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Island Explorer

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Address: 101 Marshland Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29926-2306
Phone Number:
+1 843-785-2100
Website
Today
07:00 - 21:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 07:00 - 21:00
Description:

With over 30 years experience in dolphin and nature cruises around Hilton...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 618 reviews
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  • 557
    Excellent
  • 41
    Very good
  • 14
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Best dolphin cruise ever!

We've taken dolphin cruises at Hilton Head in the past but this one was our favorite, by far! NC-native, Captain Rick, took this 3-generation family on a fun cruise to see many... read more

Reviewed yesterday
d2carroll
,
Raleigh, North Carolina

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618 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 617: English reviews
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed yesterday NEW

We've taken dolphin cruises at Hilton Head in the past but this one was our favorite, by far! NC-native, Captain Rick, took this 3-generation family on a fun cruise to see many dolphins as well as birds in the area. Our destination was Disappearing Island, a huge sandbar where we collected sand dollars, shells and a horseshoe crab shell. We... More 

Helpful?
Thank d2carroll
Essex, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We throughly enjoyed the three hour tour - saw lots of dolphins, captain Zach was very personable and we were thrilled to collect several full sand dollars. Well worth the cost. Small boat was a big plus.

Helpful?
Thank kellylynntodd
Homer, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 week ago

We loved our experience. We saw so many dolphins, birds, and other creatures. Captain Rich was very knowledgeable about the area. He was very accommodating to our children too! The kids got to be " captain" for a minute! Great memories.

Helpful?
Thank jujub662017
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

We're so happy to know that you loved your experience with Island Explorer. Capt. Rick appreciates your kind words. Our goal is to create unique family adventures and great memories, and it's nice to hear that we were successful for your family. More 

Akron, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Beautiful day out on the water with Captain Rich! We wanted a smaller boat with our young kids (2, 6, 8) and this was perfect! The instructions on email and text reminder were perfect! We have done the pirate cruise and alligator boat tours before, but our 8-year-old said this was the best boat trip ever and we all agreed!... More 

Helpful?
Thank AkronFamily
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your kind words. There is no greater praise than hearing from your 8-year-old that Island Explorer was "the best boat trip ever." And we're glad that you all agree. Capt. Rich appreciates your flattering comments. He works hard to make sure that every tour is a memorable one. We will look forward to seeing you... More 

London
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I took my 4 kids on a boat ride with Captain Bill. We were the last boat ride for the day. Everyone arrived early so we left early. We saw a number of dolphins at the end of the trip so we stayed late. We had a great time. The kids loved it. Captain Bill was an excellent guide. I... More 

Helpful?
Thank A-I-Fusion
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Your 5-Star review is much appreciated. We're glad to know that you had a great time on Island Explorer. More 

Ohio
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Woke up and decided to go dolphin touring. What we ended up with was a 3 hour tour that included plenty of dolphins and many different species of birds. Also a 30 minute stop at Vanishing Island. When the tide is low, the island rises out of the sea and delivers lots to starfish, sand dollars, crabs and beautiful shells.... More 

Helpful?
Thank OnlyHiltonHead
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thanks for your nice review and great description of your experience on our 3-Hour "Vanishing Island Expedition." Capt. Sam is happy to hear that you enjoyed the cruise. We hope to see you next time your visit Hilton Head Island. More 

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Captain Rich was on the Island Explorer boat on April 2, 2017, We and two of our friends (along with 6 others) experienced the 2 hour Dolphin cruise. Captain Rich was simply excellent in his handling of the boat, showing us "up close" different wild life, many dolphins in Calibogue Sound. He shared much historical information abount Broad Creek, Calibogue... More 

Helpful?
Thank Barb L
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Hi Dennis and Barbara, The entire staff of Island Explorer is thrilled to hear that your 2-Hour Dolphin & Nature tour was one your "most enjoyable experiences on Hilton Head." Capt. Rich, like all of our captains, is an expert boat handler and loves to share his vast knowledge of the history and ecology of the Lowcountry, and he appreciates... More 

Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A wonderful experience. Learned about Hilton head and saw quite a few dolphin. Captain Bob is great! The invisible island was super interesting! We found several live sea stars, sea snails, sand dollars, and hermit crabs. What a fun trip!!!

Helpful?
Thank Julie S
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thanks for joining us on our 3-Hour "Vanishing Island Expedition." We appreciate your kind words and your 5-Star review. Our goal is that everyone has a "fun trip" so we're glad to hear that you did. Please join Island Explorer again next time you visit Hilton Head Island. More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Captain Jim was THE BEST! There were 9 people total on our charter and two crew members. We saw more dolphins than I would have ever thought plus wonderful houses and Harbor Town golf course, some yachts, plenty of kayakers, and of course at the far southern end of the journey we get to visit The Vanishing Island during low... More 

Helpful?
Thank Michael W
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thanks for sharing your experience on our 3-Hour "Vanishing Island Expedition." Island Explorer's staff is so happy to know that, for you, "it was fantastic." Your advice to future guests should be well noted - this is a 3-Hour adventure, and we recommend that our guests bring sunscreen, snacks, and water. While we have had many children under 6 enjoy... More 

Atlanta Georgia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had a fantastic sunset tour with Captain Jim. Very knowledgeable, friendly and professional. We will be back!

Helpful?
Thank amj1950
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Capt. Jim and Island Explorer really appreciate you 5-Star review and kind words. We'll look forward to seeing you again next time you visit Hilton Head Island. More 

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