Featured in Experience Alabama
Cetacean Cruises is featured in Experience Alabama! Read the article below to hear about their Dolphin Cruise experience!
Dolphins are magical. Is that dramatic? An exaggeration, perhaps? But it’s true. They are magical. Show me someone who doesn’t get excited when they see a dolphin- you can’t.
Nothing mixes like the beach and dolphins (and maybe cocktails, but that’s another blog, stay tuned!). Except, it’s not so easy to see dolphins while lounging on the sand- you have to go find them. Insert dolphin cruises. Now, we aren’t talking about the those glass-bottom boats, we are talking about an educational, fun-boat type of dolphin tour.
There are so many different types of dolphin cruises around the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area, so we had to narrow down our criteria to choose the right cruise for us. We decided we wanted three things: an educational tour, a nice boat, and dolphins (obviously). We thought an educational tour may be fun to keep it entertaining, it’s always nice to learn a little something. So, we ran over to Cetacean Cruises conveniently located at The Wharf. (The Wharf is a great location- grab a good cup of coffee at The Grind, choose from a number of delicious restaurants for a bite of lunch or dinner, or hang out into the night at a few fun bars. Not to mention the big ferris wheel that the kids would love to ride while you’re down there.)
We got there and didn’t wait long at all. We hopped on a great, big catamaran stocked with a “just-in-case restroom” and snacks to help with all the munchies (sold at a low cost of $1- hard to argue with that.) We met our captain, our first mate, fellow passengers and were on our way.
Our first mate, Breezy, was fantastic. She knew more about dolphins than we could have imagined. We learned all about dolphin pods, learned how we could name them if we wanted, and got to call a few we saw along the way by name. Kristy, our founder, grew up in Gulf Shores and basically spent her summers helping her dad captain dolphin cruise vessels and she came away knowing more about dolphins than she thought possible.
A favorite fact about dolphins: dolphins travel in pods and when a dolphin in a family becomes pregnant, they form maternity pods where the females stick together and watch for the baby when it’s time. How cool is that? Just like us- they stick together and know what’s up. Purely amazing.
The best part? It’s such a family-friendly event. There were kids of all ages! The little ones loved catching a glimpse of the dolphins and the older ones like being junior captains with Captain Ace- they get to help drive the boat and be dolphin lookouts.
Now, as any good tourist reviewers, we asked the tough question: do you ever go on tours without seeing any dolphins? Their answer was another fun dolphin fact. Dolphins are creatures of habits so they hang out in the same areas and tend not to stray too far from there. So, no, they really never have a problem finding dolphins on their tours because they know where to look and which dolphin to expect- yes, they have names for all of them!
So, next time it’s a beautiful day for a boat ride and you want to see the friendliest neighbors in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, head over to Cetacean Cruises to grab a ride.
Pack your bags, make a plan, and come play.
Featured by "The Food Hussy"
Named #4 in the 33 Things to do in Gulf Shores Alabama
#4. Dolphin Cruise – If you’re near the Gulf – you can always find a dolphin boat! I went on the Cetacean Cruises Sunset Dolphin Tour on my most recent trip with my BFF from home. We had a BLAST and saw SO MANY dolphins! The cruise director really was a dolphin expert and the staff were so much fun – especially Karen – she made the ride! It takes off from the Wharf – so there’s plenty of great dining spots after the cruise.
“The Captain and his assistant on the pontoon boat were the best! Very knowledgeable and friendly. Paid attention to details and made everyone feel at home! Would definitely recommend them for an enjoyable cruise. The gales at the ticket counter were very helpful as well and were very accommodating! Thank you for making our anniversary special! Belinda & Mike”
“Enjoyed a wonderful dolphin sunset sail with family during spring break. Captain and crew were first class. Nice music selection. Very Enjoyable Evening.”
“We did the sunset cruise and it was amazing! The captain was kind and the bartender took amazing pictures, gave recommendations, and was so kind. We would totally do this again!”
“Cannot say enough about how much we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. And the staff were just so friendly!!!”
