Many jet ski rental companies offer jet ski dolphin tours, and for good reason. Dolphins are amazing, and many people fall in love with these unique creatures.
If you are considering to take part in one of these dolphin watching tours, this post is for you.
We’ve collected the most popular rental services that offer jet ski dolphin watching tours, as well as some tips and tricks what do and what not to do to stay safe and legal!
Rules of Jet Skin Dolphin Tours
When looking at different guided jet ski dolphin tours, you want a reputable guide that will go through the guidelines and laws that must be followed. With plenty of preparation, you can have a fun, safe time before you get out on the water. What do you need to do?
Learn What The Laws Are
According to U.S. law, it’s illegal for people to approach dolphins. In 1972, the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (or MMPA) was passed, making it illegal for anybody to interact with marine life (dolphins were on this list). The law prohibits people from harassing, hunting, collecting, capturing, killing or feeding marine life.
While federal law trumps local and state laws, it’s always best to look at the local laws to see what interactions you can have with these animals!
Keep Your Distance
Dolphins are extremely friendly, which means you may have a couple of them swim up to you. If they do, don’t pet them.
The dolphins are coming up to see what’s going on, and attempting to pet them is liable to scare them off. Their delicate skin can also be easily injured by jewelry or fingernails, causing them undue pain.
When out on the waters and you see a pod of dolphins, maintain your distance.
Don’t Give Them Food
Dolphins feed on various marine life – squid, fish and crustaceans – which means other foods should not be given (people food, especially). And, it’s not just about their diet but also federal law prohibits the feeding of marine life.
Warning – There are many jet ski dolphin tours that use food to lure dolphins to their groups. However, this is very illegal in the U.S. and unethical because it causes the behavior of the dolphins to change. Avoid these tours at all costs!
Don’t Swim With Them
Many jet ski dolphin watch tours advertise themselves with the premise of being able to swim with the dolphins. While it’s not illegal to swim with the dolphins, there is some evidence that swimming with them can affect their behavior (and not for the better).
According to British researchers, swimming near or with bottlenose dolphins can stress out the animals. Using their findings, the researchers have suggested regulations be drawn up to make it illegal to swim with dolphins because of the impact they can have on them.
Another study found that swimming with wild spinner dolphins led to the population’s decline. Wild spinner dolphins out in the overnight hours and sleep in the day, which means tourists trying to swim with them causing them sleep disruptions.
One then has to ask themselves if it’s even prudent to swim with the dolphins if such problems do occur.
The best thing to do when out on any jet ski dolphin watching tours is not getting into the water to swim with them. Don’t give them unnecessary stress, which could lead to behavior disruption and cause moms to become separated from their children.
Jet Ski Riding With Dolphins
It’s imperative, when jet skiing, that you maintain a reasonable distance away from a pod of dolphins. According to the U.S. NOAA Fisheries, marine animals should be observed from a range of around 50 years.
Therefore, if you’re riding a jet ski and are close to a group of dolphins, you should not circle them. This can traumatize them and may even cause them undue physical harm.
Jet Ski Dolphins Tours In South Carolina
If you want to partake in jet ski dolphin tours, you want to find one that’s both reputable and affordable. Be sure, when googling for jet ski dolphin tour near me, that you find one that doesn’t make extravagant promises and will obey the laws set forth by the federal government and local and state ones as well. You can also use a jet ski locator tool to help you find one of these tours to partake in.
Action Watersports (Myrtle Beach)
Check out the jet ski dolphin tour on a new jet ski with Action Watersports. The company provides its customers with highly-knowledgeable and experienced guides to various viewing areas where you can see marine life such as sea turtles and dolphins.
Action Watersports’ jet ski dolphin tours start at the Dock Holiday Marina along the Intracoastal Waterway. From the time you get there, you get professional service. You’ll first learn how to use a jet ski when on the water properly. From there, you’ll be given hands-on instruction on how to use it.
