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Island Explorer

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101 Marshland Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29926-2306
+1 843-785-2100
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Two hour dolphin excustion

Really had a good time. Saw dolphins and learned some interesting information about the island... read more

Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Reviewed 13 December 2017
476margeryp
,
Topeka
Awesome Experience

My husband and I had recently went on a sunset cruise. The captain was very skilled, and... read more

Review collected in partnership with this attraction

Reviewed 5 December 2017
dannamg
,
Columbia, South Carolina
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With over 30 years experience in dolphin and nature cruises around Hilton Head Island, Capt. Jim Harkins and Island Explorer offers unique and memorable tours. With both 12-passenger and 6-passenger boats, Island Explorer can accommodate large families or groups and still offer intimate experiences.You may choose a Sunset Cruise, a 1-Hour Introductory Tour (only offered during the summer months), a 2-Hour Dolphin and Nature Excursion, or our 3-Hour Vanishing Island Expedition. On our popular expedition to "Vanishing Island" you'll view the dolphins, cross the Calibogue Sound, and have the opportunity to disembark on a secluded sandbar to search for sand dollars at the low tide. Evening Sunset Cruises will bring you to beauty of the Hilton Head sunsets along with scenic views of the marshlands, birds, and dolphins that make the Lowcountry special. During the summer months join us for a Tuesday night Fireworks Cruise. Our captains are experienced, friendly, and informative. Our mid-island location is convenient to every resort on Hilton Head. Parking is always free, and there are no gate fees. Our boats are docked at the popular island restaurant, The Old Oyster Factory Restaurant at 101 Marshland Road. With years of experience on Hilton Head Island and variety of unique cruises, Island Explorer will treat you to a memorable experience for your family or group.
  • Excellent92%
  • Very good5%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“captain kathy” (98 reviews)
“sand dollars” (143 reviews)
“hour tour” (96 reviews)
Closed Now
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Hours Today: 07:00 - 21:00
LOCATION
101 Marshland Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29926-2306
CONTACT
Website
+1 843-785-2100

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Write a ReviewReviews (965)
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"captain kathy"
in 98 reviews
"sand dollars"
in 143 reviews
"hour tour"
in 96 reviews
"sunset cruise"
in 80 reviews
"old oyster factory"
in 22 reviews
"captain rich"
in 13 reviews
"dolphin tour"
in 71 reviews
"saw dolphins"
in 64 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 23 reviews
"star fish"
in 13 reviews
"great trip"
in 48 reviews
"boat ride"
in 45 reviews
"oyster beds"
in 31 reviews
"highly recommend this trip"
in 19 reviews
"baby dolphin"
in 10 reviews
"oysters"
in 28 reviews
"horseshoe crabs"
in 11 reviews
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1 - 10 of 964 reviews

Reviewed 13 December 2017

Really had a good time. Saw dolphins and learned some interesting information about the island. Liked that it was a smaller boat that didn't carry a big amount of people. It was the two hour sunset cruise and the sunset was beautiful. Thanks a lot...More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank 476margeryp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2017

We're so glad to hear that you enjoyed your Sunset Cruise with Island Explorer. It's always our pleasure to share the beauty of the Lowcountry waters with our special guests as we try to offer unique and memorable experiences to everyone. Please join us again...More

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Reviewed 5 December 2017

My husband and I had recently went on a sunset cruise. The captain was very skilled, and knowledgable. She took us to see dolphins, and she had explained a little local history. The experience overall was please, and I highly recommend going on a cruise!More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank dannamg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Captain at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 10 December 2017

Danna, Thank you for the kind words about the sunset trip. It was great getting to see the dolphins out in the sound as well as the other wildlife like the bald eagle. We hope that you join us again for another tour on the...More

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Reviewed 27 November 2017 via mobile

It was the last tour of the season. We saw three dolphin up close playing in the water, pelicans, cormorants, cranes, and egrets. Captain Jim was very informative about the ecology and history of the area. He took us by some of the resorts, nice...More

Thank mersmom2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2017

Captain Jim and the entire staff at Island Explorer are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your tour around the beautiful waters of the Lowcountry. Our mission is to offer a unique and memorable experience to every guest and to provide a fun and educational...More

