ROOKERY BAY BOAT TOURS

Boat Tours | Eco-Tours | Main Image | Dolphins and Manatees | Rookery Bay Research Reserve

Explore the Diverse Backwaters of Southwest Florida!

Take a relaxing cruise to explore some of the most unique areas of Rookery Bay Reserve! We offer 5 different tours that will take you into areas of the Reserve only accessible on our adventures to see some of its most amazing ecological, cultural, and historical places in SWFL with the regions only Biologist Captains.

From May 1 – Sept 30, only morning boat tour are offered.

Boats are cleaned daily. Customers are requested to follow CDC guidelines.

Friends of Rookery Bay Members receive a 10% discount on all eco-tours.

BOAT TOUR OFFERINGS

6-Passenger Boat
Individual Tickets or Full Boat Rental Available

Essence of the Estuary

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Tour Info

This 3-hour nature cruise captained by a local biologist will allow you to immerse yourself into some of the most beautiful areas of wild Southwest Florida. Look out for dolphins and manatees while learning about wildlife and the history in Rookery Bay. Tours are led by our exclusive eco-tour partner Rising Tide Explorers.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: 10 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL
  • Rates: Per Person – $109 NOW $99

Life's A Beach

Barrier Island Shelling
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Tour Info

Take the opportunity to explore a remote part of Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Naples and Marco Island. Tours are led by our exclusive eco-tour partner Rising Tide Explorers.

    • Duration: 3 hours
    • Location: 10 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL
    • Rates: Per Person: $109 NOW $99

High Points

Ancient Island Excursion
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Tour Info

Cruise through back bays and winding mangrove creeks to visit one of the most remote and unusual places in the Rookery Bay Reserve.  A short hike up to the top of the region’s highest natural point. Tours are led by our exclusive eco-tour partner Rising Tide Explorers.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: 10 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL
  • Rates: Per Person: $109 NOW $99

Sunset Bird Rookery Cruise

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Tour Info

This nature cruise captained by the areas only active local biologist captains will allow you to surround yourself with some of the most beautiful wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, and birds that Southwest Florida has to offer! Tours are led by our exclusive eco-tour partner Rising Tide Explorers.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Location: 10 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL
  • Rates: Per Person: $89

Sunset to Full Moon Cruise

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Tour Info

This one-of-a-kind tour takes guests to visit a remote section of Keewaydin Island, renowned for its shell-strewn beaches and pastel sunsets. As darkness gradually enfolds you, begin the leisurely cruise through the back bays of the Reserve, becoming immersed in the sights, sounds and sensations of night. Tours are led by our exclusive eco-tour partner Rising Tide Explorers.

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Location: 10 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL
  • Rates: Per Person – $109 NOW $99

Boat Tours on DINO DAYS

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Tour Info

Say ‘Hello!’ to our new boat, “Dino Days”. Our new boat that is ADA accessible will feature one of our most popular tours Essence of an Estuary Eco-Cruise and a NEW tour Rookery Bay Summer Sunset Cruise!

  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Location: 10 Shell Island Rd, Naples, FL
  • Rates: Per Person – Rates vary depending on desired tour

PRIVATE BOAT TOUR OFFERINGS

3 HOUR TOURS

ESSENCE, SHELLING, ANCIENT, & FULL MOON

$499

Up to 6 Passengers

2 HOUR TOURS

SUNSET BIRD ROOKERY

$475

Up to 6 Passengers

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About Our Boat Tours

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Registration is required.
  • The minimum age is 3 years old.
  • Meet at the launch site 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.

 

Tours are led by our exclusive eco-tour partner Rising Tide Explorers

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Cancellations & Weather Info

  • Customers will receive a full refund or credit with 48 hours notice of cancellation.
  • In the event of severely inclement weather, your trip leader will contact you on the morning of the trip at the phone number you provide when registering, and you will receive a full refund

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What to Bring

  • Wear closed-toed shoes and clothes that you do not mind getting wet
  • Bring a hat, sunglasses, sun block, bug spray and a water bottle
  • Leave all electronic equipment locked in your car, as you may get wet

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the tours suitable for children?

On all regularly scheduled tours, the minimum age for passengers is 3. This is based on your captain’s years of experience as a professional educator and as a long-time instructor in the Florida Master Naturalist Program. Some of the interesting environmental science covered during these tours is oriented toward, and preferred by, an adult audience. Interpreting the natural and cultural history of the area for young children requires a different approach than for adults. Trying to do both at once means neither is done well. Private charters may be arranged for families with young children.

Can I come without a reservation?

Advance reservations are required. These tours are designed to be a unique and intimate natural experience and are limited to no more than six passengers. Special private charters may also be arranged. Please call to inquire.

Can I take photos?

Absolutely. Rookery Bay Reserve has always considered photography and art to be a meaningful and effective way to gain a “sense of place”. The light, colors, textures and wildness of this area make it a fantastic natural setting for photographers.

Can the general public access these same places?

Yes and no. Most locations in the Reserve require a boat to get to and there are some locations that are restricted.

Do you offer private charters?

Yes! 3-hour tour at $499 and 2-hour tour is $475.

Is the tour boat handicapped accessible?

Yes, Dino Days is handicap accessible. If you require specific accommodations , please contact us in advance at 239-530-5972.

May I bring my own refreshments on the boat?

It’s okay to bring your own refreshments, but alcohol is not permitted. You are responsible for carrying your items to the beach and back (a short hike, in the dark). Big coolers are a bad idea, and on the boat, your captain will ask guests to be careful that nothing blows overboard (plastic bags).

How can I receive a discount?

Our tours are intimate, nature-viewing and learning experiences, limited to ONLY six passengers per tour. Our tours are competitively priced, and proceeds support the Friends of Rookery Bay. For this reason, the only discount offered on these tours is 10-20% off, available to Friends of Rookery Bay members. Learn more about membership.

What kind of boat is used?

We have 2 vessels. Tringa is a 24-foot Carolina Skiff specially outfitted for this purpose. Dino Days is a 28-foot Bennigton Pontoon. The boats are extremely stable and perfect for negotiating the narrow creeks and shallow backwaters of the Reserve. There are comfortable individual seats for each passenger (maximum of six), a fully shaded canopy, a very quiet four-stroke Yamaha outboard engine and all required safety equipment.

What kind of wildlife might we see?

It depends on the time of year (for migrating birds), which trip you are on and the luck of the day. Other visitors on these trips have seen: bottle-nosed dolphins, manatees, wild hogs, deer, raccoons, bald eagles, magnificent frigate birds, peregrine falcons, black-crowned night herons, roseate spoonbills, spotted sandpipers, American oyster catchers, gopher tortoises, mangrove tree crabs, sea slugs, Bartram’s hairstreak butterflies and a host of interesting native plants and wildflowers.

Make a Contribution to Protect Our Coastal Treasure

Become a Friend and Save 10%

Friends of Rookery Bay Members receive a 10% discount on all eco-tours. With eight membership options, you’re certain to find the perfect opportunity to contribute to the protection and research programs of Rookery Bay Research Reserve.

Memberships start at $20 per year.

About Rising Tide Explorers

Rising Tide Explorers was founded in 2016 by a group of local biologists looking to raise the bar of the outdoor industry in Southwest Florida and share their passion for Florida’s unique ecological landscape. In 2019, Friends of Rookery Bay partnered with Rising Tide Explorers to continue providing memorable and educational boat and kayak adventures in Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Proceeds support education, research and conservation.

Kayak Tours in Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay Kayak Tours from Rising Tide Explorers | National Estuarine Research Reserve