Dolphin-watching cruises are a luxurious way to relax and see the sights, unlike boarding dolphins equipped with saddles, which usually results in whiplash and water-filled lungs. Cruise the blue in comfort with this Groupon.
- $99 for a two-hour dolphin cruise for four (a $200 value)
Groups of four delight in the spirited antics of young dolphins, which are often spotted tossing mangrove seeds and playing in the boat’s wake. The captain requests his passengers don’t feed, disturb, or sing carols with the dolphins. Cruises depart Monday–Friday at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2 p.m. Groups with more than four people can opt to buy one or two more tickets at the regular full price.
At the helm of Mangrove Masters is Florida native and USCG-certified Captain Jack Boutchyard, who loves to introduce visitors to the waters he calls home—specifically those surrounding Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Captain Jack brings along all gear, including fishing licenses, rods, and bait for flats fishing charters that chase trout near the grass flats and redfish when the tide goes out. For a hands-off outing, the sunset cruise charts course toward a horizon bathed in soft pinks and purples, presenting a colorful backdrop for dolphins and manatees at play. Treasure hunters can also opt to meet Captain Jack on the dock for a short jaunt to the white, sandy shores of North Captiva Island, which is only accessible by boat and teems with riches such as conch shells, sand dollars, and buried chests filled with pirate baseball-card collections.
But perhaps the biggest attraction, hidden in Captain's Jack sleeve, is the two-hour private dolphin cruise around the waterways of Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Island, during which visitors observe dolphins and manatees in their natural habitat and from a safe distance. These mammals love to jump and play and often show off their acrobatic skills that could take them to the Olympics if they were a different type of mammals.