Hilton Head Island Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Hilton Head Island Dolphin & whale watching

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Watching Guided Tour by Boat

1. 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.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

2. 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

3. 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: Dolphin Cruise & Nature Tour

4. 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: Guided Kayak Tour

5. Hilton Head: Guided Kayak Tour

Get out onto the water with this 90-minute guided kayaking tour - perfect for all ages and experience levels, from first-time paddlers to veteran kayakers.  First, arrive at the meeting point at Hilton Head and get kitted out with a kayak, paddle, and life jacket. Both double and single kayaks are available. Then, launch your kayak into the water and glide through the waters of Skull Creek. Listen as your tour guide enriches your mind with historical and wildlife knowledge of Hilton Head Island. Then, begin to paddle through the rich ecosystem of the saltwater marshlands, observing many indigenous species of bird wildlife. Try to spot brown pelicans, egrets, herons, osprey, bald eagles, and many more. Also, get up close and personal with beloved Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Hilton Head is home to over 100 local dolphins, living here year-round, and is also located on the migratory path for these spectacular mammals. Don't be surprised to see these curious creatures swimming right alongside your kayak.

Hilton Head Island: 75-Minute Jet Ski Tour

6. 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.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Tour at Sunset & Fireworks Show

7. 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.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin and Nature Tour

8. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin and Nature Tour

Bring inquisitive minds and cameras on this private dolphin tour with a Master Captain and Low Country Master Naturalist. Explore the Calibogue Sound by boat and have the opportunity to observe wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins swimming, feeding, and socializing. See these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, and learn about the history of the island, the ecology of the low country, and particularly the salt marsh. Watch the dolphins and learn about their social habits, physiology, diet, and more. Enjoy an opportunity to view other marine animals like rays, sea turtles, manatees, and sharks, who make cameos throughout the season.

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

9. 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: 2-Hour Guided Creek Cat Tour

10. Hilton Head Island: 2-Hour Guided Creek Cat Tour

Zip around Hilton Head Island on a 2-hour guided adventure. Ride one of these little boats, known as Creek Cats, on the water and look out for local bottlenose dolphins. Tour the most popular spots at speeds of up to 30 mph. Pass by the Harbour Town Lighthouse, an iconic beacon with a red and white candy-cane exterior. Sail past Bull Island, an uninhabited stretch of land where, according to legend, a host of exotic animals (including zebras) used to roam. Learn more about Hilton Head Island, its wildlife and ecosystem from expert guides throughout the tour. Exploring Hilton Head by Creek Cat allows you to travel through smaller marshes filled with abundant wildlife, areas that are inaccessible in larger vessels. Look out for egrets, eagles, ospreys, and otters along the way.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Hilton Head Island

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What people are saying about Hilton Head Island

From beginning to end, this was an excellent choice!! The crew were wonderful! We learned so many new facts about dolphins. The only somewhat negative comment I could say was that the captain had a clear view of the sunset at one point but didn’t stop the boat until it was behind some trees. I love seeing the sun setting straight to the water. Other than that, we would highly recommend!! Especially for families!

Great tour. Really enjoyed just riding in the boat. Seeing the dolphins was an added bonus and we did see a lot of dolphins. The boat just has 2 steps in and out so it would work for travels using a cane as long as they can do the 2 steps. Also, the boat seating is all covered so it is not nearly as hot as a boat where you are in the sun for 1 1/2 hours. Highly recommend.

Captain Mark was an amazing guide. He made my 9 year old daughter feel like every time she saw a dolphin it was an exciting thing. He stopped multiple times to let us see the dolphins and never made us feel rushed to move along. Would highly recommend!

The tour was a lot of fun, we saw many dolphins, and the tour guides were excellent

Staff were so nice and fun and we saw so many dolphins!!