Step aboard a beautiful sailing yacht for two hours of fun as you sail the calm waters of Boca Ciega Bay in search of our native Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. Our captains can confidently tell guests that they have a 99% chance of seeing dolphins from our vessels. Are they that good? Well, yes...but they also know the deck is stacked in their favor. Boca Ciega Bay and the greater Tampa Bay area is home to over 700 healthy identified dolphins!
- Watch dolphins in their year-round natural habitat. If you're lucky, you may see them jump completely out of the water!
- Depending on the season we may also come across the gentle giant of the sea, the Manatee, as well as a variety of tropical sea birds and other marine life.
Dolphin Landings has been making memories since 1972 - let us make some memories for you too!
In the rare event that we do not see a dolphin, we will gladly schedule you on another one of our sightseeing Dolphin Watch trips (complimentary, subject to availability).
What Is Not Included?
- Do I have to purchase my tickets in advance?
- We highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance in order to guarantee your space on board as our trips often do sell out. Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone using either a Visa, Mastercard or American Express card.
- What types of wildlife can we expect to see on this cruise?
- Dolphins, Manatees (during our warmer months), and an incredible array of over 20 species of birds.
- Can I place my name on a waiting list if this sail is sold out?
- You may add your name to a waiting list, but cancellations are rare. It is best to choose another date/time if you are able to attend another cruise.
- Am I guaranteed to see dolphins?
- While we cannot guarantee dolphin sightings, we can confidently say that there is a 99% chance that you will see dolphins. However, in the rare event that we do not see a dolphin, we will gladly schedule you on another one of our sightseeing Dolphin Watch trips complimentary (subject to availability).
- How many dolphins are in the waters where we sail?
- Boca Ciega Bay and the greater Tampa Bay area are home to over 700 healthy identified dolphins.
- What is the best time of day to see dolphins?
- Dolphin sightings are consistent throughout the day, therefore there is no particular time of day that would be considered better or worse. We even regularly see them on our Sunset Cruise!
- How close do we get to the dolphins?
- Depending on where the dolphins are in their 'daily life cycle' - this will determine how close to the boats they swim. It's not uncommon for them to make actual eye contact!
- Can we feed, touch or swim with the dolphins?
- In 1972, the government passed the 'Marine Mammals Protection Act' which prohibits anyone from 'Feeding', 'Touching', 'Swimming with', or in any other way 'harassing' any marine mammal i.e. Dolphins and Manatees.
- When are we likely to see Manatee?
- Manatee viewings are seasonal and usually occur from the spring to the fall. Fortunately Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center is located adjacent to a very large 'grass flat' that we refer to as the 'Salad Bar' due to the frequent Manatee sightings!
- Is this sail good for young children?
- Yes! Children of all ages enjoy this sail. Please note that all children ages 12 and under are required to purchase a ticket at the reduced child ticket price, and children 2 and under (babe in arms) are complimentary.
- Are the sailing yachts handicapped accessible?
- Unfortunately due to the design of sailing yachts, we are not able to accept wheelchairs on board. Depending on the particular situation, we can regularly assist with helping the disabled individual on board, and securely stow the wheelchair at our dock office. Each case is considered individually. Please contact us via the "Contact DolphinLands" link to discuss your situation.
- Can I bring a stroller on board?
- Due to the layout of the vessels, strollers are not permitted on board. We stow them securely at the Dock Office.
- Can pregnant women attend this sail?
- Yes. We sail in the calm waters of Boca Ciega Bay, and the vessels are extremely stable and comfortable.
- What does 'Coast Guard Certified' mean?
- Any vessel which is Coast Guard Certified means that the Coast Guard regularly inspects the vessel, and has performed various tests, including a stability test which determines how many passengers each vessel may safely carry.
- Is there tax?
- Yes, there is a local sales tax of 7% that will be applied to your ticket purchase. Gratuities are not included in the ticket price and are graciously appreciated for excellent service.
- Are you open year-round?
- Yes, we operate year-round, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
- What happens if it rains on the day of the sail?
- If we experience extreme adverse weather, particularly with lightning, with no immediate end in sight, we will gladly reschedule your cruise. In most cases we might just delay the cruise a little bit until the weather passes.
