Sea Life Safari Cruises
Eco-tour and Dolphin Watch Tour
When we conceived the Sea Life Safari Cruise, it was with the intent to provide an introduction and overview of the ecology of the Laguna Madre with special emphasis on its wildlife. Our narrator will discuss the natural history of this great estuary and its inhabitants, fin, feather, shell and hide. The passenger yacht Osprey has a high profile and is exceptionally well suited for sightseeing. From the upper deck you have panoramic views and with binoculars you can see for miles (and there’s lots to see). Every trip is a unique experience, and there’s nothing to match it on the Texas coast. Your entire family will enjoy this adventure!
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
2 – 3:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday (Eco-tour/Dolphin watch)
$15 Children (12 and younger)
6 – 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday (Dolphin watch/Sunset Cruises)
$15 Adults and Children
Sea Life Safari
Experience dolphin life while sightseeing and learning about the local wildlife and ecology of the Laguna Madre. We’ll use a trawling net to bring sea life directly to you.
Clean restrooms and an air-conditioned cabin provide comfort during your tour while you explore the Laguna Madre and its coastline.
An inclusive tour
This tour guarantees dolphin sightings during daylight and includes:
- Eco Tour
- Sea and wildlife watch
- Local and geological history
- Excellent bird watching opportunities (600+ species)
- Live observation and identification tank
The South Padre Island area is home to hundreds of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. One of the most popular year-round activities in South Texas is to take a Dolphin Watch/Nature/Sightseeing cruise aboard the Osprey. For vacationers and visitors to South Padre Island this is a “Must Do”.
Bring your camera!
Learn about sealife on a comfortable cruise with snacks and drinks available on every tour.
Join us aboard south Texas’ premier tour boat and experience the spectacular and largely unspoiled natural beauty of South Padre Island and the Laguna Madre.
Relax in the climate-controlled luxury of our beautiful cabin or enjoy the fresh air and sunshine on our upper and lower decks.
Our professional crew is experienced and knowledgeable. The Osprey is the ideal venue to make your corporate and private events fun and memorable.
A Dolphin tale
Did you know that on our cruise you’ll be seeing Atlantic bottlenose dolphins? Dolphins can eat 15 to 30 lbs. of fish in one day and may grow up to 550 lbs. On our cruise, you’ll likely see our dolphins riding the wakes of our boats. Dolphins are the fastest marine mammals and can reach speeds approaching 40 mph (68 kph).
The dolphins are native to this area and are non-migratory. You can see these wonderful mammals year-round.
Dolphin watch facts
Atlantic bottlenose dolphin
Much remains unknown about these incredible marine animals. What remains certain is that you will have a remarkable family experience watching them and their families from the decks of our vessels.
- Dolphins are very intelligent and social animals. Often, they will approach our boats, seemingly interacting with our guests, often performing acrobatic stunts and hunting for fish in small pods.
- When dolphins hunt, they usually gather into small groups and work together to herd a group of fish either into a tight ball or by forcing them into the shallows. They take turns feeding and can eat 15 to 30 lbs. of fish in one day.
- The Atlantic bottlenose’s ability to hunt for fish in cooperative pods places them near the top of the food chain in our local ecosystem.
- Dolphins are very quick and can reach speeds approaching 40 mph.
- They love to surf and play. They often ride the bow wave of our vessels or surf the wake behind our boat as we tour the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre bay.
- Atlantic bottlenose dolphin can be found throughout the world, mostly in temperate waters. The bottlenose dolphins native to South Padre Island generally grow to be between 7 and 9 feet in length and can weigh up to 550 lbs, though 400 – 500 lbs. is more typical.
- South Padre’s bottlenose dolphins have an average reported lifespan of around 20 – 25 years, with females generally outliving males. There are, however, reported occurrences of dolphin living to be over 40 years in age.
- The only predators South Padre’s dolphin face challenges from are humans. They are protected by the U.S. Marine Mammal Act and it is illegal to attempt to swim with or feed our dolphin.
- A dolphin is not the same as a porpoise. Dolphin have a beak (hence the name bottlenose), a larger dorsal fin and sharper teeth.
- Echolocation allows dolphin to bounce sound waves off of objects enabling them to determine distance, size and shape of the objects. Echolocation is also used as a form of communication. They use a series of high-pitched clicks that are unique to each dolphin.