Ready to book your Destin dolphin cruise?
You’re in the right place because the top dolphin tours in Destin are listed here!
I used to come here all the time as a kid during my summer breaks for family reunions and have been on so many dolphin tours in Destin Fl that I’ve curated the top seven well-reviewed dolphin tours in the area to make sure your experience is a great one.
Not only is Destin home to some of the best beaches in the Florida Panhandle, but it’s also home to a large population of playful and friendly dolphins.
You have to add a dolphin cruise in Destin Fl to your itinerary if you’re visiting the area because it’s the best way to see these graceful creatures in their natural habitat.
Trust me — these dolphins will captivate you with their playful spirit in the most breathtaking ways, and you’ll be in for a magical ride!
There are many great dolphin tours in Destin, but here’s my list of the best dolphin cruises in Destin FL that you’ll love!
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In This Post:
Top 3 Picks: Dolphin Tours in Destin
8 Best Dolphin Tours in Destin
1. Crab Island Dolphin Jetski Adventure (Top Choice for Dolphin Tours in Destin)
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | 🐬 Book it!
Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure in the Gulf of Mexico, where dolphins reign supreme on this Crab Island Dolphin Jetski Adventure — one of the top dolphin tours in Destin!
You’ll hop on a Yamaha jet ski and feel the thrill as you zip through the waves and witness dolphins swimming, playing, and feeding from a safe distance.
“We saw dolphins and a shark! Learned a lot about Destin. Make sure you get there early to complete the paperwork. Definitely recommended. – Chantel (Read more reviews)
What makes this one of the best dolphin tours in Destin is that they keep their tour groups small, which minimizes disturbance to the dolphins and gives you front-row seats for an up-close viewing of dolphins.
Remember that the booking for this tour is per jetski and not per person and that each jetski holds two people, so book according to your party size.
You can even upgrade your water sports tour to include photos of your experience, which makes for a great souvenir on one of the coolest Crab Island dolphin tours!
✅ Check Prices and Availability: Crab Island Dolphin Jetski Adventure
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours | 🐬 Book it!
Experience the charm and beauty of Destin from the water on this one-of-a-kind sunset tiki tour!
As you set sail, soak in the beautiful sunset, watch for playful dolphins, and take in the stunning views of the Destin skyline.
The crew on the tiki boat has you covered with ice and coolers, so all you need to bring are your favorite drinks. Besides that, all you have to do is kick back and relax as you embark on this incredible journey.
“We had a fantastic time with Captain Kirk! The small boat experience is exceptional and truly allows you to relax and enjoy the sunset! The dolphins appeared right on cue, adding to the beauty of the evening! Highly recommend!” – Diane (Read more reviews)
They’ll even sail into the bay for an up-close sunset experience, and as you revel in the moment, soak in the island tunes that serve as the soundtrack to this peaceful sunset experience.
This isn’t just any ordinary sunset dolphin cruise; it’s an extraordinary treat in terms of Destin dolphin cruises and sunset tours.
✅ Check Prices and Availability: Original Cruisin’ Tikis Sunset Cruise
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 45 minutes | 🐬 Book it!
Board this Destin Harbor Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise from the Destin Harbor Boardwalk, and prepare for a magical evening of dolphin encounters with the most spectacular sunsets around the Destin East Pass and Fort Walton Beach areas.
You’ll leave the crowds behind on this 14-passenger speed boat for a more private charter experience and hit the open seas searching for dolphins and a stunning sunset.
“It was so fun! The guides were great and so friendly. They really took their time getting to know us and making us feel comfortable. They also made sure we e saw the dolphins. It was our favorite part of our trip.” – Jason (Read more reviews)
The friendly captain will share stories with you about the area and provide commentary on the dolphins and the sunset that you see, giving you a more personal experience.
With unobstructed sunset views, you’ll be treated to a magnificent display of colors painting the sky. It’s nature’s own spectacular show, and you’re invited to witness it firsthand on one of the best dolphin tours in Destin.
✅ Check Prices and Availability: Destin Harbor Sunset Dolphin Watching Cruise
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours | 🐬 Book it!
Dive right into the sparkling emerald green waters of the Gulf Coast on this Destin Snorkeling and Dolphin Tour.
Explore the incredible local marine life, search for seashells, or bask in the warm sun — there’s something for the entire family on this dolphin cruise in Destin Fl.
“Great time! Even our non-swimmers felt very safe and comfortable while snorkeling and riding. We saw several dolphins, our captain and crew were amazing! Highly recommend!” – Paula (Read more reviews)
As you sail through the bay, watch in awe as dolphins and other majestic creatures of the sea make an appearance.
After you finish your snorkel session, you’ll hop back on board and wander further into the pristine waters of the Emerald Coast, where you’ll witness more playful sea creatures and a variety of marine life.
Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera to grab some stunning shots of your snorkeling experience on this guided dolphin tour.
✅ Check Prices and Availability: Destin Snorkeling and Dolphin Tour
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2.5 hours | 🐬 Book it!
Snorkeling in Destin is an extraordinary experience, and this Flippers Adventures 2 Stop Snorkeling and Dolphin Cruise combines the best of both worlds — snorkeling and dolphin watching!
The crystal-clear waters in Destin make it a perfect spot for snorkeling as you explore the vibrant underwater world and witness colorful fish, marine life, and possibly even dolphins in their natural habitat.
“My family and I had fun. The whole experience was wonderful, from the host to the snorkeling and of course the dolphins. It was worth it!” – Artisha (Read more reviews)
This snorkeling and dolphin cruise is great for first-timers and beginners, and the friendly crew will show you the ropes and help you get the most out of your adventure.
The icing on the cake is that you’ll also enjoy some dolphin watching between the two snorkel stops as you cruise along the beautiful coast of Destin.
✅ Check Rates and Availability: Flippers Adventures 2 Stop Snorkeling and Dolphin Cruise
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour | 🐬 Book it!
If you’re looking for a thrilling and unique experience, there’s no better way to do it than with the Hydrojet Dolphin Cruise from Destin.
As you glide through Destin Harbor, East Pass, and the magnificent Gulf of Mexico, you’ll get to spot delightful dolphins, graceful stingrays, and even curious turtles.
“It was amazing from start to finish! The music, dancing, positive energy, dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, turtles…. All in one!! The crew was welcoming, took our family pics, and danced with us the whole time!! Fun fun fun!! Definite addition to any vacation!!” – Matt (Read more reviews)
They’ll even stop the hydrojet so you have plenty of time to take photos of the marine life and savor the moment.
The real magic and thrill happen when the waves start getting choppy because the captain will amp up the excitement with some thrilling wave jumping!
This dolphin cruise in Destin Fl is a great opportunity to escape from the beach crowd for a bit and a great way to see the beauty of this captivating area!
✅ Check Prices and Availability: Hydrojet Dolphin Cruise
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour | 🐬 Book it!
Another one of the most thrilling and fun dolphin tours in Destin is the Dolphin Watching Speedboat Cruise in Destin Harbor.
The friendly captain aboard this speedboat is dedicated to providing you with an unforgettable experience and will help you spot marine life and enjoy the stunning views of the Destin skyline as you cruise through the beautiful waters of Destin Harbor and Harborwalk Village.
This is a small pontoon boat type of cruise, with a limited amount of people, so you can expect an intimate experience and a chance to connect with nature truly.
“Was a great and fun experience! Got to see many dolphins! The tour guides were amazing, kind and made it such a fun experience for all ages.” – Hanin (Read more reviews)
You’ll also jam out to some tunes while viewing dolphins, stingrays, and other fascinating marine life, and there’s complete shade over the speedboat, so you can kick back and relax during this Destin dolphin cruise.
Lastly, kids can take the reins and be captain for a bit upon request, which is sure to create some amazing memories on this wild dolphin tour!
If you suffer from motion sickness, don’t forget to pack your Dramamine for this one hour cruise!
✅ Check Rates and Availability: Destin Dolphin Watching Speedboat Cruise in Destin Harbor
⭐️ RATING: 4.9/5 stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours | 🐬 Book it!
For an incredibly relaxing and intimate family-friendly adventure, hop aboard the Destin Dolphin Watch Cruise.
The US Coast Guide certified crew is kind and knowledgeable, knows where to find dolphins as they swim in the calm waters of the Choctawhatchee Bay, and will share interesting facts about marine life with you.
“Wonderful guide and fun experience. We saw dolphins, sharks, and jellyfish. Would recommend!” – Misty (Read more reviews)
Marvel at the beauty of Florida‘s renowned Emerald Coast and keep your eyes peeled for delightful dolphins swimming gracefully in their natural sanctuary as you soak in the turquoise Gulf Coast waters.
This dolphin cruise in Destin is a treat for the eyes as you witness some of the most stunning and vibrant views with Destin’s white sand beaches in the background.
✅ Check Rates and Availability: Destin Dolphin Watch Cruise
Dolphin Tours in Destin: FAQs
What are the best times to see dolphins in Destin?
Unlike other coastal communities that experience a surge in dolphin sightings during certain months, the emerald waters of the Destin area are filled with dolphins year-round due to their warm climate and abundant marine life. No matter when you go on your Destin vacation, you are likely to see dolphins swimming in the open waters.
Can you swim with dolphins near Destin, FL?
