- Will We Go Out In The Ocean?
Island Explorer spends nearly all of our time in the calm waters of Broad Creek and the Calibogue Sound. Dolphins are most often found in these areas. We seldom go out into the Atlantic Ocean on our regular trips.
- Will We Get Wet?
Our boats are dry and comfortable, however, anytime you are out in a small boat there is a chance of spray or wakes from passing boats. Getting wet on Island Explorer is rare. That being said, you should know that our three hour trip with beachcombing on Vanishing Island does require you to step down a ladder from the boat into 1 or 2 feet of water in order to wade onto the island.
- Are Dolphins Guaranteed?
Nothing is guaranteed in life except death and taxes. We see dolphins on 99% of our trips. Sometimes they are very close to the boat; sometimes a little further away. Our customers tell us that our trips are one of the most memorable parts of their visit to Hilton Head Island. In the rare situation that we do not see any dolphin, we will make arrangements to make sure every customer is satisfied.
- How Close Will We Get To The Dolphins?
Can We Feed Or Touch The Dolphins?
Every trip is different. Dolphins will be viewed up close sometimes, and other times they will be at a short distance. We follow the "Dolphin Smart" program when viewing dolphins. It is illegal to touch or feed wild dolphins. Click here for more information.
- Is It Safe For Kids?
Yes. This is a great trip for kids. They love the excitement of the fast power boat. We can usually get much closer to the dolphins than the large tour boats and slow rides. We have USCG-Approved Life Jackets for everyone, and we have comfortable ski vests for kids 30 pounds and up that need to wear a life jacket during the trip. Older kids are not required to wear life jackets but vests are available when parents prefer that their older kids wear one.
- Can We Bring Food and Drink?
Yes. We allow our guest to bring snacks and beverages. You may bring small coolers if you like. Please be considerate of other guests on the boat. Adult beverages are allowed, but guests who drink excessively may be removed from the tour. Red wines and grape juices will permanently stain our fiberglass. If you bring these beverages please bring covered cups or glasses (sippy cups work great). Although our cruises are generally smooth, even small boat wakes can cause spills from standard wine glasses. We appreciate your consideration. Remember that the captain is always in charge and will be primarily concerned with your safety and comfort. The captain will make the final decision about the food and drink that guests bring aboard the boat.
- Can We Bring An Infant?
Yes. It's best to bring infants in their own car seat. We can place the seat securely in the boat. While we have special life jackets for kids 30 pounds and up, it would be best for you to purchase your own infant life jacket before arriving. Please note that due to US Coast Guard regulations, each person (including infants) is counted as a passenger and must be accounted for - requiring that you purchase a ticket. Unlike airlines, passengers are not allowed to bring an infant in your lap at no charge.
- What About Bad Weather?
Weather is very changeable around Hilton Head Island. Your Captain is very experienced and understands local weather. Our Captains have RADAR on their cell phones. Besides taking you on a beautiful trip, our FIRST priority is your safety and comfort. We won't let a few drops of rain stop a great trip, but we'll never take you out in a thunderstorm. During the entire course of the trip, we are never more than ten minutes from a marina or other safe haven. Don't make your decisions based on what you hear on The Weather Channel. If you have concerns about the weather call our reservations line to get the most up-to-date information.
- What About Tipping?
Our boats are very stable and do not tip. However, many of our customers tip the Captain. Although tipping is never required, most folks understand that in resorts such as Hilton Head Island many people are making their living through the service industry where tipping is customary. Tipping the captain shows your appreciation for his good job, and it will certainly be appreciated by your captain. If you do not have cash for tipping ask your captain about using Venmo or other such apps.