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The Dolphin Explorer

The Finest Dolphin Study / Eco-Tour on Marco Island

IT'S FALL AND THAT MEANS BIRTHING SEASON! ADULT FEMALE NIBBLES GAVE BIRTH TO MURPHY IN SEPTEMBER AND WE JUST SAW MOM DESTINY WITH A NEW CALF, MANGO!! COME JOIN US ON OUR SAFE AND SANITIZED BOAT FOR A FALL ADVENTURE THAT WILL AMAZE AND EDUCATE YOU!!!!! BOOK NOW RIGHT HERE!

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Discovery, exploration, and adventure aboard The Dolphin Explorer!

Get to know our 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

Definitely a Marco Must do

Nov. 2020 We had the most amazing experience! Bob and Captain Eddie were amazing!!!! The amount of passion they put into what they do is absolutely amazing and we are so excited we got to be apart of one day of it!! Will definitely do it again!

– Trip Advisor
Amazing time on the Dolphin Explorer

October 2020 We went on the Dolphin Explorer on Monday, October 19, 2020, at 9 AM. There were 10 of us on board, including the Captain and Bob. Despite the rain, we saw almost 20 different dolphins. Bob was an amazing tour guide - very attentive to all on board. Our time of shelling was great - we helped a little girl on our tour find sand dollars and conch shells. Great time had by all.

– Trip Advisor
Must do experience

October 2020 Awesome experience Eddie and Bob were great, entertaining and knowledgeable. We seen many dolphins definitely worth it.

– Trip Advisor
Must do experience

October 2020 Captain Eddie & Bob check all the boxes !!! Informational and engaging for all ages. After reading all the 5 star reviews they set the bar high. I rate my experiences by would I do this again? My wife and I will certainly book again our only regret was doing it so close to the end of our stay. Thank you both for the adventure and education.

– Trip Advisor
Excellent fun and educational

October 2020 The Dolphin Explorer is a "must do" adventure. Very educational as well as loads of fun. We have taken the trip multiple times and will continue to do so. Every trip is full of new dolphin sightings and adventure. The crew is highly educated and so much fun to be with!! Thank you Captain Bob and crew! You are amazing!!

– Trip Advisor
Spectacular experience!

Oct 2020 Wonderful educational and entertaining experience for the family! Saw dolphins, manatee, birds of all description, collected shells and sand dollars. Highly recommend trip for everyone, but especially families. Captain and the crew were very knowledgeable.

– Trip Advisor
Angels of the SEA

Sept 2020 Captain Bob and Captain Eddie do not disappoint! Not only did we see 17 dolphins in one morning, but we learned about the ecology and the habits of the dolphins in their habitat. Bob shared his research with us, and took the time to show us the different markings / identifications of the dolphins. This is a MUST for anyone who wants to spend time in beautiful nature, learn something new, and have a friendly and professional Captain leading the way. This was my birthday present from my mom - and I was happy! Definitely recommend!

– Trip Advisor
A Quality Experience- Every time!

Sept. 2020 Every time I come to Marco Island I try to book a trip with Dolphin Explorer and they never fail to provide a quality experience. They provide all the fun of any dolphin watching experience, with the added benefit of learning more about the individual animals you are observing and their history in the area and family relationships. The new boat offers plenty of space for social distancing while still having great viewing vantage points

– Trip Advisor
A must see experience!

Aug 2020 This was one of a kind experience , we got to see at least 10 dolphins and know their names. Bob and Eddie were an amazing team very knowledgeable and explained everything related to wild life, dolphins and even the specific areas that were around all Marco island . The boat was extremely clean and sanitized prior to sailing. We took our daughter and she was thrilled to be participating in an activity for children to know about dolphins 🐬. Again an unbelievably amazing tour! Will definitely do it again. BOB AND EDDIE ARE THE BEST !!! Thank you for this memorable experience

– Trip Advisor
Amazing!

AUG 2020 We had an amazing trip with Captain Eddie and Bob. Our 7 year old daughter loved it and so did we! We saw around 14-15 dolphins up close and 2 manatees! The free picture was such nice quality. Captain Eddie and Bob were great at pointing out wildlife and we learned a lot. Bob was great with the kids and she even got a badge! We definitely recommend this

– Trip Advisor
Perfect!

AUG 2020 I highly recommend this for all ages! It was an amazing experience! Bob and the captain were wonderful! We will never forget this great day! I can’t wait to start a new tradition when my grandson is born. We will bring him on a trip to go on The Dolphin Explorer every year. Thank you so much for a wonderful experience!!!

