Dolphin Tour in Myrtle Beach
Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Cruise Ratings
Dolphin Cruises in Myrtle Beach
There are many things to do in Myrtle Beach, and dolphin cruises are a fantastic option for seeing wildlife off the South Carolina coast. Our family visited Myrtle Beach in the Spring, and we decided to take our two boys on a dolphin tour to see Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins in the wild.
While there are jet ski tours available, we decided against that type of tour due to the ages of our children (six and four years of age). We didn't like the idea of the large "Sea Screamer" type boats with more than 100 people packed on board, either. We found the best dolphin tour for families with small children through Blue Wave Adventures. They operate a small craft (named The Osprey) with inflatable sides - everyone is safe and dry on the boat, and the tour group size is limited.
The weather in April is quite variable in Myrtle Beach, and the high temperature was only 72°F on the day of our tour. While this sounds warm on land, the tour operators advised us that the air can feel as much as ten degrees colder out on the water. We were packed our sweatshirts, cameras, and sunscreen in a backpack before heading out to Murrell's Inlet.
Our Dolphin Cruise
The water was very placid on the day we took our dolphin cruise. We arrived at the Crazy Sister's Marina in Murrell's Inlet an hour before our tour to eat lunch - the tour company requires visitors to arrive a half hour prior to the start of the cruise. Check-in was very simple and we were told to meet Captain Mark and Amy near The Osprey.
We arrived early for our tour, since our slated time was for 11:30am. Our two young boys generally eat lunch during this time period, so we brought a picnic lunch at ate it at the picnic tables at the Crazy Sisters Marina. This was an excellent idea, as our dolphin tour ran from 11:30am-1:00pm, and our boys would have been cranky if they had not had lunch prior to the trip.
Our boys were thrilled to see the boat, and we seated them on a seat at the stern. My younger son wears hearing aids, and this seat on the boat was more likely to keep his ears nice and dry. Children must be at least 2 years old to take this dolphin tour, and children must be at least 54" tall to ride on the inflatable sides of the craft.
Myrtle Beach Dolphin Tour Photos
Video from Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Tour
Environmentally Friendly Dolphin Cruise
Blue Wave Adventures never uses feeding or a technique known as "shrimp netting" to attract the dolphins. They abide by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and are extremely conscientious when the craft nears wild dolphins.
Since the crew does not lure dolphins, there is no guarantee that visitors will see dolphins on any one day in particular. The crew is very knowledgeable about the animals and the area, however, so the likelihood for dolphin sightings is great.
Our tour took off from Murrell's Inlet and we had a fantastic view of Myrtle Beach from the ocean. Within a few minutes, we were surrounded by a pod of dolphins. Captain Mark turned off the motor and we idled while the dolphins swam past. A few dolphins did tail slaps to the water. As the pod moved on, the captain revved up the motor again and took us to a different location.
We spent an hour and a half out on the water, watching the dolphins swim by, viewing different types of birds on the buoys, and seeing several jellyfish in the water. The crew takes visitors on a tour of the immediate coastline, showing guests Drunken Jack's Island and Huntington State Beach. We had a fantastic time showing our children the wild dolphins and getting a thrilling ride on the boat. The wind was quite cold out on the ocean, and we were all thankful we had worn sweatshirts!
Myrtle Beach Dolphin Tour Tips
- Plan in advance: tours fill up quickly, particularly more intimate dolphin cruises like the Blue Wave Adventures tour. Call to reserve tickets several days prior to your planned cruise.
- If you have children under the age of two years, don't plan a dolphin tour. The majority of cruise operators will not accept infants.
- Bring sunscreen, even on a cloudy day. The ocean reflects sunlight and you may get a sunburn without it!
- Bring a jacket, particularly in the spring or on cooler days in the summer. The temperature out on the water is much cooler than on land, and the wind generated from the dolphin cruise may be cold!
Location of Blue Wave Adventures Dolphin Tour
Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on July 23, 2014:
We really enjoyed our dolphin tour in Myrtle Beach, John - it was fun (though the weather was cold on the day we went)! I would love to return in the summer when the weather is nicer!
Johnd805 on May 13, 2014:
This actually answered my drawback, thank you! adbckdabbdeb
Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on July 19, 2013:
The crew was very good about maintaining a respectful distance from the dolphins. When a pod was spotted, they slowly approached and turned off the boat's motor. We had several dolphins swim very close to the boat, as they were curious about us! We also had a tour of the local coastline and saw jellyfish and other sea creatures. It was a fun tour (though a bit chilly in early spring)! I hope you have a great time on your trip, FlourishAnyway!
FlourishAnyway from USA on July 16, 2013:
Great information on a reputable tour company. I have avoided going on these because of concerns about interference with the dolphins' environment and feeding them, but it sounds like this company did a fine job of honoring them and you had a good time. If I can peel my 13 year old away from the beach this would be lovely to do. Voted up and useful.
Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on April 22, 2012:
The boat ride was so much fun. We hoped there would be dolphins, and we were surrounded by them (including a baby with a spotted tail). The captain was wonderful - he did a donut in the water, much to my boys' delight!
Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on April 22, 2012:
Myrtle Beach is a great place to visit, sawyershaw! We had a blast with our family!
Dianna Mendez on April 22, 2012:
Beautiful pictures of the ocean and the opportunity to see the dolphins adds to the ride. This would be a great trip to make as a family. Thanks for posting the useful tips, sunscreen is a must on sunny or cloudy days.
sawyershaw from West Palm Beach on April 21, 2012:
Can't wait to visit!
Leah Lefler (author) from Western New York on April 21, 2012:
It is a wonderful place to visit, bdegiulio. The South Carolina coast is a great respite for us, since we still have snow and winter-like weather in April. The "cold" temperatures in the 60's were delightful for us!
Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on April 21, 2012:
Great info for a visit to Myrtle Beach. Look forward to getting there someday soon.
Thanks for sharing.