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South Carolina

Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Our most recommended South Carolina Dolphin & Whale Watching

Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

1. Hilton Head Island: Sunset Dolphin Cruise

Sail towards the open ocean in search of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins on an amazing sightseeing 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: Guided Dolphin Tour

2. Hilton Head Island: Guided Dolphin Tour

Take in the beauty of Hilton Head from the perspective of the water on a 1.5-hour, 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, mud, and more. As well as dolphins, keep on the lookout for other wildlife including pelicans, osprey, stingrays, herons, turtles, and many more besides.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Nature Cruise

3. 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: Dolphin Watching 3-Course Dinner Cruise

4. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Watching 3-Course Dinner Cruise

Cruise thorugh the the intracoastal waters on Hilton Head in search of frolicking dolphins. Enjoy a mouth-watering Lowcountry-themed menu, which is freshly cooked each day by the Sea Pines Resort's award-winning chefs. Choose from a private table on the upper or lower deck. Hop aboard a spacious and comfortable ship and take a seat at your table. Stay comfortable with climate-controlled indoor seating or shaded outdoor seating. Have the option to purchase a bottle of wine or champagnes from the large onboard selection or a cocktail from the full-service bar. Admire views of the verdant shore and keep an eye out for wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Travel past Daufuskie Island and hear local stories and history from the narration provided by your captain. Savor a first course of southwest Caesar salad with chipotle Caesar dressing, romaine lettuce, roasted corn, parmesan cheese, and lime salt tortilla strips. Choose from main dishes like two Mahi Mahi tacos with flour tortilla, fennel cabbage slaw, Baja sauce, cotija cheese, and cilantro, or a plate of jerk chicken with pineapple salsa. Pick the veggie option for two grilled veggie tacos with fennel cabbage slaw, Baja sauce, cotija cheese, and cilantro. Dig into your main dish which is served with rice and beans, crema and pico de gallo (fresh salsa). End your culinary adventure with a sweet raspberry coulis, and fresh whipped cream. Keep the kids happy with menu options like chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, and fresh veggies, or chicken alfredo pasta with parmesan cream and roasted chicken. The kids menu includes a salad and desert.

Hilton Head Island: 75-Minute Jet Ski Tour

5. 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 your free 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 Beach: Folly River Kayak Tour with Dolphin Watching

6. Folly Beach: Folly River Kayak Tour with Dolphin Watching

Explore the waters of the Folly River by paddle power while learning about the wildlife and history of Folly Beach. Discover birds, dolphins, crabs, and more as you perfect your kayaking skills. Choose between a daytime or sunset tour to see the South Carolina Lowcountry in a different light. Meet your guide near the Folly River Boat Ramp and pick up your kayak, paddle, and life jacket. Get a lesson on the right way to paddle so you can hit the water with confidence. Navigate through the brackish estuary behind Folly Beach, where you will encounter native flora and fauna. Learn fascinating facts about the ecosystem. Keep your eyes peeled as your guide points out dolphins, crabs, pelicans, and various other birds along the way. Listen to stories of pirates who used to roam the waters. If you choose the sunset option, marvel as the sun sets over the beautiful Lowcountry.

Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Cruise & Nature Tour

7. 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 Tour at Sunset & Fireworks Show

8. Hilton Head Island: Dolphin Tour at Sunset & 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, and make the most of this incredible opportunity to see these friendly creatures in their natural habitat. 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 expert tour guides as you soak in the scenic views and sail past breathtaking landmarks. Then, 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 USA. Finally, after the sun has fully sunk below the horizon, get ready for Hilton Head’s weekly fireworks.

Hilton Head Island: 2-Hour Guided Creek Cat Tour

9. 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.

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.

Frequently asked questions about South Carolina Dolphin & Whale Watching

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Other Sightseeing Options in South Carolina

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What people are saying about South Carolina

A very enjoyable experience with knowledgeable and friendly staff! We saw plenty of dolphins and rode along with them for awhile too. I would highly recommend this tour. You’ll learn some fun unique facts about Hilton head island too.

Such a fun dolphin tour! We saw a couple different pods of dolphins and enjoyed the beautiful cruise. A friendly crew member also took our order for snacks and drinks from the boat bar!

Great tour. We saw a few dolphins and learned information about the area and all the things that we saw while on the water. It was very interesting and a relaxing boat ride.

Excelente, disfrutamos mucho viendo a los delfines y no a los tiburones, muy buena guía del capitán y su tripulación muy agradecida.

We had a great time! JD was a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable and funny! Highly recommend.