– Trip Advisor
Great time with the family

AUG 2020 We counted 15 total dolphins that we saw, and 5 or so that we could fully identify in the book of their recorded dolphins. The captain and Bob were very friendly and very informative. The interaction with the kids was awesome as well. They took us to an island where we were given a shell bag and took a family picture for free! Great experience for the family.

– Trip Advisor
Couldn't ask for a better tour

August 2020 We saw a group of 8 dolphins playing. Then they followed and jumped the wake from our boat. Naturalists Bob and Captain Eddie were excellent making sure we knew where to look and what we were seeing, i.e. mud flats, Ospreys, dolphins, and various other birds. Very educational as well as entertaining. We learned so much about the dolphins in this area and how to identify individual dolphins. I highly recommend this tour.

– Trip Advisor
Fabulous experience

August 2020 We had a wonderful time with our family. Bob, the naturalist, was very knowledgeable and hospitable. The boat was super clean, shaded, and large enough for social distancing. We saw lots of dolphins and stopped for shelling. The kids were engaged the entire time. They received a cute badge when we were finished for filling out their book provided at the start of the tour. This is a “must do” when in Naples or Marco Island.

– Trip Advisor
Amazing

August 2020 Definitely one of the best tours i’ve ever taken, we saw almost 20 different dolphins. Everyone was super attentive and great and over all. I really recommend it!

– Trip Advisor
Dolphin trip fantastic

August 2020 We have taken this cruise four times once each year with Captain Bob. It’s truly the best cruise. You see plenty of dolphins as well as other animals an birds. They make the experience interesting for the adults and fun for the kids. Everyone really has a great time. Very very friendly crew!!! Great new boat and very clean and sanitary.

– Trip Advisor
Fantastic Excursion

July 2020 We were on a family vacation visiting from Texas and this excursion was amazing! We saw about 15 different dolphins up close and jumping behind the boat. The tour was lead by a great Captain and naturalist. It's one of the best wildlife experiences we've been on. I highly recommend and we will be back each time we vacation here in Marco Island.

– Trip Advisor
Family fun with the dolphins

July 2020 What a great experience we had with the Dolphin Explorer during the 4th of July weekend. Captain Eddy and Naturalist Hailey were an amazing duo. It was Hailey's first time by herself and she did great. They made all the passengers feel welcomed, answered all questions, and had many fun facts for us. The boat stopped by the northern part of Tigertail Island for 30 minutes of shelling. Hailey was able to help us identify over twenty dolphins by their dorsel fins. Captain Eddy was able to have many dolphins play with us and wave hop. It truly was a fun and great experience. We look forward to our next visit to Marco Island and another tour with the Dolphin Explorer.

– Trip Advisor
Dolphin Explorer Tour 2020

July 2020 The tour guides Hailey and Eddie were fantastic. Very knowledgeable.. Loved this tour as they are studying the groups of dolphins that live in that area keeping track of new births and family groups.. Educational but fun at the same time. Those 12 and under are encouraged to find different things on the tour and are given a badge at the end of the tour.. You are also given a chance to shell on Tigertsil Beach. Highly recommend this tour.

A dolphin lover's dream come true!

July 2020 This was a great family trip! Kids (13,12,11, 8) and adults enjoyed it tremendously. The staff was very friendly and they knew right where the dolphins were. We saw 14 different dolphins and were able to get up very close and personal with a few! Highly recommend

– Trip Advisor
Eight thumbs up...Way up!

July 2020 My daughter and my twin 5.5 yr old granddaughters took the Dolphin Explorer and absolutely loved it. It’s interactive, interesting and eight dolphins were identified. We loved shelling at Tigertail and the fabulous pictures given to us were a big bonus. Eight thumbs up....way up!

– Trip Advisor
Great family experience

July 2020 The Dolphin Explorer was a great experience for the whole family! The boys loved learning about dolphins, collecting seashells and earning their badges.

– Trip Advisor
This tour does not disappoint!

June 2020 We took the morning tour and had a wonderful time. Bob and Eddy were super knowledgeable and very nice to everyone on board. The area we covered was very interesting and we saw our share of dolphins thanks to the crew. Bob took a lot of great pictures and even printed sets for all the families on board which was a very nice extra free of charge. It was very hot that day and the free water was another great extra. I would recommend this tour to everyone visiting Marco Island!

– Trip Advisor
Enjoyable and educational tour!