“We went on the 1.5 hour tour with our two young boys. The boat left promptly, and everything felt very organized. We saw many dolphins and Captain John let all of the kids have a turn to drive. Our guide was friendly and helpful as well, offering blankets and selling affordable drinks and snacks. We highly recommend!”
“We’ve cruised with Cetacean 8 or 9 times in the last ten years. We’ve never been disappointed. The glass bottom boat is able to maneuver around the bay faster so it can keep up with the dolphins. However, this time we took the sunset catamaran cruise and it was delightful. Dolphins came right up to the boat several times. We’ve found that the captain knows the bay well, customer service is great and we always have a good time”
“My husband and I have done this cruise 3 times. One time we took my Dad, One time we took my cousin and this time we took my Mom and Nieces and Nephew. Every time has been a time to remember!! This is a cruise for all ages to enjoy.”
“We had a tremendous time out on the Nature/Dolphin cruise. Staff is knowledgeable on local birds, environment, etc. The dolphins were out and very active – we have tons of priceless video and pictures. Our teenage daughters rated this outing as the highlight of their winter break!”
From Mitchell Crowe
“Lisa scheduling was totally awesome. Captain Will very informative and knowledgeable about the surrounding areas. Had a great great time. Saw all kinds of dolphins. Thanks to all who work there.”
From Richard Presley
“This is the best sunset 🐬 tour in the area. We actually booked our tour for a Saturday for some reason we showed up on Friday thinking it was for then, I guess we were just excited. Karen, made room for us so we could go Friday instead. I thought that was very nice as we cut our beach day short to be there. Captain Will and his assistant Karen are very knowledgeable with the surrounding wild life and waterways. We definitely will book again on our next trip here. Thank you both for all you do!!”
“Awesome time! Saw lots of dolphins and other wildlife. Great Captain and Firstmate. Hands down the best tour.”
“Cetacean Cruises in Orange Beach Alabama was a blast. Four of us one went on the five oclock nature dolphin cruise which lasted couple hours plus and it was a bargain. Everything on the beach is expensive but this was the best value and very educational. We saw lots of dolphins etc, a lot of fun.”
“If we could give 10 stars…we would. We booked a wedding cruise and it was so much fun and way beyond our dreams. Everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously and the captain and crew were wonderful!!! They made our day much more special and we couldn’t have asked for better. Thank you Cetacean Cruises for an absolutely beautiful and memorable wedding…dolphins included!!!”
From Juliana Sweek
“Cetacean Cruises was absolutely outstanding! We took the sunset cruise and could not have had a better time. Since it is earlier in the year, it was still a little chilly once the sun started to go down so the staff offered blankets- which I was not expecting! Great surprise because I was unprepared and didn’t bring a jacket. They played great music, we saw dolphins and had a few drinks from the full bar. Highly recommend- you will not be disappointed!”
“This was by far the highlight of our week long vacation. They made sure we saw and had interaction with dolphins. We were offered blankets and the Carry and Captain Charlie were kind and informative. If you are taking children this is the cruise for you!”
“Got to see the first baby dolphin of the season. They named it Rylex. 😎”
“Excellent cruise. Captain Jeff and Karen were excellent tour guides.”
“Great time on the water ! Even for the big kids like me. Little kids drive first then the big ones. We got to see a mermaid and she kept the captain pointed in the right direction. This is a company that truly knows what they are doing so sit back enjoy the ride !”
“We had a wonderful time and we’re able to capture some beautiful pictures!”
“The dolphin tour was great… Absolutely love the staff… 2 hours of fun n reasonably priced. A must do!”
“My family had an amazing experience on Cetacean Dolphin and Nature Cruise. I’m impressed about how knowledgeable our tour guide and boat captain were about the local habitat and animals. We were able to see quite a few dolphins 🐬 and other wildlife on our tour. My children all loved having a chance to help steer the boat. We’ll definitely go on another nature cruise when we’re visiting Orange Beach again.”
