As leaders in coastal and marine environmental conservation, research, and preservation, the Virginia Aquarium boat tours bring the ocean to you. Since 1989, our boat tours 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 the 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 tour. Face coverings are also available for purchase from our gift shop.**
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 again!
*Tours are weather-dependent and passenger safety is our primary concern so on occasion we have to make changes to our schedule. We will do our best to keep this page updated on changes.*
Due to safety concerns and factors beyond our control the following dates have schedule changes.
April 15 (Thursday) 2 pm tour has been moved to 12:00 pm
April 16 (Friday) 2 pm tour has been moved to 1:00 pm
April 24 (Saturday) 11 am tour is CANCELED; the 2 pm tour has been moved to 3 pm; adding a 5:30 tour
April 25 (Sunday) 11 am tour is CANCELED; the 2 pm tour has been moved to 3 pm; adding a 5:30 tour
April 12 - April 30
- 11:00 am Saturday & Sunday
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
May 1 - May 28:
- 11:00 am Saturday & Sunday
- 2:00 pm Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
- 4:30 pm Saturday
|Infant (under 3)||FREE||FREE||FREE|
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.
Whale Watching Boat Tour
THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL SEASON!
No trips are currently scheduled.
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. Other species that migrate into our coastal waters include fin whales, minke whales, critically endangered right whales, harbor porpoises, and harbor seals. Tours 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. Please remember to dress warmly for your boat tour 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.
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.