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Explore the Waters on a Dolphin Tour in Anna Maria Island

If you’re searching for the ultimate family vacation destination, look no further than Anna Maria Island. This quaint island has kept the classic, relaxing “Old Florida” feel that so many other cities have forgotten. But that doesn’t mean AMI is boring! There are tons of fun things to do on Anna Maria Island, including countless activities for kids.

One of the best ways to get outside with your family is by taking a dolphin tour! Anna Maria Island dolphin tours are fun for guests young and young at heart, and they’ll help you learn more about the history and marine life of the island. You’ll also get the chance to be up close and personal to the majestic dolphins in the area!

Here are a few of our favorite Anna Maria Island dolphin tour companies.

AMI Dolphin Tours

dolphins swimming in water

AMI Dolphin Tours is the passion project of Captain Ben Webb, who has more than 45 years of experience on the waters of Anna Maria Island. Captain Ben loves working with kids and adults alike and teaching them all about the majestic dolphins that inhabit these waters. On every excursion, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands, as Captain Ben holds a Master Captain’s license from the United States Coast Guard.

The main Anna Maria Island Dolphin Tour is a two-hour excursion that takes you through the most beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll learn all about your surroundings while looking out for incredible manatees and playful dolphins. Depending on the season, you might even be able to spot some wading birds when the grass flats are exposed. This tour can be public or private. Public tours last 1.5 hours and cost $35 per person. For a private tour with up to 19 passengers, adventures last 2 hours and cost $300 for the first 6 people, then $35 per person for every additional passenger.

If you want to see a sunset like you’ve never experienced before, AMI Dolphin Tours also offers a Dolphin Sunset Tour! This adventure will take you through the waters in much the same manner as the daytime tour, but you’ll have a world-class view of the sun as it dips down under the horizon. The public version of this tour has the same cost and duration as the daytime version, but for the private tour, the base cost is $325 with an additional $35 fee per person for up to 19 people.

AMI Dolphin Tours operates from Waterline Marina, 5500 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach. 

Bradenton Beach Marina

Bradenton Beach Marina is located at the southern end of Anna Maria Island and is easy to get to no matter where you’re staying on the island. This marina is situated right between Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay and has easy access to the Gulf, giving guests their choice of the surrounding waters. Bradenton Beach Marina has been in operation since 1982 and has proven itself to be a staple business of Anna Maria Island.

girls on boat

The dolphin tours on Anna Maria Island offered by Bradenton Beach Marina are the ultimate family activity. You’ll hop onboard the Anna Maria Island Explorer and get ready to take off on this 1.5-hour excursion through the waters of AMI. The captain for your Dolphin Eco Tour will point out all the most beautiful sights of Anna Maria Island and the nearby Cortez fishing village, and they’ll take you to the areas of water where dolphins are most likely to hang out. 

Dolphin Eco Tours are available twice daily, once at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. These trips are incredibly affordable at just $42.80 for adults, $37.45 for seniors or military members, and $32.10 for children under 10. You can also embark on a sunset cruise (departing one hour before sunset) for the same price! 

Bradenton Beach Marina is located at 402 Church Avenue.

Island Pearl Excursions

Located at the north end of Sarasota Bay in Bradenton Beach, Island Pearl Excursions offers all kinds of family friendly activities in Anna Maria Island. Of course, they have several dolphin tours to embark on (more on those in a minute), but you can also book a private charter, fishing trip, or excursion to nearby locations like Egmont Key, Jewfish Key, Sisters Key, and more! Depending on which adventure you book, you’ll be invited onto one of their four vessels: Island Breeze, Island Hopper, Island Pearl, or Now and Then.

One of the most popular offerings from Island Pearl Excursions is the Dolphin Watch Sightseeing Tour. On this tour, you’ll get a unique chance to explore the waters of Sarasota Bay and can spot all kinds of local wildlife, like birds, manatees, and, of course, dolphins! It’s definitely recommended that you bring your camera and binoculars, since you’re going to be seeing some truly incredible animals in their natural habitats. This tour lasts 1.5 hours and leaves twice per day, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Admission costs $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and active military, and $25 for kids under 12. Children under 3 are free!

Island Pearl Excursions also offers a few other tours that aren’t specifically aimed at seeing dolphins, but you very well might spot some while you’re out on the water! The 2.5-hour Circle Island Tour, the 1.5-hour Sunset Cruise, and the 2-hour Island Pearl Private Sunset Cruise all give you the chance to see the amazing wildlife and marine life of the area. Whatever journey you choose to venture on, you’re always in good hands and are in for the time of your life!

Island Pearl Excursions operates out of Bradenton Beach Marina, 402 Church Avenue.

Plan Your Next Visit

Our friendly and helpful staff can assist you in selecting the ideal rental for your group. Once you’re here, we’ll get to know you by name and are always available to address your questions. Then, it’s just up to you to have fun! Enjoy a movie on a flat-screen TV inside your rental or come hang out with us and play cornhole or horseshoes on the lawn. Best of all, you’re always just steps away from the beach! There’s never been a better time to plan your getaway. Contact us today to secure your Anna Maria Island vacation rental.

Where to Stay

view of the pool

Each of these companies is conveniently located near many of Anna Maria Island’s best attractions, meaning that it’s easy to fit a dolphin tour into your itinerary between whatever else you have planned. After a long day of sightseeing, you’re probably going to be tired! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a luxurious and comfortable place to stay where you can relax with your loved ones or get freshened up for dinner?

Anna Maria Beach Resort is just the place! Our doors opened in March 2019, making us one of the newest accommodation rental services on AMI. In our properties, you’ll have the ultimate luxury vacation rental to spend your days, no matter how many people are in your group, how many days you plan to stay, or how much money you want to spend.