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The Dolphin Explorer

The Finest Dolphin Study / Eco-Tour on Marco Island


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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

Entertaining, Educational, Informative and FUN

Aug 2021 The crew of the Dolphin Explorer was knowledgeable, kind, and informative as soon as we set sail! Captain Eddie made sure to throw out some jokes and some facts to keep young and old alike enjoying the 3 hour tour. We were able to track several dolphins and even spotted a manatee. A job well done for the crew of the Dolphin Explorer! Definitely glad it was on our list while visiting Marco Island!

– Trip Advisor
Dolphin Cruise

Aug 2021 The excursion was great! Lots of dolphin sightings and a very knowledgeable crew that provided great insight. Definitely recommend if you are in Marco Island!

– Trip Advisor
Great explanations

Aug. 2021 We took the tour and it was wonderful. We saw lots of dolphins and the explanations offered by Bob were great. I would do this any time again.

– Trip Advisor
Up close and personal

August 2021 The crew is knowledgeable and positive from the first interaction through the last. The three-hour excursion seemed to last much longer, in a good way. We saw at least 10 different dolphins and got up-close and personal with several who jumped repeatedly in tandem not more than 10 feet from the boat for several minutes—long enough to catch both great photos and great videos. My mom is 77, and seeing dolphins up close in the wild was not only the adventure highlight of her visit but a first for her, even at her age. The 30 minute shelling stop did not feel rushed; and we found so many shells that we couldn't haul them all and had to discard some great shells in favor of even better ones. Well worth the time and money.

– Trip Advisor
Best boat dolphin experience - A must do in Marco Island

July 2021 Best boat tour dolphin experience we've ever had. If you love dolphins and are going to Marco Island you have to take this tour. We were amazed at the number of dolphin sightings. It was incredible to see the dolphins would jump in the wake of the boat. You can tell Captain Eddie and Kristin genuinely love what they do and sharing it with others. Our kids are older but for the younger ones they had fun activities to keep them interested. Boat is super clean and modern with plenty of shade. Before we knew it the 3 hour tour was over. What a great experience, thanks again captain Eddie and Kristin.

– Trip Advisor
MI Dolphin Adventure

July 2021 What a wonderful adventure! My favorite part of the experience was the knowledge of Captain Eddie and Master Naturalist Bob McConville. They were able to identify and show us the youngest and the oldest dolphins among many others. they do not directly interact with the dolphin in any way and leave them to do what is natural behavior for the dolphins. The dolphins trust them and come around the boat playfully.. this is an excellent experience for children who have a love of the outdoors and nature. Adults too!

– Trip Advisor
Marco Island Adventures

July 2021 Absolutely phenomenal! Naturalist Bob was fantastic! He really got the kids engaged in looking for the dolphins and we saw so many of them!! Captain Eddie was great at telling us where to look for dolphins and manatees! Both men were super knowledgeable and kind! Highly recommend this tour!!! 😊

– Trip Advisor
Awesome experience

June 2021 Great experience! We really enjoyed ourselves! One of the highlights of our trip! The whole experience from beginning to end was amazing! Bob and Captain Eddie were awesome and we learned so much from them! We saw dolphins in their natural habitat up close and personal and the shelling experience was amazing as well!

– Trip Advisor

June 2021 Excellent Tour. Exceeded expectations. Boat was very clean and was equipped with a canopy overhead. Always a great experience to go on a boat with an excellent Captain as Captain Eddy and Bob They know the waterways of the back water and of the Gulf. We had our two grandchildren with us (8 & 5) and they loved the experience. Could not stop talking about it. The kids enjoyed getting involved with the Dolphin Book trying to identify the Different Dolphins. Each of them have a name. Bob surely interacted with them and kept their interest. We spotted 20 Dolphins, 3 Manatees, various Birds and plants. We then went on a shelling excursion at Tiger Tail beach. We were lucky enough to spend time with a few folks from the Audubon society to allow us to look through their high power lens to watch baby Skimmers. Had to be thousands of birds. We will does this tour again in the fall when the Dolphins give birth to their calves, Thank you Captain Ed and Bob, and of course the Dolphins

– Trip Advisor
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