Florida offers many eco-tour options on the water. The tours we selected do a fantastic job of both teaching and practicing these eco-friendly methods. We picked what we think are the top 12 eco-boat tours in Florida. Each of them do a fantastic job of showcasing the destination and its wildlife in their natural habitats.
You will want to add these to your list of activities for your next trip to the Sunshine State!
Top 12 Eco-Boat Tours in Florida
The Florida Aquarium offers a Wild Dolphin Tour which is a 75 minute tour around Tampa Bay on a 72-foot catamaran. On this tour you will see lots of wildlife including dolphins, manatees, different birds, sharks and so much more!
Everglades Area Tours (Chokoloskee Island)
Everglades Area Tours has been around for decades and was one of the original tour providers to be certified by the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism. They have so many eco-tour options including by boat, kayak, walking and many more. All the guides are formally trained Florida Master Naturalists. This is a great way to see the Everglades and all its natural beauty!
Kayak Amelia (Jacksonville)
Kayak Amelia offers naturalist-led kayak ecotours. The tours begin with some instruction and then you will be led to see all sorts of wonderful local birds and sea turtles. They also have kayak, bike and SUP rentals for self-guided tours.
Mote Marine Laboratory (Sarasota)
The well-known Mote Marine Laboratory has an aquarium for the public to view and an eco-boat tour led by Sarasota Bay Explorers. The tour is on a pontoon boat that can take up to 45 passengers. The lab has 20 diverse research programs, as well as more than 200 employees.
Sarasota Bay Explorers (Sarasota)
Sarasota Bay Explorers has Sea Life Encounter cruises, as well as, private charters and so much more! The Sea Life cruise includes 2 hours on the water and the opportunity to see dolphins, manatees and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
Paddle Florida (Gainesville)
Paddle Florida offers paddling adventures and environmental education. They have a mission to protect Florida’s waterways and preserve the wildlife that lives there.
Pure Florida (Naples)
Pure Florida offers a 90-minute Caloosahatchee River tour. The tour is given on a covered pontoon boat by a naturalist-historian who speaks about the surrounding famous houses, as well as the wildlife. You will see manatees, dolphins and all sorts of other beautiful creatures that inhabit the area.
Southern Star Dolphin Cruises (Destin)
These unique eco-friendly cruises are on a double-decker glass bottom boat. They offer all different themes like Eco Tour Dolphin, Dolphins & Donuts, Buccaneer Pirate Cruise and many more.
Tidewater Tours (Cedar Key)
Tidewater offers various eco tours with a range in the duration. The tours can be from 1.5 hours up to 4. The guides are naturalists, as well as historians. The tour will take you through Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge, the Suwannee River and coastal marshes to see all sorts of amazing wildlife.
Sunshine Wildlife Tours (Stuart)
Sunshine tours one of the state’s most diverse estuaries, all while riding on a 35-foot covered pontoon boat. You will have the opportunity to get up-close with Bottlenose Dolphins, Manatees, Sea Turtles and a vast array of endangered and threatened bird species.
St. Johns River Eco Tours (DeBary)
St. John’s offers the most incredible eco-friendly sightseeing boat cruise in the area. They offer several tours daily exploring the river and viewing wildlife in its natural environment. You will get to see all kinds of birds, alligators, manatees and substantially more.
KeyZ Charters (Islamorada)
This fantastic tour company offers sightseeing charters in the Florida Keys including eco-tours, snorkeling, historic island tours, Everglades eco-tours, sunset cruises and so much more. They have a 1 hour eco tour through the mangrove channels that will transport you deep into the natural habitats.