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“Sarasota Bay Explorers”

Sarasota Bay Explorers
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Attraction details
Owner description: Looking for an exciting, hands-on, educational and FUN experience on the water? We've got it! We are located in beautiful Sarasota, Florida and work in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory to provide interactive marine science boat trips for both public and private use. We offer several types of eco-tours including our renowned Sea Life Encounter Cruise, Guided Kayak Tours, Nature Safari and private charters aboard the Miss Explorer. In addition to our regular cruises, you may charter a trip on one of our 40-foot pontoon boats for a private group. Private charters are available for anything from school field trips to company outings to birthday parties
Ottawa, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Sarasota Bay Explorers”
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Bought the combo ticket, presented a coupon, got my discount and my wife and I enjoyed a lovely day both on the water with Bay Explorers and at Mote's. Both attractions offered very knowledgeable staff who answered most questions. The pontoon boat experience was very good, aided by a gorgeous sunny day on the Bay. The Aquarium is quite informative and well organized. Great photos can be made with the right camera and settings. A super visit and worth a revisit!

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Tony-Globemaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed and disappointed.”
Reviewed 15 October 2013

We went on this cruise on a Sunday afternoon the last week of August. Although there were many kids on the boat, my four year old son was bored out of his mind. There was just not enough going on to keep him entertained. We saw a couple dolphins, but very briefly. The stop on a small island was really a waste of time. My husband and I enjoyed the pass by the rookery - but we were also quite bored with the rest of what there was to offer. Yes, it is interesting that they pull up sea life from the water and pass it around, but it just wasn't impressive enough if you have been to any sort of aquarium. For the price, I would definitely look elsewhere, even though the volunteer who conducted the tour was very friendly. The captain was not, however. For us, it was a cruise through the water with a lot of nothing but that.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank Butterfly_n1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pekin, Indiana, United States
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
100 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Boat ride through the gulf”
Reviewed 28 July 2013

We purchased a aquarium/bay explorers combo ticket. We got to see Dolphins swimming, and the naturalist pulled some of the wildlife out of the bay in a net to show what was in the bay. They also take you by a tiny island loaded with sea birds. It was informative, interesting and fun. Kids would be oaky with this, I think. I really enjoyed it.

Visited February 2013
Thank Shawna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Excellent Tour”
Reviewed 3 June 2013

We did the Sea Life Encounter Cruise, and it was excellent. We had biologist Keeli and Mote volunteer Dave (the Parrothead), and both were very knowledgeable and helpful. They were also great with the small children (of whom we had several) as well as the older kids. I sympathize with earlier reviewers who didn't see as much as they liked, but that's not a reason to give the tour a poor rating--as one reviewer acknowledged, they can't predict what will show up. We saw no manatees, but did see dolphins. The rookery visit was worth the price by itself! On the way back, we dredged for sealife (they have an educational permit to do this, so it's something that you can't always get on a tour of this sort), and we got a great variety, including a transparent jelly and two seahorses!

We'll definitely go again when we have our grandchildren along.

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Karen J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valley City, North Dakota
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“was excited but disappointed. Children under 8 not recommended!”
Reviewed 15 May 2013

While I did not have children on this tour, several people did, and the tour conductors were very accomodating to the youngsters (an emergency diaper change caused a delay that infuriated the crew). the kids 8 and older had an enjoyable time; the younger kids were bored easily due to the lack of animal sightings.
for the cost of this outing, I think I would try a different boat tour. We did see a few dolphins but they were at a distance. The stop at an uninhabited island was a walk of about 50 feet into some trees, so we did not really explore anything. Part of the tour was conducted by a volunteer, who was very nice but you could tell he wasn't paid to do his job. The biologist conducting most of the tour was knowledgable but not overly friendly, and she did have plenty of segments on the wealthy housing district along the water (previous reviews were accurate).
the upside of this tour: they have special access to use a net to drag along the ocean floor. they picked up several items such as crab, starfish, fish, and large shells. this part was fascinating but could have been seen at an aquarium just as easily as on the boat.

Visited May 2013
4 Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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