Love Dolphins? Looking for the rare opportunity to observe this finned mammals in their natural environment with an ocean kayaking excursion or dolphin-watching cruise? Well you’re in luck because this experience is just a click away…
The sight of a dolphin’s fin in the water breeds a fanatic excitement for all who see it. Mothers point eagerly for their young ones to catch a glimpse while fellow travelers frantically reach for cameras to try and capture the moment on film. If just the mere sight of the ocean’s most intelligent yet enchanting animal creates such a euphoric joy, imagine the thrill of cruising alongside them. For visitors to Virginia Beach, that opportunity is just one kayak or boat trip away.
Each year, the Mid-Atlantic’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins returns to the Virginia Beach coast during the warmer months, feasting on the food-rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay and mesmerizing locals and visitors with their acrobatic antics. On dolphin-watching kayak tours, guests leave timid spectators behind and launch from the surf, led by expert guides, straight to the dolphins’ playgrounds.
Just yards away, pods regularly are spotted feeding, jumping and frolicking. Outfitters providing these tours include Chesapean Outdoors, Kayak Nature Tours, Surf & Adventure Company and Wild River Outfitters Touring Company.
Tours range from $45 to $60 per person and can last anywhere from two to three hours. Additionally, depending on the outfitter, guides launch from a variety of locales throughout the city – from the tranquil area of the Chesapeake Bay to the ocean waves of the resort’s North End or the more secluded waters of Sandbridge. Visitors may contact each outfitter directly for specific launch sites, rates and trip schedules.
Each year, the Virginia Aquarium holds a dolphin count, where trained specialists take to the waters to monitor the dolphin population along the coast. In 2010, there were more than 800 dolphin sightings along the Virginia Beach coast during the one-day count. While participating in the count requires training, visitors can observe the process at the Aquarium’s multiple observation areas or learn more about these marine mammals at the count’s education post. For more information, visit www.virginiaaquarium.com.
To make travel to Virginia Beach easier, consider booking a dolphin-watching vacation package. A number of Virginia Beach hotels offer packages inclusive of a discounted rate for the hotel stay, admission passes to the Virginia Aquarium and tickets for a dolphin-watching boat trip.
For more information on packages, visit this website
Read more about visiting Virgina at GoNOMAD