Cruise Your Way Around the Crystal Coast

Sailing around the islands of the Crystal Coast is a popular activity for locals and visitors alike. North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is a boating paradise with endless opportunities for exploration, adventure, and romance. From watching dolphins and wild horses to taking sunset cruises, shelling, and exploring barrier islands, there is an adventure for everyone on these Crystal Coast boat tours.

Lookout Cruises

Photo Credit: Lookout Cruises

Lookout Cruises, located in Beaufort, North Carolina, offers daily sailing excursions on a 45-foot catamaran with plenty of sun and shade. For an unforgettable experience, wake up early and set sail on a two-hour morning Dolphin Watch up the Newport River. Guests can observe these beautiful creatures playing in their natural habitat, as they frequent the area year after year. A morning dolphin cruise is perfect for both kids and adults.

The Newport River is a great place to see dolphins because it is a shallow, protected waterway that is home to many fish. The dolphins are attracted to the area because it is a safe place to raise their young. On a dolphin cruise, you will have the opportunity to see dolphins swimming, jumping, and playing. You may also see other marine life, such as sea turtles and pelicans. The crew will be happy to answer any questions you have about the dolphins and the environment.

A morning dolphin cruise is a great way to start your day in Beaufort. It is a relaxing and educational experience that will long be remembered.

Crystal Coast Lady Cruises

Photo Credit: Crystal Coast Lady Cruises

Miss Crystal Coast Lady Cruises, also located in Beaufort, offers a great variety of narrated dining cruises perfect for any time of day. Depart on the morning Dolphin Cruise and enjoy a spectacular brunch buffet with everything from pastries and bagels to scrambled eggs and bacon, all with complimentary mimosas for passengers over 21.

For a lunch cruise, tour the Crystal Coast on a Wild Pony and Dolphin Scenic Tour. While you’re enjoying your catered lunch of customized sandwiches and sides, you’ll see Carrot Island and the Rachel Carson Reserve, NC State Port, Blackbeard’s House, Fort Macon, the Morehead City Waterfront and so much more, all while spying dozens of wild horses and dolphins.

For a dinner feast, set sail on a sunset cruise for some of the most amazing scenery and views of the colorful horizon. Enjoy catered buffets with a different theme each day including Cajun Country, Southern Homecookin’, BBQ, Italian Cuisine (including wine tasting), Hawaiian Luau, Seafood and a Captain’s Dinner. This sunset cruise is sure to appease any appetite.

For those who want to explore the natural beauty of the coast and all it has to offer, a cruise to Cape Lookout National Seashore is the perfect choice. Activities include shelling, clamming, or crabbing along the coastline, as well as bird and dolphin watching and a variety of fishing. The tours are all uniquely planned based on consultation with the travelers and are paced so that the experience can be relished. Throughout the tour, your captain will explain interesting aspects and the history of the area so that you can truly understand this unique ecosystem.

Beaufort Pirate’s Revenge

Photo Credit: Beaufort Pirates Revenge

Looking for even more adventure? Especially for the little ones? Then set sail with Beaufort Pirates Revenge, offering interactive voyages full of fun and adventure for the whole family.

Walk the plank onto the “Revenge” for a Pirate Treasure Cruise. This pirate adventure is perfect for families and swashbucklers of all ages, with sword fights, singing, a chase on the high seas, and water cannon battles for treasure.

For an even spookier quest, take off on the Ghost Float Haunted Pirate Cruise. At night, set sail over the dark waters of the Crystal Coast and return to the days of Blackbeard. See the actual sites where battles and betrayals occurred and see the ghostly shipwrecks while onboard. It is a one-of-a-kind, thrilling experience you won’t soon forget!

Crystal Coast Ecotours

Photo Credit: Crystal Coast Ecotours

For a more personalized cruise, Crystal Coast Ecotours offers full, half-day and two-hour boat tours that are customized for a distinctive coastal experience. Each ecology tour is uniquely planned by consultation for up to six guests.

For those preferring a more interactive experience, schedule a full or half-day excursion and tailor it to include activities that everyone in the family will enjoy. From shelling, clamming and crabbing to snorkeling, dolphin watching, fishing and wild horse watching, Crystal Coast Ecotours will help you plan an exciting adventure that the kids will talk about for years to come.

Throughout each tour, Captain Jess will share his knowledge of the area and the wonders of its many marine inhabitants.

H2O Captain Eco-Tour Private Boat Excursions

Photo Credit: H2O Captain

H2O Captain Eco-Tour Private Boat Excursions offers private boat tours of the Crystal Coast. You’ll be welcomed aboard a 21-foot open center console Ultra-Elite Series Carolina Skiff by Captain Mark and his first mate Lucky, the dog. The boat features cushioned seats, a dining table and a soft Bimini sun protector.

H2O Captain is authorized by the National Park Service to have both boat and land excursions to the national seashore. You can see the wild horses of Shackleford Banks and the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and National Seashore, take a scenic boat ride down the Intracoastal Waterway to Swansboro, explore the historic waterfronts of Beaufort and Morehead City or see the islands that comprise the Rachel Carson Reserve.

Shackleford Wild Horse and Shelling Safari

Photo Credit: Shackleford Wild Horse and Shelling Safari

Enjoy a rare experience with nature on the Shackleford Wild Horse and Shelling Safari. With a short ferry ride to Shackleford Banks, you will assist your guide in tracking the herd of wild horses that have roamed freely on the island for more than 400 years.

After the tour, you will be directed to one of the best shelling beaches on the North Carolina coast. With the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in the distance, you will have time to search for shells such as conchs, whelks, queen’s helmets, scotch bonnets, and sand dollars.

The wild horse tours on Shackleford Banks last approximately 1.5 hours, but you and your group are welcome to stay on the island after that time for as long as you like. Pack a picnic lunch, grab your fishing pole, and stay on the island to have lunch, go swimming, fishing or do more shelling. Shackleford Banks is a great place to spend the day soaking up the sun and just enjoying this one-of-a-kind experience.

Plan Your Crystal Coast Cruise Today

If you are planning a trip to the Southern Outer Banks, be sure to book a Crystal Coast cruise. These fantastic tours offer a unique opportunity to see the beautiful natural resources that make this area one of the most special places in the United States.

Whether you choose a two-hour tour or a full-day excursion, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience. Cruise the crystal-clear waters, explore the barrier islands, and see dolphins, wild horses, and other marine life up close.

Crystal Coast cruises are perfect for families of all ages. The knowledgeable crew will make sure you have a safe and enjoyable time. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your coastal getaway with Emerald Isle Realty today!


Discover the best boat tours on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast in the web story below.



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Cruise Your Way Around North Carolina's Crystal Coast

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