• Or call 850-230-6030 to book by phone.
  • Available February 17 through December 15.
  • Reservations for tours scheduled between November 1st and December 15 will only be taken over the phone depending on weather conditions and availability.

A 4-hour Dolphin Swim Tour to
Shell Island off Panama City Beach.

Take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with wild dolphins in Panama City Beach (near Destin and 30A). Spend the morning or afternoon with a professional team of instructors who will educate you on the proper way to interact with the dolphins. The tour is capped off with several live swim-ins at Shell Island for potential encounters with a success rate of about 99%. Our dolphin tour is very fluid and it unfolds differently every day based on the weather conditions, visibility in the water, dolphins behavior and their whereabouts. We will occasionally encounter and swim with other marine animals like manatees, manta rays, spotted eagle rays, etc. Visibility allowing, you will snorkel and observe tropical fish, starfish, sand dollars and other seashells and you will snorkel the wreck of the Percy Payne, an 80-foot schooner sunk by 12 feet of water.

Here are some of the highlights you may be experiencing during a Water Planet dolphin tours to Shell Island.

  • The price of the dolphin tour includes the dolphin swim, dolphin educational package, snorkeling equipment (a $5 value), and bottled water.
  • Due to COVID-19, we will lend you the goggles only. You are welcome to bring your own snorkeling gear (mask and snorkeling tube) if you wish. We will also provide the life vest.
  • You may also bring your own cooler and snacks; or, you can store your drinks in our cooler.
  • Six passengers maximum per boat. Exclusive private tour option available. You book the whole boat.
  • Children are welcome to participate in our dolphin tours. Our staff has years of experience with helping children in the water during their dolphin swim and on board the boat. Help available by request and based on availability May through August only. Your children will love the close proximity of dolphins and will probably remember their dolphin tour for the rest of their life.
  • Pregnant women should consult their OBGYN before signing up for this tour if they have any concerns about their ability to engage in boating and snorkeling activities.
  • We have deep ladders to make it easier for you to get back up on board from the water after each dolphin swim. All our boats are equipped with double shades.
  • Wetsuits are strongly recommended in March (see FAQ).
  • Visit our FAQs page for more information.

Duration: 4 Hours

  • Prices start at $117 (US)+ tax and fees (7% sales tax + 4% electronic booking fee) per person including snorkeling gear rental. The price does not include gratuities (15 to 20%). Our captains work hard to facilitate this experience for you!
  • Visit our online booking page for current schedule and pricing. You can also book by calling 850-230-6030.
  • We accept all major credit cards.
  • Should you prefer to book by phone and pay cash for a 5% discount the day of the tour, we will refund your card when you check in.
  • Before arrival, please confirm departure date and time at least 48 hours prior to the trip. Reservations booked less than 48 hours prior to arrival are not guaranteed until confirmed by us.
  • There is a 3 passenger minimum per boat policy in effect. We reserve the right to reschedule your party of 2 if we do not have at least 1 more person booked for that time. Call 850-230-6030 for updates.

  • Please be ready for your check-in at least 20 minutes ahead time. Traffic can be heavy especially from Destin and 30A.
  • We are located inside the Adventures at Sea Marina. You do not have to stand in the Adventures at Sea line. Walk down the boardwalk between the AAS office and Off The Hook restaurant. We are in the 4th kiosk to your right.

9 AM and 1:30 PM departures daily

  • Boarding. Orientation by Water Planet staff. Education about dolphin behavior, physiology, and social life. How to swim with wild dolphins. Proper etiquette for interaction. Safety guidelines before you swim with the dolphins.
  • Dolphin swim tour. Dolphin swims and (optional) walk on Shell Island, marine ecology wet lab in option and by request. Water Planet staff and clients snorkel for different forms of marine life: sand dollars, starfish, hermit crabs, seashells, fish, etc. and bring it back on board for viewing and identification before release.

