Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise is locally owned and operated, offering a personal touch found only in a family owned business. Of all the dolphin cruises in the United States, the Southern Star Dolphin Cruise was selected by CNN to be featured on its program “Earth Matters.” We were also shown on National Geographic’s “Earth Watch,” and we have been honored to host writers for magazines such as Relish, Redbook, and other travel publications.
When you step aboard the Southern Star, you will be greeted by a relaxing family atmosphere and a smile from our friendly crew. Island music fills the air as everyone finds their seats and the Captain and crew prepare for departure. We ensure you will find our vessel clean, comfortable and inviting. Your Captain will brief guests on safety procedures aboard Southern Star just before the crew lets go of the lines and the cruise sets sail for your adventure.
Southern Star is an 80′ double deck, glass bottom boat, built in 2001, equipped with a climate-controlled cabin, two restrooms and plenty of room to walk about on both decks. On the main deck, there is a galley offering soft drinks, hot dogs, chips, smoothies and other snack items as well as small gift items and souvenirs available for purchase.
Our two hour, relaxing cruise begins with a narrated tour of Destin Harbor. Your Captain will give a brief history about the area, point out some local places of interest, and share some remarkable facts about where our town was founded. As we exit the harbor, the mates will distribute food and assist those interested in feeding the birds. Our area is home to a variety of seabirds and other wildlife that we can observe naturally throughout the cruise.
Proceeding into the East Pass at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico, the Emerald Coast’s most notable features, emerald green waters and white sand beaches, can be seen. If weather conditions are favorable offshore and seas are calm, we will cruise down the beach just off Holiday Isle and Norriego Point. If the sea-state is rough or uncomfortable, the Captain will swing the boat around, proceeding under the Destin Bridge and into the Choctawhatchee Bay. Safety and passenger comfort are great concerns and you are in good hands with your Captain and crew. Our goal is to make this a memorable experience for everyone on board, but it is difficult to enjoy a relaxing cruise if you are seasick. Capt. Steve and Capt. Cliff are veteran master mariners, and if there are seas over three or four feet offshore where guests may feel uncomfortable, we stay inside protected waters.
As Southern Star embarks on a fun-filled cruise in search of the Atlantic Coastal Bottlenose Dolphin, you will experience the beauty and grace of these incredible marine mammals up close and in person. When dolphins are spotted, the Captain will announce their location, and the crew will begin to clap and cheer to encourage the dolphins while watching them swim, play, and surf the waves. The Captain will also educate you on the dolphins, giving you information about the species, their habits and behaviors. Your Captain will enlighten your imagination with his vast knowledge of dolphins.
Children of all ages have an opportunity to become Junior Captains aboard Southern Star when they are called to the wheelhouse halfway into the cruise. Your Junior Captain will receive a Certificate and create a memory that he or she will cherish for years to come.
Sunset cruises aboard the Southern Star are one of the most breathtaking ways to experience the Emerald Coast beaches and the glorious splendor of a painted sky. For a memorable moment with no comparison, watch the glowing sun slowly sinking along the emerald green waters of the most pristine, sugary white sand beaches, and you will be captured by its beauty.
Our priority is to create an exciting, family-oriented experience that is like no other. The Captain and crew are on board to serve you, and should you have any needs during your cruise, feel free to let any one of them know. Additionally, if you would like more information, or have any questions about the dolphin cruise aboard the Southern Star, please do not hesitate to contact us by filling out the form found in the Contact Us section of our website.
Look at that face!
Remember when you were a kid, and you got to do something so exciting that you couldn’t wait to run home and tell your friends? That’s what your child can experience on the Southern Star when the Captain announces it is time for children to steer.