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South Carolina Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended South Carolina Dolphin & whale watching

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Cruise & Nature Tour

1. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Cruise & Nature Tour

Set sail on a 14 passenger boat cruise in the surrounding waters of Hilton Head Island and encounter bottlenose dolphins and other coastal species such as osprey, egrets, pelicans, bald eagles, a variety of shorebirds, and more. Get scenic views of Broad Creek and admire the private residential homes in Long Cove, Wexford Lock System, and Spanish Wells Plantations. See famous attractions including the Harbor Town Lighthouse, Daufuskie Island, the Atlantic Ocean, Tybee Island, and the Savannah River Bridge.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Watching Guided Tour by Boat

2. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Watching Guided Tour by Boat

Take in the beauty of Hilton Head from the perspective of the water on a fully narrated boat tour. Delight in up-close encounters with dolphins, and find out about their habits, eating patterns, and more with a local guide. As you explore the island's waterways, learn about the history of the area and the surrounding islands from your guide's narration. Hear about oysters, spartina grass, tides, pluff mud, and more. As well as dolphins, keep on the lookout for other wildlife including pelicans, osprey, stingrays, herons, turtles, and more which may be seen along the way.

Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

3. Charleston: Daytime or Sunset Historic Harbor Cruise

Cruise through the Charleston Harbor on an old-fashioned 1920s-Bay-Steamer-replica yacht. Enjoy live narration from the captain and purchase treats from a fully-stocked drink and snack bar. See the Civil and Revolutionary war sights and keep an eye out for dolphins. Relax in the enclosed observatory or on the partially-covered upper deck. Listen carefully as your captain guides you on a journey through more than 300 years of American history. You’ll pass by 75 landmarks and points-of-interest on this 20-mile trip. Get close-up views of the “Holy City,” including Fort Sumter - where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Glide past Confederate and Union army forts and see the famous “Fighting Lady” of World War II. Pass by remnants of the Civil and Revolutionary wars and look for local wildlife like dolphins and pelicans splashing nearby. Choose between indoor or outdoor seating.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

4. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

Take a sightseeing cruise to explore the incredible nature around Hilton Head Island and the surrounding waterways. Hear about the island’s history from your expert crew as you search for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Admire the coastal landscape as you learn about the lifecycle of these mammals. Discover why this region is the perfect place for dolphins to settle. With sightings guaranteed, this tour is sure to be a highlight of your vacation.

Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

5. Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Discover the incredible wildlife of Hilton Head Island with a dolphin spotting cruise at sunset. Search for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in open water before watching the sunset on Daufuskie Island. Sail towards the open ocean in search of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins on an amazing sightseeing cruise. Dolphin sightings are guaranteed on this cruise. After seeing these animals in open water, travel to Daufuskie Island and up Bull Creek to Dolphin Hole to watch the setting sun. Admire the incredible landscape of salt estuaries at sunset. Listen to live commentary from your expert captain, and ask the crew any questions you might have. Beer, wine, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase throughout the trip.

Hilton Head Island: 1.5-Hour Guided Small-Group Kayak Tour

6. Hilton Head Island: 1.5-Hour Guided Small-Group Kayak Tour

Learn about the rich history and diverse ecosystem of Hilton Head Island from an expert guide as you paddle on this 1.5-hour kayak tour. As you cruise through these pristine saltwater marshlands, your guide will tell you about spartina grass/cordgrass, oysters, and other local wildlife, while answering any questions you may have. Enjoy the opportunity to observe many indigenous bird species, including egrets, herons, ospreys, brown pelicans, and bald eagles. Also, make sure to keep an eye out for the beloved Atlantic bottlenose dolphins swimming playfully. Benefit from a small-group experience for up to 10 people.

