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.

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

Great Trip!!

AUGUST 2019 We saw dolphins, manatees, birds, dolphins, dolphins, and dolphins Oh My! Kids had a great time. Fun activities for the kids to make them feel like explorers

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Beautiful, Educational and Fun!

July 2019 We caught an afternoon tour and enjoyed the best part of 3 hours observing, engaging with and learning about the wildlife of the local area. We had a group of 10 people so were spoiled by our access to the hosts and their wealth of knowledge. Some groups can be up to 40 or so in size so I would check locally when you are there what the quiet tours are likely to be. Id say you can book very near to the time you want to take the tour, or you certainly can in July time. The wildlife principally comprised of Dolphins who were engaging and playful. We were told almost every single tour gets dolphins around it so you should have success if this is your goal. We certainly did, several times for 10-20 mins each time, so I can believe the success they claim

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Captain Bob is AWESOME!

JULY 2019 This trip is an absolute must if you are anywhere near the Naples area of Miami saw so many dolphins all of which we were told the life story of by the amazing Captain Bob and Captain Mike truly a trip of a lifetime - shell picking of the beach made the trip extra special if I could give this trip five stars I would.

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A Brilliant Trip

JULY 2019 A group of six of us - grandparents, parents and teens. We joined the Dolphin Explorer yesterday and had the most wonderful afternoon seeing dolphins and also a rare treat of some manatee. A spectacular trip on a boat which had great sun shelter and plenty of water available. (There was also a nice clean loo!). Our guide and captain were brilliant - so much knowledge. Plenty of space on the boat for everyone to see. Our stop off to swim and collect shells was very relaxed. We were given printed photos of the dolphins and manatee that we had seen as well as a photo of our group. Lovely little touches that made a difference. Thanks we had a wonderful time and would do it again.

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FAMILY HOLIDAY

JULY 2019 This was a trip for my wife’s Birthday during our family holiday to Marco Island, Bob and Eddie were great and were very knowledgeable. We managed to see over 18 different Dolphins including some young. Apart from the weather, bit cloudy and wet( not Bob and Eddie’s fault) all 8 of us had a really great time. Totally recommend this trip

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Great morning, learning,exploring nd discovering

JUNE 2019 Go for a great boat ride on their new super wide spacious boat with Capt Eddie and Bob. You will learn how to identify the dolphins in the area. They have the dolphins documented and study them by their dorsal fin markings. It’s a lot of fun. Children are provided a clip board and a fun activity to track all wildlife. At the end, it’s discussed and kids receive a patch as a keepsake. There is a head on board, plenty of shaded areas and water bottles available for all. Bring your towel, wear your bathing suit, sunglasses, flip flops and and adventurous attitude for a great morning on Marco Island .

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Wonderful!

JUNE 2019 This was our second year in a row touring with The Dolphin Explorer. They are very knowledgeable of the Dolphins, Water Ways and Birds. They have the children get involved with their own books to keep track of all Dolphins and Birds that are spotted. They take a pit stop on a secluded island to go shelling! At the end, you get a photo of your group and of the Dolphins. I would highly recommend this tour when you visit Marco Island!

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Amazing !

JUNE 2019 We loved our cruise . This was our 3rd time out with Dolphin Explorers and we’ll be back. The kids loved being a part of the cruise and study of the dolphins. I enjoyed all of the knowledge that Kent and the Captain had of the dolphins and water.

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Totally worth it!

JUNE 2019 My wife and I are always looking for something to do with our 2 children which can be tricky with a 16 and 14 year old, but this the perfect choice. Mike, the captain, and Kent, the naturalist, were the two gentlemen who took care of us today. They were super friendly and very knowledgeable. We saw more than our share of dolphins, various birds and had a cool shelling experience on the beach. Well worth it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Fun and Educational!

JUNE 2019 This is a great family tour!! The naturalist interacts with kids very well and treats them like scientists and students!! We got to see a lot of dolphins and the amount of time shelling was just perfect. I would highly recommend this to anyone with kids under 12!!!!

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Dolphins and Shells!

JUNE 2019 Great experience! We saw many dolphins, manatees and other wildlife. We also learned a lot of interesting information and facts. Tranquil boat ride with a lot of activity for the kids. We also stopped at an island for shelling. The best shells I have ever found!

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Worth the cost!

JUNE 2019 We went on the Eco-tour with a group of 12. Ages 6-45. We all had a great time and BONUS, we learned a ton. This was my second time on the tour. This time was on a new BIG, covered boat (which is great with the FL sun). Part is uncovered so you can be in the sun if you want. We saw at least 10 dolphin and a manatee. Guides were great and full of stories and information. Highly recommend!

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Always something to see for young and old!