“Planned this trip for our daughter and her family. The children thoroughly enjoyed riding the boat and seeing the dolphins! We saw a lot of dolphins in various areas of the waterway. Captain was well educated about dolphins and made the trip interesting and educational. The tour boat is clean and safe. Drinks and snacks were inexpensive. Overall it was very enjoyable.”
“I, my husband, daughter & 9 year old granddaughter took this tour Sunday afternoon. We visit this area often, but this was our first time to book a dolphin cruise & Cetacean Cruise was perfect. We were warmly welcomed by Carrie & Will, who were wonderful giving information & making our trip interesting as well as educational. We saw plenty of dolphins as well as other wildlife in this beautiful area. As an added treat we saw “The Lady of the Lake” at Barbar Marina – something I’ve wanted to see for years. Our granddaughter had the most marvelous time & Caption Will made her feel extra special! Carrie was a dear & made sure we were warm & comfortable. I highly recommend this cruise & look forward to going again !!!”
“We had a fantastic time with Carrie and Will! My Jr Captain can’t stop talking about her afternoon on the cruise! We learned more about dolphins than we have on multiple trips to aquariums (where we’ve swam with them) and got to see a whole pod with babies! The bay was beautiful at sunset and we got to learn about the estuaries and the surrounding areas and wildlife, too. Carrie and Will felt like family, we traded “sea stories” and had a blast even in the chilly weather – we can’t wait to go back! If you’re in the area, don’t miss out!”
“So happy that we got to experience a wonderful sunset cruise. It was peaceful and relaxing. We got to see dolphins and watch the sun go down. The dolphins and sunset were truly beautiful. Our hosts were so welcoming and friendly. Sailing on the water was fabulous. Highly recommend”
“This was our first time visiting Gulf Shores, AL. We love taking boat cruises to see the wildlife. Cetacean Cruises was very friendly. This is a great cruise for kids too. They do press on tattoos, gave away dolphin necklaces, did the limbo, and let the kids feed the seagulls. The captain was super nice and we enjoyed his stories too. The best part of the cruise was getting to see the baby dolphins. They were TOO cute! We will definitely be back again.”
“We had such a memorable trip with our two kids! Best dolphin cruise we’ve been on! Very family friendly, awesome and attentive staff, comfortable boat and an affordable selection of snacks/drinks! Also that dizzy dolphin drink was fantastic! 🐬🍹 Keep doing what your doing, you guys are awesome!”
“My family and I wanted to do a dolphin cruise and be able to see dolphins but we all get sick very easily.. Luckly, this cruise is different because instead of going into the gulf you’re in the bays and it’s not as bumpy. They guarantee dolphin sightings, at first it was taking a bit to see them and then about 30 minutes in I was able to get a whole hour of seeing dolphins around. I am a major dolphin freak and I was so happy to be able to see them up close. The crew is amazing and fun, there were kids on board and they did limbo, Carrie was one of the crew members and she was so great with all the kids on board made it fun for them as well!! && best part yet for the adults, they have drinks on board so you can drink and have a good time as well! Will the captain of the boat was very outgoing and has a lot of facts about the dolphins, he seems to have a lot of experience. I was very pleased if you couldn’t tell.”
“We went on a dolphin cruise last fall with Cetacean, and decided to go again during spring break. We had the same great experience. We saw a bald eagle and several dolphins. The captains are great, and everyone from the time of booking is friendly. They are very knowledgeable, and are very family-oriented. I would highly recommend them. The day we went was a little chilly, and they even offered everyone blankets (and had even sent a text the night before to say to dress warmly). Great people and a lot of fun!”
“Lisa was AMAZING! Our initial date had bad weather and she was very flexible and willing to work with us to go another time instead, super-friendly Captain, crew, Breezy both very informative, saw lots of dolphins very close-up, even babies!! Definitely recommend!”
“Great cruise! Worth the money.Staff was awesome. Serve snacks at reasonable prices. I will use them again!”
“Very friendly guides. I saw a ton of dolphins which was awesome.”
From Carrie Brindley
“Awesome experience for our family!. Definitely recommend Captain Will!. Knowledgeable and super fun! Thanks for everything!”