Hilton Head Island: 75-Minute Jet Ski Tour

7. Hilton Head Island: 75-Minute Jet Ski Tour

Discover Hilton Head on a thrilling 75-minute jet ski adventure. Depart from Palmetto Bay Marina`with your guide and cruise past beautiful mansions, spartina grass, oyster beds, and luxury boats on the way to the large open riding area. Once in the designated area, let loose and zoom around on your very own jet ski or simply take in the beautiful surroundings. Try to spot some of Hilton Head's wildlife including dolphins, birds, and the occasional sea turtle.

Folly Island: Guided Dolphin Boat Tour in Folly Beach

8. Folly Island: Guided Dolphin Boat Tour in Folly Beach

Step onboard and explore the amazing coast behind Folly beach. Be amazed while you watch the local wildlife, especially the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that populate the area year-round. You can choose between the boat tour in the morning or the sunset boat cruise. Your experienced captain will share their knowledge about the beautiful ecosystem and local history of Folly Beach. Hear about the famous dolphins as you safely cruise on your boat while respecting the wildlife. Also be on the lookout for strand feeding, a dolphin hunting technique that is unique to this part of the world. Strand feeding is usually seen from July to September. Explore the backwaters and navigate to the historic Morris Island, where you can hunt for fossils, seashells, and sand dollars. Join this signature dolphin tour for an experience you’re not likely to forget.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Tour at Sunset & Fireworks Show

9. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Tour at Sunset & Fireworks Show

Discover the wonders of Hilton Head Island on a guided cruise. Spot resident bottlenose dolphins playing in the water and learn about the landmarks you pass, including the Harbour Town Lighthouse. Enjoy a memorable sunset and fireworks show. Once you've met your group at the meeting point, travel first around the Hilton Head coast and take in stunning views of the shoreline. Look out for resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins as they play, feed, and swim around the boat. Along the way, pass by the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse, an impressive, 90-foot (27.4-meter) tall beacon renowned for its candy-striped exterior. Learn about the rich history and diverse ecosystem of the island from your guides as you soak in the scenic views and sail past landmarks. Later, sit back and relax as the sun begins to set, painting the water’s surface in a vibrant array of hues. Find out why Hilton Head has been named one of the best destinations for sunset viewing along the East Coast of the United States. After the sun has fully sunk below the horizon, round off your trip with Hilton Head’s weekly fireworks show.

Charleston: Harbor Bar Pedal Boat Party Cruise

10. Charleston: Harbor Bar Pedal Boat Party Cruise

Hop on board and experience Charleston’s favorite party cruise. Enjoy the spacious boat and mingle with your group or private party on a 39-foot pontoon boat in style. Check out local landmarks from the water such as the Ravenel Bridge, Fort Sumter, and the USS Yorktown. Meet your guide and crew at the meeting point and step aboard the comfortable vessel. Feel the ocean breeze swirling around and experience the area's natural beauty on a river tour with the iconic Charleston coastline as the backdrop. Try to spy the abundant local wildlife including majestic pelicans and frolicking dolphins. Take in unparalleled views while taking a turn on one of the optional 12 pedal stations. Equipped with a bar lined with coolers, feel free to bring your own drinks and appetizers.

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What people are saying about South Carolina

I would highly recommend getting to the event 30 minutes early instead of 15 minutes as recommended. The reason why is Google Maps sent us to the wrong location. And this happen to 2 other families. But the staff at the tour were really helpful. They called us while we ran around looking for their location and helped guide us to the event. Matt & John were our captain and tour guides and very pleasant and good natured. We even hit a snag where a rope got caught on the engine which delayed us a little. Matt asked if everyone was OK staying a little longer to compensate for the delay. All good. We had a great time. We got to see some dolphins, but it is recommended to go during the summer where there are more dolphins to see.

We were going to be five minutes late and miss the trip but, after three calls, they held the boat for the four of us and we are so thankful they did! Saw a lot of dolphins, kids loved it, and the tour guide was amazing! Bring cash so you can tip the guide cause it will be worth it!!

We enjoyed our trip we see a lot of dolphins and get to watch the sunset and double rainbow!!! What a great trip!

This was a very fun tour and we were able to see dolphins right away!

One of the best harbor tours we have taken! Highly recommend!