June 2020 We enjoyed a wonderful Sunday morning with Bob and Captain Eddie— it’s always fun to go dolphin spotting but Bob’s great knowledge of the local bottlenose and showing us how to identify the individuals made it one of a kind.Our little boy loved participating in the research to earn his explorer badge almost as much as seeing the dolphins! The stop on the beach has fantastic shelling and the souvenir pictures of our family was the icing on the cake. Great family outing— highly recommended!

– Trip Advisor
The Marco Island Dolphin Explorer is not just for kids

MAY 2020 The Dolphin Explorer is located at Rosa Marina on Marco Island, FL. They do over 590 tours annually and are extremely knowledge of the area, marine life and wildlife. The crew that chartered our tour knew each dolphin spotted by name. We all learned so much about dolphins...but never knew that dolphins dorsal fins are all different and is their unique identifier. This allows the crew to name each and every dolphin they come in contact with, track them and see what wildlife patterns they have. Trust me they have books on 100+ dolphins identified along with the names given to them. We even spotted a dolphin that was new to the area and were able to name them Welcome, Jonadon to Marco! Our tour was for three hours and we spotted 25 dolphins! Some racing along side of the boat. Others jumping through the waves of the wake. Adults and the kids all screamed in excitement each time a dolphin was spotted. We spotted many sets of mother and baby. The big excitement was three generations of a grandmother, mother and baby. The children did a dolphin challenge and received a dolphin explorer badge at the end of the day. The crew is extremely knowledgeable about dolphins, the area which we traveled and wildlife. Your guides include a captain and first mate who made you feel like you knew them for years. The boat was equipped with a restroom, half of the boat has a canopy. They also provide bottled water, cooler, and shelling bags. The area visited was the ten thousand islands, Keewaydin Island, Everglade City and Barrier Beach. This is where we went shelling and swimming for about a half hour. Thank you Captain Eddie, Bob and Rose. Rose just graduated majoring in Marine Biology and will be working with the crew on the boat soon. No wonder this is a National Geographic approve tour! Booking Tip: gather your close family and friends together and book the boat as a private tour. The 1 pm tour was our choice as it worked out best for the families with children.

– Trip Advisor
Great Experience

MAR 2020 My entire family (boys 4 & 7) really enjoyed the experience. They both took in a lot of knowledge and really enjoyed seeing the dolphins (tons of close sightings of playful dolphins). Guides were very knowledgeable and great with kid questions. Shelling at Tigertail was a fun extra.

– Trip Advisor
Really excellent experience!

MARCH 2020 We were a group of seven adults and a two-year-old and five-year-old. I can honestly say that everybody really enjoyed this experience. We were able to see many dolphins and several schools of rays. The crew is super knowledgeable and intent on making sure that you get to see wildlife. Osprey feeding their young. Dolphins Darting behind the boat. The kids couldn’t get enough picking up seashells. To top it all off at the end of the cruise you have a very nice family picture as well as some expert shots of the dolphins that you had seen taken by the crew.. Really excellent. This is a super family experience.

– Trip Advisor
Best tour for families

MARCH 2020 What a fun tour for our entire family! We saw so many dolphins, they swam right up to our boat! Captain Bob was AMAZING! And the shelling was very cool; so many unique shells we were able to bring home! Highly recommend!

– Trip Advisor
Wonderful trip

MAR 2020 Both captain and naturalist so knowledgeable. Cant believe we saw so many dolphins all catalogued by their dorsal fins.

– Trip Advisor
Loved this learning tour

MAR 2020 Our family loved this boat tour. We were so close to all the dolphin we saw. Mama dolphins with their babies and groups of dolphins jumping out of the water. The boat ride was comfortable and relaxing, the dolphin viewing was exceptional. Definitely recommend this to others and would take this tour again.

The hours flew by

MAR 2020 Two of us, both senior citizens, went on this three hour adventure. Our guide was great. Imagine recognizing and being able to recognize dolphins by sight! Great day!

– Trip Advisor
Fantastic educational tour focusing on dolphin

FEB 2020 Highly recommend this tour to all ages. There were some kids on the boat that were truly engaged in searching for dolphins and seemed to enjoy every minute of the trip. My husband and I were in a party of 3 couples and all of us agreed the trip was extremely well done and very educational, not to mention we enjoyed the boat ride through the Marco waters. We all were given a very professionally done photo of our group at the conclusion of the tour which was included at no additional cost. Very nice touch.

– Trip Advisor