Offered YEAR Round

Dates

3 Hours

Duration

UP To 12 Guests

At Additional Cost

From $395

Up To 6 Guests

Vanishing Island™ Expedition Premium Private Tours

Island Explorer is the exclusive tour operator on Hilton Head Island to offer only Premium Private Tours on all excursions. All life in the salt marsh revolves around the tides. Our trips are designed with this in mind, therefore our schedule changes daily with these tides.  

Your family or group will have the entire 12-Passenger boat to yourselves with no other guests on board.

This unique experience will focus on your family's individual interests. These trips are about you - what you want to see, do, and learn. Our US Coast Guard licensed Master Captain naturalists will provide a safe, exciting, and educational experience.

For each Premium Private Tour there is a minimum fee which includes up to six guests. Additional guests up to 12 total may join your group for additional cost per person. With three vessels we can accommodate up to 36 guests on each tour.

Three Hour Expedition

Our Three-Hour Beach Combing Expedition to "Vanishing Island™" starts at The Old Oyster Factory docks near the top of Broad Creek. As we glide through the Lowcountry Salt Marsh, you'll watch for dolphins, birds, and beautiful scenery.

Vanishing Island Appears...

Leaving Broad Creek, our fast, comfortable expedition boat brings us quickly across the Calibogue (pronounced "Kali-Bogee") Sound, past Daufuskie Island, and all the way to "Vanishing Island".

Years ago this area was simply a small sand bar called Grenadier Shoals, but over the years, sand eroding from Hilton Head beaches has collected here and created a large expanse of sand that is exposed only at low tide each day.

...And Then It's Gone...

Once uncovered by the low tide the "island" offers a secluded beach-like setting where you'll find sand dollars, starfish and shells.
Because of the topography and currents, shells and sand dollars of this size do not usually wash up on the beaches of Hilton Head.
In addition, only the lucky few are able to visit this spot, so it remains largely untouched most of the day until Island Explorer arrives. And in just a couple of hours the whole island "vanishes".

On occasions when the tide is not low enough to expose "Vanishing Island™" we offer an excellent alternative 3-Hour Tour in search of Dolphin Strand Feeding.

Something For Everyone

Choose a cool, early morning trip. Bask in the midday sun. Or enjoy the serentity of a Hilton Head sunset. We offer cruises throughout the day.

Please Note -
This expedition involves disembarking the boat at "Vanishing Island." This may require stepping off the front or side of the boat into 12 to 18 inches of water and wading ashore.

Re-boarding involves climbing a stern ladder or lifting yourself over the side of the boat. Guests with physical limitations may want to take this into consideration. You may choose to remain on board rather than disembarking. Please view the video about "Getting On and Off The Boat At Vanishing Island."

Some restrictions may apply to guests wishing to join this tour.

Our Premium Private Tours

1 Hour Tour

May - Sept. Only
Up to 6 Guests

$180.00

Per Person
Payment for 6 required for each Premium Private Tour with a total of 12 maximum at additional cost.

2 Hour Tour

Dolphins & Nature
Up to 6 Guests

$295.00

$35 Kids
Payment for 6 required for each Premium Private Tour with a total of 12 maximum at additional cost.

3 Hour Tour

Beach combing
Up to 6 Guests

$395.00

$55 Kids
Payment for 6 required for each Premium Private Tour with a total of 12 maximum at additional cost.

Sunset Cruise

Dolphins & Nature
Up to 6 Guests

$315.00

$35 Kids
Payment for 6 required for each Premium Private Tour with a total of 12 maximum at additional cost.

While our unique Vanishing Island™ Expedition is one of the island's favorite tours, Island Explorer Dolphin & Nature Tours also brings you the very best dolphin tours, eco-tours, wild dolphin encounters, sunset dolphin cruises, and dolphin discovery tours. The whole family will take home lifetime memories by joining our Hilton Head Island wildlife and nature tours to experience dolphin encounters, beautiful island harbors and scenery, birds in their natural habitat, and relaxing boat cruises on the waters of the Lowcountry. Island Explorer has been voted "number one dolphin tour" and "best on the island" many times and is always near the top of the list on TripAdvisor, and continues to offer the most affordable prices for the island's very best tours.