MAY 2019 We went on the Eco-tour with a group of 12. Ages 6-45. We all had a great time and BONUS, we learned a ton. This was my second time on the tour. This time was on a new BIG, covered boat (which is great with the FL sun). Part is uncovered so you can be in the sun if you want. We saw at least 10 dolphin and a manatee. Guides were great and full of stories and information. Highly recommend!

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Wonderful Fun and Educational Experience

MAY 2019 We have taken the Dolphin Explorer over 6 times and each time it is one of the best activities we do on Marco Island. Bob and Captain Mike are terrific and each viisit we have seen multiple dolphins, both babies , mothers and " teenage " dolphins. The crew and naturalists on the Dolphin Explore have extensive knowledge about the doiphins and wildlife in the area. It is a great treat when the dolphins decide to play in the wake of the boat. Ww will be back again .

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BEST day ever!

MAY 2019 We had a great day Bob was fantastic not only with his knowledge but encouraging the children to be dolphin explorers, so much so my daughter now wants to become a marine biologist (she's 9!) I can not reccomend this trip highly enough, captain Eddie was determined for us to find dolphins and that we did. We came across a dolphin family reunion and Eddie managed to get the dolphins to play with the boat we had around 8 dolphins playing in the boats wake which was just awesome to see. We then landed at the barrier island which was beautiful and we found lots of beautiful shells including a sand dollar. I think it's modestly price for the experience you have

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The Best Experience out there !

MAY 2019 If there is one experience to do in Marco this is it. Bob is the most knowledgeable out there. Mike was a great captain! We saw dolphins, manatees, birds, and more. The new boat is amazing! So roomy and a lot of shade. You learn so much about the dolphins and really feel special on this tour. I recommend this to everyone. It is fun and educational.

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5- STAR Family Outing

MAY 2019 Bob the naturalist and Captain Mike couldn’t have been better hosts. Bob has an intimate knowledge of area dolphins & shorebirds, & he engaged both children and adults alike in appreciating Marco’s wildlife. Captain Mike provided safety info before the trip and piloted the comfortable boat like a pro.

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A FANTASTIC family experience!

MAY 2019 My husband, our three children (11, 12, & 14), and I went on the 3-hour dolphin explorer tour, and the experience was wonderful! We saw 12 dolphins, a bald eagle, a lot of different birds, a manatee, and (almost) a sea turtle (it dove underwater - some folks got to see it swimming there and others missed it). My family was thrilled about seeing all of the different animals, and Bob, the very knowledgeable naturalist, thoughtfully engaged each person on the boat to answer questions, describe the animals we were seeing and how he identified them. The captain, the new tour boat, the knowledgable and kind naturalist, beautiful sunny day, as well as the cooperating animals made it a trip that we will always remember!

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Fabulous time!

MAY 2019 It was a lovely day on the water. The captain and guide were very informative and friendly. We saw outs of birds, and the dolphin were very active that day. It was a nice ride with just enough teaching and we all enjoyed it. They gave us some lovely photos and a nice shell bag.

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They know their dolphins!

MAY 2019 Had Bob as our guide and Eddie as our captain and they found the dolphins. We saw a total of 21 different dolphins and they were playing with each other, jumping and went for a ride with us a couple of times. Had a great time and got some great photos

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Great trip!

MAY 2019 We had a great time on this adventure. We got to see lots of dolphins and birds and even a manatee who was hanging around the boat while we were at the island looking for shells. The men on this boat seemed very knowledgeable and were very informative. I would definitely recommend taking this trip! Show less

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A MUST DO if visiting Marco Island

MAY 2019 We booked an evening tour but due to lack of numbers we were asked to move to the afternoon trip, no problems for us and what an amazing experience. Our hosts for the day were Bob the highly knowledgeable entertainer and Eddie at the tiller...both in their own way contributed to proving a never forget experience. Within seemingly minutes we were being enthralled by dolphins who seem to revel in putting on a show for us, the captive and awe struck audience; this continued unabated for the best part of 3 hours...Bob's intimate knowledge of every dolphin contributed to an extraordinarily experience. So, if you want a trip of alifetime, are inspired by viewing wildlife in there natural habitat then head off to see Bob at Dolphin Experience...you won't be disappointed.

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Wonderful!

April 2019 Our guide was so knowledgeable! He knew each dolphin we saw and even the dolphins we saw the day before (I showed him pics of the fins). We even saw a manatee! I would recommend this trip for young and old alike!

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Spotting friendly dolphins

APRIL 2019 An excellent 3-hour tour through the mangrove, we spotted several dolphins in their natural environment, some playing in the boat's traces and passing close to us. We had a very knowledgeable and attentive guide Kent. Our pilot Michael was very flexible to move the boat closer and safely to the dolphins the passengers spotted. Nice stop on a small island full of shells. We collected some very nice ones to take home. And enjoyed a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Many thanks to Kent & Michael!

