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Boat Tour FAQs

Will the dolphins jump?

Dolphins are wild animals and as with any wild animal, their behaviors are unpredictable. Occasionally we will see dolphins playing and jumping out of the water, however this is not a frequent occurrence and do not expect to see this.

What should we bring? 

Sunglasses, water, a camera and cash if you would like to tip our team. We will provide life jackets for kids 12 and under.

Can I touch or feed the dolphins?

Dolphins are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, therefore it is a Federal crime to feed, touch, or harass them.

 

Do you guarantee dolphin sightings? 

Dolphins are wild animals and as with any wildlife tours, while we can guarantee a fun adventure, we cannot guarantee dolphin sightings on all of our tours.

 

Where do we check in and board the boat?

Check in is at Hilton Head Harbor Marina (43A Jenkins Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926). Please check in at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Everyone will board the boat together at the time of departure. If you are late the boat will not wait for you and you will not get a refund.

 

What is your cancelation policy?

For our boat tours customers you will receive a full refund or credit with 24 hours notice of cancellation. Customers will also receive a full refund or credit in case of operator cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. No-shows will be charged the full price. We do offer Tour Insurance at an additional cost. Tour Insurance allows you to cancel your tour with at least 12-hours notice and we will reimburse you for your full ticket price (minus the tour insurance cost).

 

Can I bring food and water on the boat?

Yes, please feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks. We strongly recommend reusable bottles versus single-use plastic to reduce plastic waste that ends up in our oceans.

 

Will we see dolphins on the Mermaid Encounter Tour?

Dolphins are wild, like Mermaid Nina, and while we can always guarantee a mermaid sighting, dolphin sightings are not as reliable. We see dolphins on almost every tour however we cannot promise that they will be out. Luckily Mermaid Nina is friends with a lot of them, and they do like to swim around her when she is around, giving you a good chance of a close encounter with them.

 

Do I need reservations or can I just show up at the time of the tour?

We highly recommend reserving your spot. We sell out most of our tours and very often do not have space on the tours last minute. If you do not have a reservation, we can not guarantee you will be able to get on the tour.

 

How long does the Mermaid Encounter Tour last?

75 minutes

 

How many dolphins do you see on each tour?

We do not guarantee that you will see any dolphins during the tour. Our local dolphins do not travel in large pods like the dolphins do out in the open ocean and therefore it is not uncommon to just find one or two at a time. It is a rare occurrence to find them in large numbers locally.

 

How long does the Dolphin Experience Tour last?

75 minutes

 

How long does the Sunset Cruise last?

75 minutes

 

How long does the Elf Expedition Tour last?

60 minutes on the water and 15 minutes on land for snow and s’mores.

 

Do I have to wear a life jacket?

If you are an adult, you do not need to wear a life jacket. Life jackets are provided for kids 12 and under and per Coast Guard rule they must be worn at all times.

 

What happens if we get bad weather at the time of our tour?

We watch the weather closely as it changes constantly in Hilton Head. If the tour needs to be cancelled due to weather we will let you know as soon as the Captain makes the call. We will either schedule your family on another tour if there is space or we will move the tour to another time. If we are unable to reschedule, we will issue a full refund.

 

Is there a restroom on board?

Yes, we do ask everyone to arrive early so you can use the restroom prior to departure so you can enjoy the full experience.

 

How far out does the boat go? (Choppy, deep water)

The boat does not go out into the open ocean. We stay in more shallow water (15-40ft.) and you will be able to see land.

 

How many other people will be on my tour?

Our boat can hold up to 24 people.

 

Is the boat covered?

Yes, the boat is fully covered. We still recommend you bring sunglasses and sunscreen.

 

Will we see dolphins the entire tour?

Dolphins are wild animals and with any wildlife tour, we cannot guarantee dolphin sightings let alone how often we will see them during the tours. Luckily, we do have a lot of dolphins who live here year round and chances of seeing them are high, but we cannot guarantee this will happen on each tour.

 

Do you offer a military discount?

We do appreciate your service to our country, however we do not offer a military discount as we keep our prices as low as we can so everyone can learn and enjoy our tours.

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