No, you can’t swim with dolphins in their natural habitat near Destin. There are a few places around the Emerald Coast you can swim with dolphins, but they’re normally part of supervised swim programs in controlled environments.
I don’t condone any activities that involve mistreating animals and strongly recommend you go out on one of the above-listed wild dolphin tours in Destin, where you can see these playful creatures in their natural habitat and support a cruelty-free experience.
What other wildlife can you see on dolphin tours near Destin?
Apart from dolphins, depending on the season and luck, you may also spot sea turtles, stingrays, and even sharks while cruising or snorkeling around sunny Destin. The crystal clear waters of the bay make it a hot spot for marine life and the best place for up-close experiences while giving the sea creatures plenty of room to roam.
What is the best time of day to see dolphins in Florida?
The best time of day to spot these graceful creatures is early in the morning or late in the evening during their feeding times and when the tide is low. That said, you can spot them any time of the day, but they’re just easier to spot in the mornings and evenings.
Do you tip on a dolphin tour?
Tips are not mandatory on dolphin tours in Destin, but if you had an incredible experience, you should absolutely tip the crew. The crew works hard to ensure your experience is as memorable and enjoyable as possible, so it’s the perfect way to express your appreciation for their efforts.
What should you wear on a Destin dolphin cruise?
Dress according to the weather and wear reef-safe sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when going on a Destin dolphin excursion. If you plan on snorkeling, bring a swimsuit, a towel, and an extra change of clothes. You might also want to bring a light jacket just in case, as it can get cool out on the open water.
What kind of dolphins will I see in Destin?
The most common species of dolphins you’ll see on dolphin tours in Destin is the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Occasionally, Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) may show up in the waters, but coastal bottlenose dolphins are by far the most common species.
What are the best places to go dolphin watching in Destin, Florida?
Besides one of the above-listed Destin dolphin excursions, the best areas to get a view of the dolphins in their natural habitat are from popular spots such as Henderson Beach State Park, Okaloosa Island Pier, Crystal Beach, and Miramar Beach.
Summary of the Best Dolphin Tours in Destin
Dolphin tours in Destin offer a unique and memorable opportunity to witness these amazing creatures in action and truly appreciate their magnificence.
Not only will you get to see Destin’s dolphins up close and personal, but you’ll also witness some of the most stunning views Florida offers.
From the adrenaline-packed Crab Island jetski adventure to a more tranquil dolphin watch cruise, Destin has something for every dolphin lover who wants to experience the beauty of these graceful mammals in their natural habitat.
No matter which tour you choose, you and your whole family will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience on one of these amazing dolphin tours in Destin!
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- Crab Island Destin: Complete Guide + 5 Fun Tours
- 12 Adorable Small Beach Towns in Florida
- 14 Best Beaches in the Florida Panhandle
- 18 Fun Things to Do in Seaside Florida
- One Day in Miami
- 11 Top Beaches in Destin Florida
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Destin Travel Planning Guide
🛌 Top hotels and accommodations in Destin
- Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa (My top pick — features tennis courts, a golf course, a spa, and swimming pools. Includes on-site laundry facilities and paddleboards, kayaks, and beach chairs are provided for guests. Gorgeous beachfront property with 6 on-site restaurants.
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Destin Miramar Beach (Located right across the street from the beach, includes free parking, and complimentary evening reception with light snacks, beer, and wine)
- Beachside Inn (Beachfront property, outdoor pool and hot tub with view of the Gulf, and free on-site parking)
🏝️ Top Things to Do in Destin:
- Banana Boat Experience (Explore Destin Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico on a banana boat ride — a fun and unique way for kids and adults to enjoy the waters of Destin)
- Private Crab Island Pontoon Charter (Tour Crab Island and surrounding areas on a private luxury pontoon. Includes everything you need to have a perfect day out on the water like a floating lily pad, inflatable paddleboard, inflatable kayak, Bluetooth speaker, and snorkel gear)
- Island Jetski Adventure (Experience the Emerald Coast on a jetski. See all the best spots, secluded islands, sand bars, and intracoastal waterways on this 60-minute adventure)
🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for Destin?
100% YES! Having travel insurance can be incredibly beneficial in a variety of situations. It can cover medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost or stolen items, etc. It’ll give you peace of mind while traveling, starting at only $5-10 USD per day with Safety Wing.
🚗 What’s the best way to get around Destin?
Renting a car is one of the best and easiest ways to explore Destin and its surroundings. I recommend Discover Cars because you can easily compare the prices and policies of several companies at once so you can find the best deal.
✈️ What’s the best way to get to Destin?
I recommend Skyscanner for finding cheap flights to Destin. They offer an easy-to-use website that compares prices from multiple airlines to help you find the best deal on flights to your trip to Destin and anywhere else in the world.
Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.