Our Dolphin Swim Tour is very fluid and unfolds differently every day based on the weather conditions, visibility in the water, dolphin behavior, and their whereabouts. Travel time to the Shell Island area is about 15 minutes.

We are proud to be among the operators who DO NOT FEED OR PET WILD DOLPHINS. Click here to read why.

The dolphins usually do not stay around the boat for long. Clients can stay in the water as long as the dolphins are present and as long as the dolphins tolerate human presence. (Wild dolphins are not pets and touching them or chasing them is not tolerated on our dolphin tour. It is also illegal.)

Swimmers get back on board and we continue our dolphin tour either to catch up with the animals and get back in the water  or to look for other dolphins depending on the dolphins tolerance. If the visibility is good, we may travel at low speed along the beach to look for stingrays, baby sharks or other sand dwelling fish and occasional manatee.

If the surf conditions allow it, we anchor the boat at Shell Island on the Gulf side, explore and look for shells. Visibility permitting, we also stop to snorkel by the jetties, which are habitat for allot of different fish species including Angel Fish, Blue Tang, Spade Fish, Grouper, Snapper, Red-Fish, Look-downs, wrasses, Jacks, Needle fish, Mullet, etc. Back inside the bay for shallow water seagrass wading or snorkeling (wet lab) and snorkeling on a 24-foot boat wreck sunk in 8 feet of water during Hurricane Ivan. Cruising inside the bay if time allows it and back to the dock.

By request, our Shell Island Eco-tour will take you to the nature preserve and bird sanctuary ideal for bird watching. The order of activities will depend on water conditions, visibility and guests preferences. Since the dolphins are wild and in their natural environment, we cannot predict or dictate their behavior and we will not force them to come close. If they do, it will be their choice. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more.

Our dolphin swim programs are near 30A and Destin

If you are looking for things to do in the Destin 30A area in Florida, it is worth the short drive to Panama City Beach to participate in our Shell Island dolphin tours and dolphin swim cruise. We are located 30 minutes away from 30A and 45 minutes from Destin. Please allow more time during traffic hours. Click here to view driving directions from the Destin Fort Walton area.

All cancellations and changes for the dolphin swims must be received in writing (e-mail or post) or by telephone. We will not accept any cancellations or changes by voice-mail.

  • Customers may cancel, make changes or reschedule up to 48 hours prior to their arrival date and time to receive a full refund minus a 4% service fee but $10 minimum per reservation. Customers who cancel after the 48-hour period will not be eligible for a refund. Exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis if an official certificate signed by a local walk-in clinic, local ER or local doctor’s office is received by us the same day as the cancellation.
  • You have one opportunity only to reschedule. Once you have used it up, you cannot reschedule a second time.
  • We reserve the right to reschedule your tour if you book for 3 or less based on availability.
  • Should you arrive more than 15 minutes after the departure time your card will be charged for the full amount, and the boat must leave without you. You will have to pay the full price over again if you want to re-book.
  • Should you not notify us (no voicemail) 48 hours ahead of time of a downward change in the number of participants in your party, you will be charged for the number of passengers you have signed up originally.
  • We reserve the right to move the departure time for parties of 3 or less based on availability.
  • Should the National Weather Service issue a “Small Craft Advisory” for the time of your tour, we will reschedule the tour and you will have the choice of cancelling for a refund if you cannot extend your stay and reschedule. Should you choose to reschedule, you cannot reschedule a second time or cancel the tour for whatever reason after that except if a National Weather Service Hazard to Navigation Advisory is published for the time of your rescheduled tour.
  • If the tour departs and we must return within the first half of the tour due to hazardous weather, we will issue a time-prorated refund up to a maximum of 50% of the tour value (by request only).
  • If you have any complaints about your tour or questions about a reschedule or about payments, your captain will NOT be able to discuss these with you. Please call our office.

Water Planet cannot guarantee interaction with wild dolphins nor ideal weather conditions. We will replace your trip if the dolphins do not show. You also get to reschedule if we cancel the trip due to an official severe weather advisory.