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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

Great experience

May 2021 Captain Eddie and Bob led a great tour! We were able to see 13 dolphins. Stopping at Tiger Tail Beach for shelling was also a nice way to finish off the tour.

– Trip Advisor
Best dolphin boat ride

May 2021 This is the best dolphin ride you can find on Marco Island!! It was extremely informative and you can see the passion in the crews eyes as they talked about the dolphins along the way! I have done this ride twice now and I will definitely be doing it again in the future

– Trip Advisor
Always a highlight

April 2021 We have taken this tour about a half dozen times. Each time is a bit different experience but well worth a return. They are very knowledgeable about the dolphins and have even named them. You will learn about dolphins and enjoy watching them. It's a great tour for all ages. Well worth the money.

– Trip Advisor
LOVE LOVE LOVE this trip!

April 2021 Went out with Capt. Eddie and Naturalist Bob and had a wonderful time. Bob is so awesome with kids AND adults and we saw plenty of dolphins plus a group of 8 manatees and a loggerhead turtle. Just can't beat this and if you're hesitiant because of the cost, don't be. It's worth every penny! Believe the reviews.

– Trip Advisor
Awesome time had by all

April 2021 We had a great time! Haley and Eddie were amazing! They were very personable and Hailey has the best personality! We saw about 13 dolphins and found some beautiful shells! Thank you for a great trip!

– Trip Advisor
Best day of our vacation week!

April 2021 Our favorite dolphin site was a mom and a 3-month old calf swimming close to the Sand Dollar Spit Island, where we docked for about 40 minutes to collect shells during the cruise. We saw 19 different "named" dolphins and several more (total of about 22) that might have just been "visiting" the area for a few days, according to our excellent hosts, Bob and Captain Eddie during our 3-hour cruise. Both of our hosts were knowledgeable and friendly and yet not intrusive with conversation. We couldn't have had a better pair! We would do this cruise again next time we visit and would certainly recommend it to anyone we know who might be making a trip to Marco Island! It was the best and our most fun day of vacationing in the area! I've found what I want to do for a profession when I retire now - :)

– Trip Advisor
Awesome tour with a fantastic team

April 2021 Capt Eddie and Haily were exceptional, we saw well over 20 dolphins many up close to the boat including, two young dolphins ( only a few months old) it was the highlight of our family vacation!

– Trip Advisor
Saw plenty of dolphins

April 2021 We had a great time. Captain Eddie and Bob were great hosts. Not only did we see 23 unique dolphins, but they also educated us about dolphins and provided books to identify the dolphins by name based on the marks on their dorsal fins. The stop on tiger tail beach is a nice destination and we found a few sand dollars. We also saw lots of Osprey and Pelicans. We plan to come back again with our kids. They provide workbooks for the kids to fill out during the tour, checking off the animals they identify and see.

– Trip Advisor
Best 3 hours

April 2021 Friendly, knowledgeable and pure joy of being so close to the Dolphins. It was the highlight of our vacation.

– Trip Advisor
Dolphins in the bay!

April 2021This was an incredible experience. The boat was shaded and social distancing was possible at all times. The Captain Ed and guide Bob were extremely professional and knowledgeable. We saw loads of dolphins and baby ones too. They played and jumped around the boat. You also get to dock for about an hour on a small island and do some shelling and swimming. I’m definitely going again.2021

– Trip Advisor
The best tour of our trip!

April 2021 We could not recommend this tour more. It was fabulous! We saw 9 different dolphins multiple times. They love following the boat when we went super fast. The guide and captain were excellent. great for kids of all ages. The boat was large and very clean with a restroom.

– Trip Advisor
The real deal!

April 2021 Our trip was OVER THE MOON! This was my 4th trip with dolphin explorer. We saw 8 different dolphins, including Avery and her 6 month old calf, Stefan. They jumped our wake for a good while. Also saw a manatee and some sting rays!! Plus lots of shells on sand dollar spit! A must do trip when visiting Marco😎

– Trip Advisor
Amazing,educational and fun for all ages

April 2021 We went out on 4/3 with Captain Jason and naturalist Bob. They were great. Very informative on the area and wildlife. We saw 25+ dolphins, a manatee, loggerhead turtle, bald eagles, osprey and more. They really cater to getting kids involved as scientists. We loved our whole experience and will definitely do this again. We were locals and visitors in our group and even the locals learned some things! Highly recommend!

– Trip Advisor