Once guests are comfortable with their jet ski, the tour begins. You’ll be taken along the river and shown the homes along the Intracoastal Waterway as well as the Historic Little River Swing Bridge. This is a No-Wake zone, so jet ski speeds are on idle here.
After the Swing Bridge, you are taken to the Harborgate Marina and Anchor Marina. Here, you can take in the beauty of 10’ John boats and 70’ luxury yachts. Here, you can speed your jet ski up.
As you go into the Historic Little River Fishing Village, you’ll need to slow down once again, as it’s a No-Wake zone. Here, you can check out casino boats, commercial fishing boats and even shrimp trawlers.
After this, it’s full throttle to the Barrier Island and the Atlantic Ocean. Get off the jet ski and roam the Barrier Island and explore it for 20 minutes – check out the 30-foot tall sand tunes and shells. Don’t get into the dune grass, as it’s sharp spears that stick to you and are illegal to mess with. Once time is up, get back on the jet ski and check out the fantastic views the Atlantic Ocean has to offer, allowing you the opportunity to get up close with the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin.
Should you find these dolphins, take their beauty in at a distance. While you get close with the help of your guide, don’t get too close and disturb them. Just sit back and enjoy the views nature has to offer you.
The whole trip is two hours long and is one of the best ways to explore the area of Grand Strand. Many families have partaken in the adventure because of how unique it is and the memories it can create.
Myrtle Beach Watersports
Myrtle Beach Watersports provides three-hour guided jet ski dolphin tours that begin at the Grande Dunes Marina location. Your experienced guide tour will take you along the Intracoastal Waterway through North Myrtle Beach to the ocean.
Once there, you’ll be taken as close as you can to the dolphins, with the guide being mindful of the natural behaviors and habitats of the dolphins.
Everybody who drives a jet ski must have a driver’s license unless a driver without one is with a licensed 18+ driver.
Jet Ski Dolphin Watch Tours In Florida
Destin Vacation Boat Rentals
Destin Vacation Boat Rentals provides jet ski dolphin watch tours every day, allowing you to see dolphins where they naturally roam. The tour guide will take you and your group to see marine mammals – like the Atlantic bottlenose dolphins – without much disruption to their area.
It’s the perfect way to enjoy a Destin vacation. However, the company does want you to know a few things:
- Jet ski riders need to be at least six years of age.
- Renters must be 18.
- Anybody born Jan. 1, 1988 or later must have a Florida boater’s safety card. The test for this license is $5, but you should arrive at the tour company an hour early to take the test if necessary.
- Bring both a credit card and driver’s license.
Guides try everything they can to find you a pod of dolphins to view, but it’s not always possible, and no promises are made.
Flippers & Lagoon Pontoons
Flippers & Lagoon Pontoons provides experienced guides that will treat you to a two-hour jet ski dolphin adventure. You’ll be taken around Shell Island, which is where many dolphins like to reside.The St. Andrews Bay area also does not disappoint when it comes to dolphin viewing.
Flippers has provided jet ski dolphin tours for many years and has become extremely popular for its touring experiences. The company aims to give clients what they want but also ensure dolphins’ safety.
Key Sailing provides customers with jet ski dolphin watching tours with their newestjet skis. Cruise the area with a group and check out the dolphins in their natural habitat. However, there are a few things to be mindful when on these tours:
They last two hours with an average of 25 miles round trip. This is great for people who want to sightsee and dolphin watch!
It’s important to note that dolphins are inquisitive creatures, and it’s not unheard of for them to swim by and see what’s going on. They tend to ride the bows of the jet skis, body surfing along. However, injuries are likely if they collide with the hulls or other parts of the jet ski. This is why there is such a need to be respectful of their space.
Thankfully, there are no props on a jet ski, but there is an impeller that, at idle, is safe to be around dolphins on. If you come across dolphins, allow them to control the environment, giving them respect, as noted in the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
According to the act, there is no feeding or swimming with the dolphins. Dolphins may be hunting or they may be playing; either way, you must observe them at a distance and allow them to do what they naturally do!