Weather Notice

Due to forecasted conditions, all dolphin tours as well as the Ocean Collections trip for Saturday, October 8 have been canceled.

Dolphin Watching

Dolphin Watching Boat Tours

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

Our excursions offer 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. Find details on each tour below, and book a date for a fun aquatic adventure!

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

Atlantic Explorer

Join us for our traditional 90-minute tour aboard the Atlantic Explorer. This is a great opportunity for passengers of all ages!

Atlantic Explorer Tickets

Atlantic Scout

Our new low-riding vessel, the Scout, offers a 70-minute experience for guests ages 6 and up that brings you even closer to wildlife. Check back next spring for future tours!


Atlantic Explorer Tour Info

  • All ages welcome.
  • Restrooms are available on the Explorer, as well as refreshments for purchase. Interior seating is available in our climate-controlled cabin.
  • The Explorer is accessible for manual wheelchairs. The captain and crew can assist anyone needing to transfer from a motorized to a manual wheelchair for the tour.​​
  • Please leave backpacks or large bags locked in your car.
  • Discounts for Atlantic Explorer tours are available for seniors, kids and groups.
  • 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.

September 6 - September 30

  • Tuesday - Friday | 2:00pm
  • Saturday | 11:00am, 2:00pm, 4:30pm
  • Sunday | 11:00am, 2:00pm

October 1 - October 16

  • Wednesdays & Fridays | 2:00pm
  • Saturdays & Sundays | 11:00am, 2:00pm


  • Please see our Special Holiday Tours for more.

Holiday Weekends | Special tour dates

  • 6:00pm Labor Day weekend | September 4
  • 2:00pm | October 10

Atlantic Explorer Tour Rates

Child (3-11)$22.95$20.95$20.95$18.00

Special Boat Tours

Sunset and Moonrise Cruise

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 tour headline

Whale Watching Boat Tours

Stay tuned for next winter! This 2-2.5 hour winter season 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.

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

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.