Panama City Beach Shell Island Wildlife, Dolphin, and Snorkeling Tour
Shell Island Dolphin and Snorkeling Tours include:
Wildlife encounters and identification
Snorkeling (mask, fins, and snorkel included)
A tour of Shell Island, a beautiful island that is a nature preserve, and has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
Iced cooler with bottled water (you are welcome to bring anything, snacks BYOB)
Small group tour up to six guests
Knowledgeable Captain/tour guide
Our three-hour Shell Island Dolphin and Snorkeling Tour is the ultimate must-do when visiting Panama City Beach!
We usually start our Dolphin and Snorkeling tour off by looking for any wildlife. We usually find our local Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. Our Captains and Tour guides are locals and are experts on the dolphin behaviors in the Panama City Beach area.
We cruise around Shell Island and all the waters surrounding St. Andrews Bay, Panama City, and Panama City Beach while looking for all kinds of wildlife and sea life. We get the chance to see different kinds of wildlife every day on our boat tours. All dolphin tours and snorkeling tours are different everyday depending on the conditions and what wildlife is currently in the area. We change our routes from day to day to give you the best dolphin tour and most pleasant boat ride possible with constantly changing water, weather, and wildlife conditions. The marine life, snorkeling spots, and stops we make on Shell Island change from tour to tour. This is great because, every time you go with us, you get to see different things! We do encourage you to let your captain know if you have any special requests of things you would like to see or do during your boat tour.
For possible wildlife we get to see check out our photos section and our social media! We have taken every singe one of these pictures on our actual tours. It is not uncommon to see sharks, turtles, rays, invertebrates such as starfish, and many different seabird species.
Panama City Beach is home to dolphins year round! We literally go the extra mile – or 10 – to fulfill your dream of seeing dolphins in their natural habitat on your dolphin tour!
We sometimes get a chance to swim and snorkel with dolphins if the conditions are safe and favorable for that. They are wild dolphins and do have a mind of their own. We do not feed or harass dolphins. This is why we do not guarantee any swimming with dolphins. We follow and support regulations and guidelines set forth by the Marine Mammal Protection Act on all our boat tours.
We give you the option to get off the boat and explore Shell Island. You can walk on, collect sea shells, and do some snorkeling around Shell Island. Shell Island is a nature preserve that is only accessible by boat. Shell island has a very diverse ecosystem and has some of the most beautiful, untouched beaches in the world.
Full snorkeling gear is included on all our snorkeling tours! The conditions of our local snorkeling sites are always changing. We will take you to snorkeling sites that are the clearest and calmest on the day of your Dolphin and Snorkeling tour. We often snorkel seagrass beds, sandbars, and artificial reefs. We will go the extra mile – or ten to bring you to the best spots in the area.
Book a private tour and have the boat all to yourselves for 2- 6 guests, or book a group tour with other guests on the boat. All our tours are 6 guests maximum.
“St. Andrews bay is one of the most highly diverse estuaries in America, with over 2,900 species. One any given day, you can find almost anything in the clear waters of St. Andrews Bay. It is also one of the most fragile coastal estuaries that needs our continued protection.” – Mike Brim, Executive Director St. Andrews Bay Environmental Science Team.
What should we bring?
We have almost everything you will need on board, but you can bring anything you would like to. We recommend bringing a towel, polarized sunglasses, and a sweater or jacket. It is always cooler on the water than it is on land because of the breeze and the open air boat. You are also welcome to bring and snacks or drinks with you! BYOB allowed.
Gratuity is not included
We will literally go the extra mile (or 10) to fulfill your dream of seeing dolphins in their natural habitat!
We will look for any other sea life we can find. We commonly see Turtles, Sharks, Rays, Marine Birds and Starfish.
A personalized experience is our focus at Dolphin and Snorkel Tours. You’ll be amazed as you hear stories about and learn more about the intelligence of these majestic creatures.
Resident pods (groups of dolphins) that stay here year-round, spend a lot of time feeding and playing around the Shell Island waters. Sometimes while the boat is still in the water, dolphins will even surface right beside us, blessing us with their presence.
Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours are some of the more popular services that we offer to both our private and group tours. Our private tours allow you the chance to create your own unique dolphin tour experience. To help ensure a memorable and close-up experience, we do limit our boats to only 6 passengers at a time. Whether you want to snorkel in the same waters as the dolphins if the conditions are right or just enjoy their beauty from the boat, we offer something for everybody.
You are welcome to swim in the areas that dolphins swim if the conditions are right, however, we do not necessarily advertise this tour as a “swim with dolphins tour”, because we do not feed or harass them. We focus on the conservation of dolphins. We follow and support regulations and guidelines set forth by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. We couldn’t sleep at night, knowing that we contributed to anything to potentially harm these creatures. If they want to swim with you they will, if they don’t we do not force them to. We strive to provide an educational experience, allowing a greater understanding and appreciation on wildlife with minimal disturbance. The dolphins will thank you for choosing a tour outfitter that cares.
Enjoy a private boat tour around the world’s most beautiful beaches, ending with an exploration around historical Shell Island.
On our way to Shell Island, be on the lookout for all sorts of marine and wildlife in their natural habitats; including dolphins, sea turtles, ospreys, gulls and pelicans. This private boat tour is expertly led around the beaches of Shell Island. Learn about interesting historical landmarks. You can even stop and look at some of the ship wrecks! After arriving on Shell Island, the tour moves into the sand, where we often find many different species of crabs, mollusks, sand dollars and sea urchins. Our expert tour guide will not only help find these different creatures, but also take the time to explore and explain these unique treasures of Shell Island.
Shell Island is a narrow barrier island (7.5 miles long), separating St. Andrew’s Bay from the Gulf of Mexico. This beautiful nature preserve and bird sanctuary is completely uninhabited and only accessible by boat. Shell Island and the waters surrounding it, supports a wide array of wildlife. Shell Island is visited by over 180 species of migratory birds and other wildlife such as dolphins, white tailed deer, wild raccoons, giant manta rays, manatees and much more.
Come snorkel artificial reefs, sea grass beds, sandbars, and shipwrecks. We do not snorkel the same location every tour, our snorkel spots change according to mother nature. We try to take you to the spots that will be the best for the day of your tour and spots that are fitting for the group on board. Some days some spots are clearer and smoother then others.
We provide our guests with an unforgettable snorkeling experience. Our extensive knowledge ensures that visitors experience snorkeling on a whole new level. We focus on smaller groups, (6 guest max) ensuring a more personal, one on one experience.
Learn about the abundant marine wildlife you will see, while exploring some of the most productive habits in the world. The marine life will amaze you.
Full snorkel gear and a snorkeling lesson is available for you on the tour.
Pirates Cove Marina
3901 Thomas Drive
Panama City Beach,
We have almost everything you will need on board, but you can bring anything you would like to. I would recommend bringing a towel, polarized sunglasses and sweater or jacket, just in case. It is always cooler on the water then it is on land because of the breeze and the open air boat. You are also welcome to bring and snacks or drinks with you.