Why we loved the Dolphin Seafari Cruise in Hilton Head

Going on a Dolphin Seafari Cruise was something I had not considered in all of my 40 years visiting Hilton Head. For about 35 of those years, we did the same exact things each time. Hilton Head ice cream, riding bikes, the beach, Salty Dog Café. I don’t love any of our favorite things any less, but in the past few years, we’ve discovered so many more fun things to do with our kids. Like kayaking with a toddler (so fun! until it wasn’t…) and our new favorite list of places to eat in Hilton Head.

Our friends suggested a dolphin cruise… not at ALL on my radar of something to try. After confirming a bathroom would be available, we booked our Seafari.

Then, I googled Seafari to get directions. A website with a description of the Seafari popped up, and I thought our friend booked the $600 private dolphin cruise with another company. “Yikes!” I thought, “She’s baller. I thought we were going on a big boat with a lot of people looking for dolphins. For that second, I questioned whether or not she and I lived in the same universe. Thankfully, we were on the more affordable Seafari dolphin cruise and it was $35 for adults and $20 for kids.

After the panic of spending a larger fortune subsided, my panic turned to the thought of spending 90 minutes on a boat with young kids. Would we see dolphins? Would our kids (4, 5, 8, & 9) enjoy it?

And it turns out: we did have fun! And we actually saw dolphins! Several! And one up close, which was fun:

Dolphin GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Our guide was knowledgeable and made the cruise interesting for adults and fun for the kids – she pulled out a jellyfish (obviously not the kind that stings) and let the kids take turns holding it.

Jellyfish GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Hundreds of jellyfish floated by in the water, which was cool to see.

The boat is comfortable, and as I mentioned, it has a bathroom. For a 90 minute cruise with kids, this was essential!

The kids took turns steering the boat – even our 4 year old who just wanted to spin the wheel – a brave captain! We didn’t wreck. Yay!

Toddler Driving A Boat GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is definitely an activity worth considering if you’re in Hilton Head – and we absolutely loved our captain and guide, a husband and wife team. Kind, knowledgeable, interesting, and entertaining – the kids loved the dolphin cruise, and it was a relaxing, breezy boat ride for the adults!

Here’s our experience captured on video, condensed into 48 seconds:

If you want to book…

  • Dolphin Seafari Hilton Head
  • Most popular package (the one we did) – Dolphin Tour
  • $35 for adults / $20 for kids
  • Check out the website: Dolphin Seafari


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