“We called on a Tuesday morning and booked for that evening. At the time they only had booking for the nature cruise, but the captain said if they get enough for the sailboat sunset cruise he would switch us over. When we got there, he had enough and switched us over to the catamaran sailboat. It was fantastic, saw more dolphins that you could imagine. The captain was terrific and went out of his way to make sure we saw as much as possible, The first mate, Abbey, was great! She took great care of us, spent time with all of us and was so friendly and knowledgeable about the boat, the area and even where to get good grub when we were done sailing! We will do this again for sure, and the cost was great!!!”
“This was a great experience all around. The captains know what they are doing and they know so much about the environment around them. It’s so nice because the animals encountered are willing and curious!”
“We had a great time in the dolphin cruise. We saw several dolphins up close and some other wildlife too. Staff were friendly, educational, and entertaining. They even offered blankets and ponchos as a free convenience. We will definitely revisit next time we are in the area.”
“I went on the 2 hr dolphin cruise twice. Both times we saw dolphins, many dolphins, riding in the wake of the boat, following barges and playing! The captain is very knowledgeable of the wildlife in the area and has worked with dolphins, so has many stories and anecdotes. This tour is good for old and young alike. My one bit of advice….even if it is warm on shore, it will be cooler on the water. Dress appropriate!”
“This was a great family experience. The boat was beautiful, the staff was very accommodating, and the views were stunning. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip.”
“Booked the Explorer Dolphin Cruise trip for my coworkers with Mrs Lisa and she was just wonderful to talk to on the phone. She answered all my questions about parking and food and what kind of shade they have. We arrived just in time from a late lunch to board the boat and be offered a alcoholic beverage! Drinks ranged from $4-$6 depending on what everyone got. They also have bottled water and snacks on board! We sat under the shade and listened to Capt Charlie explain the rules and safety precautions while we sipped our drinks (and Ifinished my lunch I had brought in a to go box). The trip around the bay was really nice. Very smooth and not rough at all. We were free to get up and walk around the boat. The is a smaller boat which I really like because our group wasn’t shoved in with 100 other people or screaming kids. There were a few children on the boat and those kids seemed to have a blast! Deckhand Karen graciously offered free sunscreen to those that needed it, took pics of the kids driving the boat with Capt Charlie and even applied temp tattoos to everyone that wanted one (including adults!)! We did get to see a momma dolphin and her baby and they swam alongside us for quite awhile. We also got to see some eagles nests and learn a little about the ecology of the area. It was a good laid back kind of trip. 5 stars!”
“Very good price especially for the tour you receive. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and there were quite a few children on the boy and they were great getting them involved. We will definitely visit again if ever back in the area!”
“Great boat, Great people, Great knowledge, Great trip, saw many dolphins. And you receive discounts for local restaurants at trip end!”
“We had a great time on the Explorer! The guide was knowledgeable about the area as well as the wildlife in the water and on land and the hostess was attentive and made sure everyone had everything they wanted without being intrusive or pushy We saw a lot of dolphins and a ton of birds. Our 12 year old was glued to the rail trying to spot the next dolphin and he has talked about the trip non-stop since we went. Price for the tour was on par with other cruises and the snack prices were very reasonable on the boat. We would definitely use Cetacean Cruises again if we find ourselves in Orange Beach again.”
“Great time on the water! Really informative crew, clean boat and even some meal discounts when the tour was over.”
“We thoroughly enjoyed our time with the crew aboard the dolphin excursion, Captain William and Breezy were very knowledgeable about the dolphins and other wildlife in the area. We learned a lot about dolphins that we never knew before. Lots of great photos taken.”
“Excellent dolphin cruise. Very professional from making reservations to end of cruise. Thanks for adding to our first Gulf Shores “snow bird” experience!”
“Even though the day was overcast and a bit cool, we had a wonderful time. Captain Will was a wealth of information regarding the dolphins. He has up close experience with the wonderful creatures, and shared that knowledge with his passengers. All staff were pleasant and conducted a very good tour. There are restroom facilities on the boat, along with beverages for purchase. We highly recommend the 2 hour nature/dolphin tour.”