​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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 reduced to allow for safe social distancing.
  • Tickets must be purchased in advance through online-only ticketing.
  • Everyone onboard ages 2 and over must wear face coverings while on the boat (inside and outside cabin).
  • The crew will undergo pre-boarding health screenings and carry out increased sanitation procedures.
  • 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 Federal mandate, guests ages 2 and over are required to wear a face covering while on the boat (both inside and outside of the cabin). Please bring your own face covering for your trip. Face coverings are also available for purchase from our gift shop.**

 
 
Whale Watching Boat Trip

ENDING SOON!

This 2-2.5 hour trip 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. 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.

Schedule*

 **Trips are weather-dependent. Unfortunately, the trip on March 5 has been canceled.**

January 6 - March 7:

  • 10:00 a.m. Saturday & Sunday
  • 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Pricing: 

TICKET
​PUBLIC
​MEMBER
​ADD-ON
​Adult/Senior
​$31.95
$28.00
$29.95
​Child (3-11)
​$26.95
​$24.00
​$24.95
​Infant (under 3)
​FREE
​FREE
​FREE

BUY TICKETS


The Atlantic Explorer ​features a comfortable heated cabin, bathrooms, and snack bar with food and drinks available for purchase. Please remember to dress warmly for your boat trip during the winter months through April. While out on the ocean, move around the boat carefully and try to stay seated and hold on in case of unexpected motion.

*Whale sightings are not guaranteed.

Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Join us for an unforgettable 90-minute excursion aboard the Atlantic Explorer and experience an unforgettable journey in search for Virginia's most common and charismatic marine mammal, the bottlenose dolphin. If you are ready 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 trip soon, breathe deeply, and find adventure again!​ 



Schedule*

 *Trips are weather-dependent. 

March 20 - April 30:

  • 11:00 a.m. Saturday & Sunday 
  • 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Additional Spring Break Trips: (April 3 -10)
  • 11:00 a.m.
  • 2:00 p.m.
  • 4:30 p.m.

May 1 - May 28:

  • 11:00 a.m. Saturday & Sunday 
  • 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
  • 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Pricing: 

TICKET
​PUBLIC
​MEMBER
​ADD-ON
​Adult/Senior
​$27.95
$25.00
$25.95
​Child (3-11)
​$21.95
​$19.00
​$19.95
​Infant (under 3)
​FREE
​FREE
​FREE

BUY TICKETS

Special Trips

The Aquarium, in partnership with Rover Cruises offers special trips during select times of the year. Reminder: New safety procedures listed above apply to all boat trips, including these specialty trips.  
No special trips are currently scheduled.

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.​​


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.​​​​