a binder with pictures of each and when they were born and their offspring. It’s educational and entertaining at the same time. Ask as many questions as you can, they love it. We saw almost 30 dolphins and have great pictures from our tour. Plus you get 1/2 hr of exploring for shells, we went to Tigertail. They also take a picture of your group and give you a print at the end. Thank you for a wonderful trip!

– Trip Advisor
THE BEST DAY EVER (SAID MY FAMILY)

MAY 2024 Absolutely the best experience for my family and I! We saw above average dolphins yesterday! At 18 dolphins! We saw moms with calf’s, we saw 4 to five teen dolphins playing, we saw a dolphin ride our boats wave, we saw plenty of different animals! And when you stop at the beach you get a complimentary picture printed for you and your family! Absolutely will be coming back when we can! For now we can watch from a far on their social media accounts where they have incredible pictures! The instructors/guides were absolutely amazing and knowledgeable on everything dolphin! Our daughter had a blast and got a dolphin patch at the end! 10/10 must do if you go to Marco island!

– TRIP ADVISOR
Great tour!

April 2024 We had a group of 9 and went in the afternoon. Our hosts were not only funny and entertaining, but we also had a great educational experience. We saw several dozen of local dolphins. Bob, James, and Jen were fantastic! Highly recommended.

– Trip Advisor
Exceptional Experience!

April 2024 This tour more than exceeded our expectations from start to finish. Very knowledgeable dolphin scientists on board sharing a wealth of information. Dolphins were treated respectfully, we were there to watch them in their natural habitat and did so without interfering in any way. I appreciated that bc we have been on tours where the anals have been chased and lured with food and I don't like that. Lots of little touches from the company in addition to the multiple dolphin encounters and knowledge shared. Well worth the trip!

– Trip Advisor