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Great time!

APRIL 2019 I took my daughter and her fiancé!! We had a blast!! Saw quite a few dolphins. Watching them frolicking in the boats wake was just AWESOME!! Stopped at an island to go shelling . Found: horseshoe crab, sand dollar, and more shells than I need!!! Lol. GREAT time for all ages.

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SO MUCH JOY

APRIL 2019 Seeing Dolphins having fun without any pressure. Beats every depression or bad mood. Lovely Nice staff did the rest: we kept smiling. Thanks.

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DOLPHIN TOUR

APRIL 2019 Naturalist Bob and Captain Mike were great. We saw lots of dolphins including babies.. Would highly recommend this tour. I have been on it multiple towns and it has always been great.

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FUN AND EDUCATIONAL TOUR

APRIL 2019 This tour exceeded expectations. It could have been hokey, but the naturalist and skipper were engaging (to all ages), informative, flexible, funny, and attentive. We enjoyed it as much as our eight year old grandson! Never boring, we learned a lot and had a good time. We saw 18 different dolphins, most close up. We’ll do it again next year.

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GREAT EXPERIENCE

APRIL 2019 Terrific tour, very educational and fun for all ages. Highly recommend for families with children 3-10.

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DOLPHIN TOUR

April 2019 Captain Eddie and Naturalist Bob were our tour guides this morning. They were terrific. We saw 3x the average number of dolphins during our 3 hour tour. The kids loved it. We loved. You should go!

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GREAT FAMILY ADVENTURE

APRIL 2019 Well worth the price for a family outing to get out on a boat, see dolphins, shell, and enjoy nature. The guide and captain were very knowledgeable and very good with all the kids on the boat. I would highly recommend. We will definitely do this again when down in Marco!!!

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Fantastic time

APRIL 2019 We had a fantastic trip, as well as seeing lots of dolphins we got up close to a manatee! Shelling stop at the tip of tigertail beach, a very informative & fun afternoon, we will definitely book this again with family in the future

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Wonderful

APRIL 2019 It was thrilling, entertaining and a great learning experience. I have been on other nice dolphin viewing trips, but this was by far the best. The tour leader was very knowledgeable and the boat captain knew just where to find the dolphins. I highly recommend this educational trip!

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Super Awesome Excursion

APRIL 2019 We actually booked a 5pm evening excursion the same day and we were extremely impressed with the crew. The boat was clean, the instructions were easy to follow. The crew had wonderful books on the dolphins and our younger kids were able to earn a patch based on a short and informative quiz. We saw over 15 dolphins and the Captain was able to get 2 of the large males to jump in the wake. The stop on Tiger Tail Beach was just the right length. We found sand dollars and other shells. We also saw quite a few live creatures like starfish and lightning welk shells that were occupied. Of course we left these in the ocean. The sunset was spectacular. This was one of the best excursions we’ve ever experienced!!

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Fantastic!

APRIL 2019 This was a fabulous trip with 2 very knowledgeable staff who taught us about the wildlife in the area. We saw so many dolphins and identified them (this kept my 11 year old daughter entertained!). We came home with quite a few photos printed off on the boat of the dolphins/ospreys we’d seen and a lovely badge for our daughter. Highly recommended!

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Must do activity on Marco Island

APRIL 2019 Booked this trip for 2 adults for early April and had a FANTASTIC time with Captain Mike and our nature guide Bob! We saw multiple dolphins, including a mom and baby, before we had even been out of the marina for 5 minutes. Mike and Bob both were very friendly and knowledgable about the local wildlife. We even got to see several dolphins, including some babies, playing in the wake of our boat as we were wrapping up! So awesome. Definitely a must-do activity for kids and adults alike visiting the Marco Island area!

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An afternoon on the Dolphin Explorer

APRIL 2019 What a brilliant afternoon on the Dolphin Explorer with naturalistic Bob and Captain Mike ! Both Bob and Mike were superb, both so knowledgeable and ensured we saw as much as we could - lots of dolphins, ospreys and wading birds. I can’t recommend this trip highly enough, we all learnt so much and had a great time.

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Sunset cruise was fantastic. The staff was incredibly informative and thoughtful.They gave us photos too!

APRIL 2019 Bring your camera. The staff will also give you photos of the dolphins we see. We saw at least 9 different dolphins. The staff were very informative and courteous. We ended up at Tigertail Beach for sunset and seashell exploring. Wonderful experience. Would highly recommend this 3 hour experience.

– Trip Advisor