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The Dolphin Explorer

MULTI-AWARD WINNING DOLPHIN STUDY / ECOTOUR!

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. WE WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN SAVING A CALF'S LIFE IN APRIL, LOCATED A DISTRESSED WHALE IN JUNE, IN THE LONDON TIMES IN JANUARY, IN NAT GEO TRAVELER MAGAZINE LAST SUMMER! COME SEE WHY! CLICK THE "BOOK NOW" BUTTON TO JOIN US SOON!

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"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

PHENOMENAL experience..A MUST!

Feb 2023 This was an absolutely amazing experience!! Not only were the crew members SO friendly and knowledgeable (made up of a marine biologists and two naturalists), they also made it so interesting and interactive for our kids. Each child was given a pamphlet on dolphins to fill out as well as a binder full of pictures identifying each dolphin by their unique dorsal fin. Our kids loved being “naturalists” and identifying the dolphins! We had over 18 sightings, many of them calves that came right next to the boat. The icing on the cake were the dolphins playing and jumping in our boat’s wake!

– Trip Advisor
Perfect start to exploring Marco Island

Jan 2024 What a fantastic and informative tour about dolphins around Marco Island! We saw 17 different dolphins and learned many new things about this species and their environment. Bob’s passion and peaceful delivery allowed all guest to ask questions. The breadth of his knowledge made us feel like “citizen scientists”. Captain James expertly navigated the waters. He was great a spotting dolphins and was very humble when sharing his insights on the dolphins. This is a must tour when coming to Marco Island.

– Trip Advisor
Great dolphin tour with excellent guides

Nov 2023 Excellent tour with lots of knowledge provided by the tour guides, especially Bob. Very respectful and cautious approach towards the dolphins. We loved the tour, saw many dolphins that sometimes even wanted to play a little! Highly recommended!

– Trip Advisor
A joy of an experience on Marco Island

Dec.2023 A great adventure exploring the river and Gulf around Marco Island! We spotted and watched the activities of 26 dolphins!!! The dolphins were very active riding the waves of the boat and showing off for us with their playful jumps! The staff was awesome from the booking to the end of the trip! Bob is extremely kind and knowledgeable! A great learning experience! A must do when you are visiting Marco Island or near by Naples! 😎🐬🐬

– Trip Advisor
Fun for all

Dec 2023 Such a great time for our family visiting from California. We loved hearing about all of the dolphin stories and learning about each one’s history . It’s a beautiful day fun for all ages!

– Trip Advisor
Put this on your list of things to experience

Dec 2023 We have taken several tours on The Dolphin Explorer now for several years and every time we go we learn something new, see dolphins new and old, and enjoy ourselves even more than the last time. Both Bob the Master Biologist and James the Captain (and also a wildlife expert) are knowledgable, friendly, great with kids and adults alike and make sure each and every passenger on board is having a great time!! I'm already looking forward to our next trip!! It truly is a must see/do for anyone who loves being on the water, loves nature and wildlife and/or loves shelling (yes you even get a half hour at Tigertail Beach to do some shelling!) Two thumbs up! If on Marco Island or nearby Naples make sure to put this on your list of things to do!!

– Trip Advisor
Pullthe trigger...This ecotour is fantastic!

Jan. 2024 I cannot say enough about the wonderful experience we had with the folks at the Dolphin Explorer. I majored in Zoology and one of my true loves is field biology. That being said, James was a plethora of knowledge not just on marine mammals but all marine life and I was fascinated by how much I learned on this 3 hour excursion. The entire crew was great! You will not be disappointed.

– Trip Advisor
Best natural exciting native wildlife tour

Jan 2024 This was the most amazing trip to see dolphins and native wildlife of Florida. We saw at least 20 dolphins, the marine biologist/guide was so knowledgeable. He helped identify each dolphin by name. It was a great trip for families as well. He interacted well with each child. Tge had an activity for them during the trip. The 3 hours went by very slowly. A bonus was the shelling that was available at the end of the trip. We came home with a huge bag of large shells. If you are looking to be educated, while supporting the research just by participating on an adventure. This is the best activity. James was a wonderful guide and incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Eddie our capt. was wonderful at helping to spot and get us as close to the dolphins without interfering or disturbing there habitats and behaviors. I recommend this tour to all ages. Don’t forget your cameras, there are plenty of opportunities for photos

– Trip Advisor
Absolutely amazing experience!

Jan 2024 What a great concept and a great trip! The people who organize and accompany the trip are researchers, and they analyze and document the behavior of the dolphins around Marco Island on every tour they take. They know where to go, they know the dolphins that are sighted and can often even give a history for that dolphin. They explain very well and really also get the children involved to help understand what they do and why they do it and why it is also important for them (the children) to be interested in dolphins. We absolutely loved the trip. We saw many dolphins, even saw them jump, and learned a lot more about their behavior. We'll be back again!

– Trip Advisor