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Address: 101 Marshland Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29926-2306
Phone Number: +1 843-785-2100
Website
Today
07:00 - 21:00
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 07:00 - 21:00
Description:

With over 30 years experience in dolphin and nature cruises around Hilton...

With over 30 years experience in dolphin and nature cruises around Hilton Head Island, Capt. Jim Harkins and Island Explorer offers unique and memorable tours. With both 12-passenger and 6-passenger boats, Island Explorer can accommodate large families or groups and still offer intimate experiences.You may choose a Sunset Cruise, a 1-Hour Introductory Tour (only offered during the summer months), a 2-Hour Dolphin and Nature Excursion, or our 3-Hour Vanishing Island Expedition. On our popular expedition to "Vanishing Island" you'll view the dolphins, cross the Calibogue Sound, and have the opportunity to disembark on a secluded sandbar to search for sand dollars at the low tide. Evening Sunset Cruises will bring you to beauty of the Hilton Head sunsets along with scenic views of the marshlands, birds, and dolphins that make the Lowcountry special. During the summer months join us for a Tuesday night Fireworks Cruise. Our captains are experienced, friendly, and informative. Our mid-island location is convenient to every resort on Hilton Head. Parking is always free, and there are no gate fees. Our boats are docked at the popular island restaurant, The Old Oyster Factory Restaurant at 101 Marshland Road. With years of experience on Hilton Head Island and variety of unique cruises, Island Explorer will treat you to a memorable experience for your family or group.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 593 reviews
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  • 534
    Excellent
  • 39
    Very good
  • 14
    Average
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    Terrible
Fantastic trip with Captain Rich!

Yesterday Captain Rich took us out to Vanishing Island and we saw Dolphins throughout the whole trip. It was a beautiful day to be on a boat and he gave us a fantastic tour. This... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
KathySGG
,
Westerville, Ohio

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593 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 592: English reviews
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
38 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We been to Hilton Head Island several times and seeing Hilton Head from the water brought a new charm to a beautiful Island. Our tour guide was very informative and the weather was good. Wec saw our share of dolphins and saw damage left by Hurricane Matthew.

Helpful?
Thank Steve B
Westerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Yesterday Captain Rich took us out to Vanishing Island and we saw Dolphins throughout the whole trip. It was a beautiful day to be on a boat and he gave us a fantastic tour. This is the fourth time I have done a tour with this company and I have never been disappointed. I chose Hilton Head as our destination... More 

Helpful?
Thank KathySGG
IslandExplorerHHISC, Public Relations Manager at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Thank you so much for your kind words. We're glad that you had a "fantastic tour." It is the highest form of praise to have you return and join Island Explorer for a tour each year as you visit Hilton Head Island. Captain Rich and all of the staff at Island Explorer appreciate having you as our guests for a... More 

A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

My husband and I went on this tour with Captain Rich. The tour itself was great. There was so much to see and learn. We saw quite a few dolphins on the sunset tour. Captain Rich was absolutely great!! He knew so much about the area. It was nice that he didn't just drive us around, he gave us a... More 

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016

My husband and I, and my friend and her husband are camping in Hilton Head, and yesterday we took a boat tour with Island Explorer. It was great! Captain Rich is awesome! He was a great tour guide and gave us a lot of information about the area, and also answered questions about the damage from Hurricane Matthew. He was... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mary H
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Hi Mary, I am so happy you enjoyed your tour. Yes, seeing the damage caused by Matthew was shocking for those of us who live here. But it has somehow brought the community a little more together. I know that by spring things will be back together, and better than ever. Thank you for the great review, we look forward... More 

A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2016 via mobile

We had a wonderful time on the water with Captain Rich....he is informative and knowledgeable about the area. I thought it was a great experience for our children and we love going out to the vanishing island. The kids feel like they are on a treasure hunt each time we go out there. Lots of sand dollars and cool creatures... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

We are so happy your time on the water was enjoyable. Taking kids out to Vanishing Island is always fun for us! Something very different than most boat excursions. We are happy to know we will be hearing from you again. There is a $5 discount per person for cash, with returning guest. Just ask. More 

A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2016 via mobile

I always wanted to see dolphins in their natural environment and this trip did not disappoint. We saw a lot of them and the Sunset was also beautiful! Captain Rich was very knowledgeable about the area he even let my son drive the boat which he thought was pretty awesome! Thanks for such a great memory that we will never... More 

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

At Island Explorer we aware and very happy about creating great memory's for our guest. Sunsets are perfect for this! Thank you for the great review, we look forward to seeing you on the dock again soon. More 

1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2016

Wonderful experience. Tremendous memories. Great Captain with lots of local experience. Since it was a sunset cruise, a light jacket is always a good idea.

Helpful?
Thank Carol L
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Hi Carol, I am so glad you enjoyed your experience. The term "Great Captain" could apply to any of our captains. And yes, this time of year a light jacket is always a good bet. Thanks for the great review! Look forward to seeing you on the dock again in the future. More 

Avon, Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016 via mobile

Captain Rich was great. Showed us hurricane damage and many dolphins. He even let a boy on the boat drive his boat.

Helpful?
Thank Kevin N
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Hi Kevin, thanks for the great review! We all love Rich, his calmness and knowledge about the area always make the excursions fun and memorable. More 

Liberty Township, Ohio
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016

We took the vanishing island excursion and absolutely loved it. Not only do you get to do some dolphin watching on the way out but you get a unique experience of being able to walk on the sandbar at low tide and visit a place that would normally be inaccessible. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and our guide Rich was... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jae P
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Hello Jae, We are so happy that you enjoyed your experience. It is one of our favorite trips to do. It is like walking on the bottom of the sea. Rich, like all of our captains, are well versed in the the nature and history of the area. Thanks for the great review! Hope to see you on the dock... More 

Roseville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016 via mobile

On a visit to Savannah, came to Hilton Head for the afternoon and evening. This was a terrific way to see the Island. Our tour was at high tide, had time to see several dolphins and birds, but very interesting to see the homes and inlets from the water. The destruction after the hurricane Matthew was sad. Lots of speed... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mary D
IslandExplorerHHISC, Owner at Island Explorer, responded to this review

Hi Mary, Thanks for the great review! We agree seeing the Island from the water gives Hilton Head a whole different perspective, and at high tide it is the most beautiful. I am sure seeing the devastation of Matthew from the boat was shocking at times, too. Things should be back to normal by spring, so hoping to see you... More 

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