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Reviewed 27 November 2017

Friendly, knowledgeable guide, beautiful scenery, tons of wildlife. Highly recommend the sunset cruise!More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank Jennifer M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2017

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for letting us know that you enjoyed your Sunset and Dolphin Cruise with Island Explorer. We sincerely appreciate your 5-Star rating. It's always our goal to offer a safe, fun, and educational experience to all of our guests. Please join us again...More

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Reviewed 27 November 2017

ouf grandchildren visited for Thanksgiving. Your tour was a perfect addition to their visit with lots of dolphin sightings with the addition of bald eagle sightings. A visit the children will remember fondly.More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank wbodoh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 1 December 2017

We always thrilled to have our local grandparents bring their visiting grandchildren to share a family experience on the Island Explorer. We're glad to know that you had "lots of dolphin sightings..." and a visit that your grandchildren "will remember fondly." Thank you for choosing...More

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Reviewed 14 November 2017

We took the 2 hour nature and dolphin tour. Saw plenty of dolphins but more importantly our Captain was extremely knowledgeable about the environment and animals in the area! I would definitely recommend this tour but don't just show up without calling first. We assumed...More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank jphelps3609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2017

Thanks for sharing your review of your "excellent tour" on the Island Explorer with the TripAdvisor community. We always strive to offer every guest a safe, fun, and educational experience on the waters around Hilton Head Island. Thanks for pointing out that advance reservations are...More

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Reviewed 13 November 2017

I had never taken this trip before in all my years of family vacation while in Hilton Head. With my wife this year we decided to try this for our last night on our honeymoon and it was probably the best part of our trip....More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank mattjroberts16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2017

We couldn't be more delighted to hear about your "great evening on the water" and to know that it was the "best part" of your trip to Hilton Head Island. We're flattered that you chose Island Explorer for part of your honeymoon experience, and happy...More

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Reviewed 9 November 2017

We spent a wonderful two hours cruising around while Captain Mitch filled us in on the history and the ecology of the Hilton Head area.He explained the possibility of not seeing dolphins this time of year...but low and behold - we saw several! Some of...More

Thank Sue_loves2travel4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 16 November 2017

Hello Sue, Everyone at Island Explorer including Captain Mitch sincerely appreciates your kind words and 5-Star rating. As the season evolves the migratory dolphins move on to the south, and we see fewer dolphins around the island, but our captains have the experience and knowledge...More

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Reviewed 7 November 2017

We had such a great time and it was well worth the money. Captain Zack was outstanding! He obviously knew a lot about the area and he was great with our kids. We saw several dolphin on our way to Vanishing Island and enjoyed learning...More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
1  Thank jwinn24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 8 November 2017

Captain Zach and everyone at Island Explorer are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your tour and considered it "well worth the money." Our goal is to offer safe, fun, and educational tours to every guest and to be affordable as well. We thank you...More

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Reviewed 6 November 2017

Captain Angela was very friendly and knowledgeable. We saw several dolphins and picked up a lot of sand dollars on the beach! We did have to have our trip rescheduled to the next day because they didn’t have enough passengers scheduled, so make sure you...More

Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank prattang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandExplorerHHISC, Guest Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2017

We are happy to hear that you had a "good time" on your "Vanishing Island" expedition with Captain Angela on the Island Explorer. Thanks for your understanding that we sometimes have to re-schedule trips in order to have enough passengers. It's our goal to offer...More

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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
barbra w
27 September 2017|
Answer
Response from IslandExplorerHHISC | Property representative |
We usually begin offering tours in late February or early March depending on the weather. Our schedule should be posted in early January. Feel free to call us on your arrival, and we'll make an effort to work something out... More
0
Votes
Glen O
24 September 2017|
Answer
Response from IslandExplorerHHISC | Property representative |
Hi Glen, We will definitely be operating. The recent storms have not impacted our business or tours. Come on down! Let us know if you have further questions.
0
Votes
Lisa C
19 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from IslandExplorerHHISC | Property representative |
There are no bathrooms on the boats, but could stop at a marina if needed. There is a ladder for getting back on the boat.
0
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