Outer Banks Dolphin Cruises
Now that you've spent all this money helping dolphins, it only makes sense that you would want to go out and see these majestic creatures. This is exactly why North Carolina is a great place to visit: dolphins are everywhere.
Dolphinscan be found up and down the coast of North Carolina, but they love the Outer Banks especially It's estimated that over 500 dolphins live in the Outer Banks during the summer, when they have their children. They arrive in May to give birth, and they remain there until late fall when they migrate to warmer waters, although some live in the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout areas all year.
During the summer, it's easy to see dolphins, but you have to know when to look for them. Dolphins are more likely to come closer to the shore and be active in the morning and in the late afternoon, as they like to avoid the heat of the sun during the day. If the seas are choppy, it's more difficult to see the telltale sign of a dolphin: its fin. However, they're still swimming through the ocean; you just might not be able to see them from the shore.
To help people see and experience these beautiful mammals, many companies in the Outer Banks, the Crystal Coast, and the Wilmington area offer "Dolphin Cruises." Captains of these boats take you on tours through these waters and take you to places where you can be sure to see dolphins. Some might see this as disruptive to the dolphins, but the captains take special precautions to make sure that the animals are not injured to help ensure that they remain in the area.
One of the biggest companies in the Outer Banks that offers dolphin cruises is Outer Banks Cruises. Going into their 18th season this year, Outer Banks Cruises has a policy on their Guaranteed Dolphin Watch tour that will ensure you see dolphins: if you don't see any dolphins, you get to go on another cruise for free. Fortunately, that doesn't happen frequently, as Outer Banks Cruises saw dolphins on 196 out of the 200 cruises it offered last year. This cruise will run you $28 per adult and $18 per child.
Outer Banks Cruises has several tours a day departing Monday through Friday, along with Saturday if you've made an appointment ahead of time. Cruises are offered from May through October. On cruises, which are an average of about two hours long, customers learn about bottlenose dolphins, hear local lore, and often observe dolphins mate and give birth.
Nags Head Dolphin Watch also offers dolphin cruises to people in the Outer Banks area. Trips depart every day of the week except for Sunday and last about three hours. The people in charge of the program are dolphin researchers, and the funds raised by the tours go towards dolphin research projects. On their tours, you learn about the feeding and social behaviors of dolphins and observe not only dolphins, but other native wildlife. A cruise with them is $29 for adults and $15 for children 12 or under.
Kitty Hawk Kites, a popular tourist destination, also runs dolphin cruises. Sponsored their tours, you learn about the feeding and social behaviors of dolphins and observe not only dolphins, but other native wildlife. Their tours, which last an average of about 2 hours, are also $15 for children under 12 and $29 for adults, with infants only being $1.
The Outer Banks isn't the only area on North Carolina's beautiful coast to enjoy dolphin cruises. The Crystal Coast, a beautiful area south of the Outer Banks, and Wilmington also have cruises leaving from their area.