- What sort of boats will we be sailing on?
- There are multiple boats in our fleet: MAGIC is a 51' Morgan sailing yacht with 2 masts that holds up to 35 passengers. PHOENIX is a 41' Gulfstar sailing yacht with 2 masts that holds up to 18 passengers. FANTASEA is a 46' Morgan sailing yacht with 2 masts that holds up to 28 passengers. As an example of their seaworthiness, we had the good fortune to sail the FANTASEA to Spain and back for a charter in 1992!
- Is the boat propelled by wind power or by a motor?
- We not only put up the sails, but all our Captains are sailors so we SAIL! Our sailing yachts are Coast Guard approved and inspected and each one has a diesel engine to assist in docking manuevers, light air days, or when going under a bridge.
- Are there life jackets on board?
- Yes, our boats are US Coast Guard certified & inspected and carry enough life jackets for every passenger on board. However, due to the size of the sailing yacht, and our route, you will not be required to wear a life jacket during the sail. Before each trip our Captains give a safety and orientation speech to the customers.
- Is the trip narrated?
- Not in the sense that there is a script. But the Captains and Crew are consistently fielding questions, and sharing their local knowledge about the area. Our goal is to get our customers to say 'this is the best excursion we had on our vacation'!
- Is there seating on board?
- There is regular seating in the cockpit, as well as on the cabin tops at the front and rear of the vessel.
- Can I bring my own food and drink?
- Sure, you are welcome to bring your own beverages (including alcohol) and/or snacks with you on board. Note that bottled water and soft drinks are included in the ticket price. Please no glass containers!
- Can I bring a cooler on board?
- All our vessels have oversize coolers on board and guests are welcome to use them. If you do bring a cooler, we prefer that it be a smaller compact one.
- Are there bathrooms on board the boat?
- All our sailing vessels have bathrooms on board available to the public. As we're located at a shopping center, we always suggest using a regular public bathroom in one of the stores prior to the trip if possible, as it may be more comfortable.
- How far from the coast will the boat travel?
- During the Dolphin Watch trip we are never more than 2 hundred yards from the shore line.
- Does the boat stop at any point during the sail?
- Not during the Dolphin Watch Cruise.
- Will I get seasick on this sail?
- The short answer is NO! Fortunately the waters in Boca Ciega Bay are relatively flat and calm, and the vessels are extremely stable.
- Is there shade available on the boat?
- All the sailing yachts have Bimini Tops, which produce shade in the center of the vessel. Also once we raise the sails, they will provide shade at different parts on the vessel as we sail.
- Can I smoke on the boat?
- Smoking is permitted at the back of the vessel so the ashes go in the water, and not on the sails or the other guests. From time to time the Captain may suspend smoking privileges due to wind conditions.
- How far are you from where I'm staying?
- The following travel times are approximate - please allow for extra time for heavy traffic times. Orlando - 1.5 hours; Lakeland - 1 hour; Clearwater - 45 minutes to 1 hour; Sarasota - 45 minutes to 1 hour; Tampa - 40 minutes to 1 hour; Bradenton - 30 to 45 minutes; City of St. Petersburg - 20 to 30 minutes.
- How early should I arrive prior to the departure time of the sail?
- If staying on St. Pete Beach, please arrive 15 minutes prior to departure times. Off the beach, please arrive 30 minutes prior.
- Is there parking?
- Yes, we have free parking on site for your convenience!
- Are private charters offered?
- Yes! Private charters are available for any length of time and for any occasion, such as birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, cocktail cruises, weddings, ash scatterings, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, etc. Also available are team building charters utilizing multiple sailing yachts. To inquire about setting up a private charter, click on the "Contact DolphinLands" link.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes. Gift Certificates are available for any cruise we offer. To request a gift certificate, click on the "Contact DolphinLands" link.
Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center
It all starts with Captain Dan Peretz; a man who inspires commitment and balance, both on and off the water. Dolphin Landings’ crews are professionals who eagerly perpetuate this philosophy on each and every trip.
Take a ride aboard any of our Sailing, Fishing, and Cruising vessels and you’ll see first hand how Dolphin Landings offers our guests much more than a great boat ride in the sunshine state!