Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise is family-owned and operated since 1994, creating a personal experience. Southern Star Dolphin Cruise has been featured on CNN “Earth Matters,” National Geographic’s “Earth Watch,” and hosted writers for numerous blogs, national magazines, and other travel publications.
When you step aboard, you will be welcomed with a smile from our friendly crew. Island music fills the air to create a relaxing family atmosphere as the captain and crew prepare to set sail for your adventure.
The Southern Star is an 80′ double deck, glass bottom boat, US Coast Guard certified for up to 149 passengers. Built in 2001, she is the largest and most comfortable dolphin tour boat in Destin Harbor. The upper deck offers incredible views, and on the main deck you’ll find our climate-controlled cabin, clean restrooms, glass-bottom viewing area, and a galley offering snack and souvenir items available for purchase. We ensure that you will find our vessel clean, comfortable, and inviting.
Your captain will begin the two-hour eco-tour with a narration of Destin Harbor, giving a brief history about the area on which the town was founded, and pointing out local places of interest. As we exit the harbor, the mates will assist those interested in feeding the birds, and distribute food to do so. This area is home to a variety of seabirds and other wildlife that we can observe naturally throughout the cruise.
Proceeding into the East Pass, the Emerald Coast’s most notable features–pristine waters and sugar-white sand beaches–can be seen. If weather conditions are favorable and seas are calm, we will cruise into the Gulf of Mexico. If the sea-state is rough or uncomfortable, the captain will cruise into protected waters in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Safety and passenger comfort are great concerns, and you are in good hands with your captain and crew.
When dolphins are spotted, the captain will announce their location, and the crew will begin to clap and cheer to encourage the dolphins to swim, play, and surf the waves. You will experience the beauty and grace of these incredible marine mammals as we observe the Atlantic Coastal Bottlenose Dolphins up close and in person. The captain will educate you on the local species, their habits, and behaviors.
Children of all ages have an opportunity to become Junior Captains when they are called to the wheelhouse to steer the boat. He or she will receive a certificate and create a memory that will be cherished for years to come.
Sunset cruises aboard the Southern Star are one of the most breathtaking ways to experience the splendor of the Emerald Coast. Following the same structure as our dolphin cruises, our sunset cruises take place in the evenings, and end with a glorious view of the glowing sun slowly sinking into the water, just before returning to the dock.
On special occasions, and throughout the Summer, we offer night time Fireworks Cruises that provide incomparable viewing of these spectacular shows. We depart the dock after dusk with the sole purpose of getting an up close vantage point of the fireworks displays.
No matter the cruise you take aboard Southern Star, 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 our dolphin cruise aboard Southern Star, please do not hesitate to contact us.