Leaders in coastal & marine environment conservation

Virginia Aquarium boat tours have been bringing the ocean to you since 1989.

A portion of all ticket sales supports our education, research, and conservation initiatives.

Dolphin Watching

Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Join us for an unforgettable 90-minute excursion aboard the Atlantic Explorer and experience an unforgettable journey in search of Virginia's most common and charismatic marine mammal, the bottlenose dolphin. If you are ready to find adventure, make memories, and inhale the fresh air, then come let the salty ocean mist kiss your cheeks and the offshore breezes fill your lungs. Learn from our knowledgeable educators about our other Virginia coastal animals like majestic seabirds, curious sea turtles, and unique fish species. Book a tour soon, breathe deeply, and find adventure!​

Dolphin sightings are not guaranteed and all tours are weather-dependent.

Please Note: Due to forecasted weather conditions, the 3:30pm dolphin watching boat tour for Monday, June 27th as well as all dolphin watching tours for Tuesday, June 28th have been canceled.

You can also click the button below to see the most up-to-date schedule should a tour need to be canceled.

Dolphin Watching Schedule

May 28 - September 5

  • Daily tours | 10:30am, 1:00pm, 3:30pm
  • 6:00pm Wednesday & Saturday


  • Please see our Special Holiday Tours for more.

Holiday Weekends | Special tour dates

  • 6:00pm Labor Day weekend | September 4

Dolphin Watching Rates

Child (3-11)$22.95$20.95$20.95
Group Rates (15-50 passengers)
Adult/Senior | $23.00
Child (3-11) | $18.00
Infant | FREE
  • Tickets must be purchased in advance through online-only ticketing.
  • Passengers should report to the Aquarium Boat Dock (near the outdoor Seal Exhibit) at least 45 minutes prior to their scheduled tour.

Whale Watching Tours

Stay tuned for next winter! This 2-2.5 hour tour brings you as close as possible to commonly observed species like acrobatic humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, as well as an immense variety of seabirds and waterfowl. Tours typically run from mid-December to early March

Special Boat Tours


Sunset and Moonrise Cruise

Summer & Fall tour dates (See link)
$46.95 (Members $41.95)
Join us for a special cruise to witness nature’s changing of the guard as we capture a spectacular sunset and the rising of the full moon out over the water of the Atlantic Ocean. This excursion will depart from the Aquarium Boat Dock promptly, and passengers should report to the dock 45 minutes early.


Ocean Collections Boat Tour

Fall tours | 9:00am
(Members $26.95)
Experience our most interactive tour, a great opportunity for families! Passengers are invited to assist in the collection of fish, invertebrates, and plankton using the same tools and methods as marine scientists. Put your observation and investigation skills to the test as we identify adaptations that marine animals possess to survive in their special habitat. Please arrive at 8:30am for sign-in and boarding.


Boat Quests

Make your next boat tour unique and even more exciting with a Boat Quest. Click on the titles below to select your quest! These can be printed out and brought with you on your tour.

Know Your Nos

Boat Quest

Learn the rules of the ocean and find these signs during your tour.

Fishing birds? See if you can spot these feathered fishers during your boat tour.

Spot a Jelly

Boat Quest

They aren't always easy to spot, but see how many jellies you can find on your tour!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have a question, be sure to visit our FAQ page for more information on Boat Tours.