The waters around Shell Island are home to a large group of bottlenose dolphins. You can encounter these amazing marine mammals at home in their natural habitat on one of our Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours.
The chance to watch wild bottlenose dolphins in their natural setting is a unique opportunity that is sure to create unforgettable Panama City Beach vacation memories. That’s why we are pleased to invite visitors to join us on one of our Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours for a dolphin encounter that will be the highlight of your Panama City Beach visit.
St. Andrew Bay is home to one of the world’s largest resident populations of bottlenose dolphins, the iconic gray dolphins that most people are familiar with from television, movies, and marine parks. The dolphins of St. Andrew Bay are wild animals but they are accustomed to the presence of people and it is common for boaters on the Bay to find themselves among a group of swimming, feeding, and playing dolphins.
Our Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours are limited to six passengers per trip. This lets our guests explore St. Andrew Bay in comfort, interact easily with the tour captain, and get a close look at the dolphins. You can take pictures, shoot video, and ask all the questions you want as your captain brings the tour boat as near as possible to the dolphins while being respectful and careful not to cause them any stress or harm.
You may have seen captive dolphins in a marine park, but it is far more interesting to watch these beautiful animals when they are healthy and free, at home in their natural environment. And even though the behavior of wild dolphins cannot be predicted and a sighting on every trip is not guaranteed, our tour captains have years of experience being on the waters of St. Andrew Bay nearly every day. They know the places where dolphins are most likely to be found and our captains do their best to make sure guests have a great time. On most tours, dolphins are spotted jumping, playing, searching for food, and communicating with one another.
A dolphin tour is also a wonderful sightseeing opportunity. All tour boats depart from the St. Andrews State Park marina in Lower Grand Lagoon and cruise south, crossing the pass between St. Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico on the way toward Shell Island. You can enjoy the view and spot sea birds and maybe a sea turtle while keeping a sharp eye open for dolphins.
Come and join us for a fun boat excursion and a chance to see bottlenose dolphins – one of nature’s most charismatic characters. Call (850) 630-1278 to reserve your spot on one of our Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours today!
Can I swim with the dolphins?
In order to protect the well-being of these wonderful marine creatures, Florida law prohibits swimming with dolphins as well as touching or feeding them. Officers from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission are on the water to ensure that these rules are followed. However, you may be lucky enough to have dolphins approach the tour boat quite closely, giving you an excellent view and great photo opportunity. If you would really like to have the possibility of encountering wild dolphins in the water, taking one of our Shell Island Snorkel Tours is a good option as the dolphins sometimes swim near snorkelers.
What is the best time of year to see dolphins on a Panama City Beach Dolphin Tour?
The dolphins of St. Andrew Bay are wild animals, so it is impossible to predict the best time to see them. Dolphin behavior is influenced by the season, weather conditions, water temperatures, tide cycles, and availability of prey among many other factors. Generally, there is a good chance of seeing dolphins any time the sun is out and the water is calm and clear. Feeding activities are normally seen on an outgoing tide. Your best bet is to choose a dolphin tour operator like Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours that is on the water nearly every day of the year.
Are Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours safe?
We have been taking guests out on dolphin tours for many years, and we carefully adhere to all guidelines established for our guests’ safety and the dolphins’ well-being. In addition, our stable, comfortable tour boats are fully equipped with all US Coast Guard required safety equipment. Our Panama City Beach Dolphin tours are perfectly safe and a lot of fun for guests of all ages. We also do our best to accommodate guests with special access needs, so please let us know.