- Will we really see a dolphin?
Yes, you will – we guarantee it! We have been cruising with these dolphins for well over a decade and know a great deal about their social life and habits. After thousands of trips, we have missed seeing dolphins only three times. After each of those three trips, we returned to the dock and rescheduled all who could for a second free cruise in the next day or two, with your choice of the same cruise or a sailing cruise. There is no guarantee that you will see dolphins aboard the sail boat – however, we most always do!
- Are there life jackets for adults and children?
The boat is equipped with more than 60 life jackets available for use by children and adults. In addition, we provide child life jackets for everyone who is under eight years old; state laws require these to be worn during the cruise.
- Is there disabled access?
We have been able to accommodate most requests. Please call us at 251-550-8000 to discuss your needs with our staff.
- What kind of boat will I be on?
The Explorer is a 40-foot aluminum pontoon that was custom-made to cruise swamps and creeks. Needing only 16-18 inches of water, we can offer picture-perfect opportunities for close-up viewing of local flora and fauna. Much of the seating area is shaded, and the open bow is conducive to walking around and getting fabulous photos. And yes, there is an onboard bathroom!
The Cetacean Sailing Catamaran is a 52-foot two-hulled sail boat. The two hulls ensure “smooth sailing!” and we have tables and chairs and additional seating for 40 passengers. While sailing the beautiful bays we listen to relaxing and fun music. You have a hostess that takes care of your every need including taking photos of you and your group on your devices creating memories to last a lifetime. Our sunset sails are amazing, offering wonderful photo opportunities. There is a full service bar aboard offering a variety of reasonably-priced specialty cocktails, beer, and wine. And yes, there is a restroom onboard!
- Cancellation policies
Should you choose to cancel a reservation prior to departure, you must notify our customer care center at 251-550-8000 at least two hours prior to the scheduled departure. Failure to timely notify or arrive for a reservation will result in empty seats and therefore the reserved credit card will be charged the full fare times the number of seats reserved.
For PRIVATE CRUISES the cancellation policy is a 72-HOUR notice, this is required to avoid loss of deposit. A 48-HOUR notice is required to avoid being charged for the entire cost of charter. Parties greater than 10 pp require 72 hour notice.
If the captain deems the weather, the vessel, or any equipment to be inadequate for a safe and pleasurable cruise, he reserves the right to cancel the cruise. In such a case, no charges will be incurred to any customer and we will do our best to reschedule each reservation as space on subsequent cruises is available.
- When should I be at the dock?
Please arrive at the our ticket booth located in-front of The Springhill Suites Hotel at The Wharf Marina 30 minutes prior to departure to allow time to get all passengers registered. Once registration is complete and the boat is fully prepared, the captain invites you to board.
- What should I bring?
We encourage guests to wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Don’t forget your camera and maybe even binoculars. Once on the boat, you may purchase iced-down soft drinks, water, and Gatorade as well as chips, cookies, nuts, and candy, all for $1 each. If you wish to bring your own food or drink, please place it in a small cooler that can go under the seat. Alcohol is permitted in moderation to be brought on The Explorer vessel only. The Cetacean sail boat has soft drinks, water, and adult beverages available for purchase – you may NOT bring alcohol on board the sail boat, however, you may bring food.
*Please wear sensible shoes, high-heels are not allowed on boats!
- Where do I board?
Find us in Orange Beach, Alabama, at The Wharf Entertainment District, we are located directly in front of The Springhill Suites by Marriot on the West End Side of the Marina. Our address is 4673 Wharf Parkway West, Orange Beach, Alabama 36561.
- What payment options do you accept?
Your reservation requires a valid credit card to reserve your seats. When you arrive, you may pay by credit card or cash.
- How many people does the boat accommodate?
Our 40-foot pontoon can comfortably accommodate 49 passengers.
Our 52-foot sailing catamaran can comfortably accommodate 40 passengers.
- Are cruises offered year-round?
Yes! Our full season runs from March until the end of October. During the off-season, check with us and let us know when you are available; we are usually open and we schedule cruises as the need arises (with as few as 10-12 people). Join us any time of year for a unique excursion.
- Do I have to make reservations, or can I be a walk-on?
Cetacean Cruises operates on a reservation system to insure that you get on a cruise when you arrive. Anyone is welcome to walk up, but often the boats are full. We STRONGLY recommend a reservation.
- How early should I arrive prior to departure?
We ask guests to arrive 30 minutes prior to departure to register your group.
- How long are the cruises?
Most of our cruises are two hours. Dolphin only cruises are an hour and a half and private sailing cruises can be longer.
- Will snacks and drinks be available?
Guests are welcome to bring a small cooler to fit under their seat with non alcoholic beverages only. We offer a variety of cold drinks and water as well as snacks on each cruise for $1 each. Select Adult beverages are also available for purchase.
- What should I bring on my Cetacean Cruises excursion?
Just as though you were spending a day on the beach, we encourage our guests to pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and, of course, a camera! While the boat is mostly covered, when you see the dolphins you may be walking all around the boat.