Tarpon Bay Explorers - Explore and Discover

Join a naturalist for a Nature and Sea Life Cruise and get a
close-up look at wildlife while cruising the tranquil waters of
Tarpon Bay in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Tarpon Bay Explorers

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Tarpon Bay Explorers
900 Tarpon Bay Road
Sanibel Island, FL  33957
Open 7 Days A Week At 8am

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Nature & Sea Life Cruises Handicap Accessible

Daytime Cruise - $23 adult, $15 child
Come along on a relaxing cruise aboard our quiet, environmentally friendly, covered pontoon boat.  We’ll observe an amazing bird rookery and the egrets, herons, ibis, cormorants, and pelicans that call them home.  Learn about the mangrove estuary, the Ding Darling refuge, and our amazing wildlife.  Dolphins and manatees are often spotted.  All cruises also include the touch tank presentation. (~ 1 ½  hours)

Breakfast Cruise - $30 adult, $18 child
Experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So why not join us for a Breakfast Cruise?  We’ve taken our Nature and Sea Life cruise and added complimentary coffee, orange juice, and fresh gourmet pastries.  It’s the perfect way to beat the crowds and experience one of the most beautiful settings on Sanibel. (~ 1 ½  hrs)

Evening Cruise - $30 adult, $18 child
So you’re not a morning person, eh?  Then perhaps the Evening Cruise is more your style.  Join us as the sun goes down on a cruise to the Rookery Islands.  Be there as hundreds of birds—egrets, herons, ibis, cormorants, and pelicans—come in to roost for the night.  Witness the sunset that Sanibel is famous for. (~ 2 hrs)


Both dolphins and manatees frequent the shallow waters of Tarpon Bay.  Coastal bottlenose dolphins grow to an average length of 8-10 feet and can weigh 400-600 pounds.  To maintain their body temperature and metabolism, an adult dolphin eats about 20 pounds of fish each day.  Manatees are like nothing else you'll ever see. Averaging 10 feet long and weighing about 1,000 pounds, they are big and slow moving, with a face only their mother would love. They are also one of nature’s most gentle creatures, with only about 3,000 left in the wild.  Federal laws prohibit hunting, capturing, killing, or harassing both dolphins and manatees. In 1978, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act established Florida as a sanctuary for manatees.

Tarpon Bay Explorers is the licensed concessionaire of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, providing low impact recreational and educational opportunities to the public under contract with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.