​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​As leaders in coastal and marine environmental conservation, research, and preservation, the Virginia Aquarium boat trips bring the ocean to you. Since 1989, our boat trips have been staffed by knowledgeable marine educators engaging in responsible viewing practices, research, and conservation.

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


Our boat tours have implemented new procedures for the safety of our guests, crew, and volunteers:

  • Guest capacity onboard has been greatly reduced to allow for safe social distancing.
  • Advance reservations are available through online-only ticketing.
  • Guests (10 and over), crew, and volunteers are required to wear face coverings while in the boat cabin.
  • The crew will undergo pre-boarding health screenings and carry out increased sanitation procedures onboard.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations available on the boat.
  • Some experiences that do not allow for social distancing may be restricted.


**Reminder: In accordance with the Virginia state mandate, guests (10+) are required to wear a face-covering while inside the boat. Please bring your own face covering for your trip. Face coverings are also available for purchase from our gift shop.**


Dolphin Discoveries - Dolphin Watching Tour

Join us for an unforgettable 90-minute excursion aboard the Atlantic Explorer in search of Virginia's most common and charismatic marine mammal, the bottlenose dolphin. Brown pelicans, bald eagles, and other sea birds are frequently sighted, along with sea turtles.​ 


**Due to continued strong winds from the North and exceptionally high seas, the September 22, 2:00 pm trip has been canceled. **

Now through September 30:

  • 11:00 a.m. Saturday & Sunday
  • 2:00 p.m. Daily (excluding Monday)
  • 4:30 p.m. Wednesday & Saturday

October 1 -25:

  • 11:00 a.m. Saturday & Sunday
  • 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday,& Sunday (Special trip Monday, October 12)

*All boat tours subject to weather conditions and schedule changes. Dolphin sightings are not guaranteed.


​Child (3-11)
​Infant (under 3)

Purchase tickets here

​​​​Ocean Collections

Curious about what lives in our coastal ocean waters? Take this 75-minute cruise with Aquarium educators to collect a variety of local fish and marine invertebrates and observe them up close ​aboard the boat. Watch as they work the trawl net and pull up discoveries that may include seahorses, stingrays, blue crabs, keyhole urchins, and jellies, and then release the animals back into the ocean. No trips currently scheduled.​​

Special Trips

The Aquarium, in partnership with Rover Cruises offers special trips during select times of the year. No trips currently scheduled.

​Whales & Wildlife

This 2-2.5 hour trip in search of whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds brings you as close as possible to commonly observed species like acrobatic humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, as well as an immense variety of seabirds and waterfowl. Other species that migrate into our coastal waters include fin whales, minke whales, critically endangered right whales, harbor porpoises, and harbor seals. Trips typically run from late November to early March. The Atlantic Explorer ​features a comfortable heated cabin, bathrooms, and snack bar with food and drinks available for purchase. ​​No trips currently scheduled.

Have a general boat trip question about the boat, what to wear, or when you should arrive? Take a look at the frequently asked questions here.​​​​