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Old 04-24-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
rlduvall
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Hilton Head/Charleston Boat Excursion Recommendation

In July, our family will be at Charleston for 2 nights; then we move over to Disney Hilton Head for 4 nights. We would like to take a sightseeing boat excursion at one of those places. Does anyone have a recommendation? At this point, we aren't tied into any one type of experience, i.e. dolphin watching, commercial boat, historical sites, etc.

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
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Charleston: The boat out to Ft. Sumter shouldn't be missed, nor, a tour of the Yorktown.

As for HHI, there is a Dolphin tour that goes out of the Shelter Cove Marina (right there at the resort). I have done it and it was fun (though it stormed that day and we didn't get to go very far).

There are other boat rides out of Harbor Town. I haven't done those and there is the $5 fee to get into Sea Pines.

There is also a harbor tour of Savannah if you want to come over here.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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I was not that impressed with the Dolphin tour offered through Disney at Hilton Head.

To be completely truthful...I was ok with it when I took it but didn't think it was anything to write home about. About a year later we went on a dolphin tour in Gulf Shores Alabama and was blown away.

Hilton Head (Small Boat) - We set it up through the resort. There were about 6 of us on a small ski boat. We were able to stop the boat a couple of times and watch the dolphins natural dip out of the water. A lot of times, someone would see a dolphin come out of the water and by the time you looked, they were gone. It was a bit underwhelming.

Gulf Shores (Big Boat) - There were probably 100 people on the boat. There were free water bottles and the captain played music (like Jimmy Buffet music). We got going and there were about 4 dolphins that followed our wake the entire time. These dolphins lept continuously completely out of the water. We saw lots and lots of dolphins.

We went to Hilton Head in November and were in Gulf Shores in July. I could see that the crew/company could make a big difference.

However, I really think the size of the boat was the important thing.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conan the Librarian View Post
Charleston: The boat out to Ft. Sumter shouldn't be missed, nor, a tour of the Yorktown.

As for HHI, there is a Dolphin tour that goes out of the Shelter Cove Marina (right there at the resort). I have done it and it was fun (though it stormed that day and we didn't get to go very far).

There are other boat rides out of Harbor Town. I haven't done those and there is the $5 fee to get into Sea Pines.

There is also a harbor tour of Savannah if you want to come over here.
How is the harbor tour in Savannah? We love the trolley tours and have gone on them BOTH times we have gone to Savannah. We were thinking about either a carriage ride or the harbor tour on our next trip. I don't think I would like the ghost tours.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlduvall View Post
In July, our family will be at Charleston for 2 nights; then we move over to Disney Hilton Head for 4 nights. We would like to take a sightseeing boat excursion at one of those places. Does anyone have a recommendation? At this point, we aren't tied into any one type of experience, i.e. dolphin watching, commercial boat, historical sites, etc.

Thanks so much!
We're doing the same thing! Since we're flying into Charleston, we decided to stay a couple of nights there, and then move to HHI.
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great information. I did see the #1 tour in Charleston was a walking tour by Michael Trouche, so I am looking into that for a morning tour. How fun in July. Not sure if he does this in July as his booking calendar didn't have any times listed from June to the end of the year. I am hoping it's just a glitch and I e-mailed him about it.

Then for Hilton Head, I saw Island Explorer has a Fireworks Cruise every Tuesday night - highly rated. Has anyone done that? Or we may do a dolphin cruise, but what's the porpoise [okay, okay, that was horrible] .
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Conan the Librarian View Post

There is also a harbor tour of Savannah if you want to come over here.
There's no way we would miss out on Savannah. We go there every time we visit Hilton Head. What a wonderful city. We have eaten at The Crab Shack and Bubba's. Any other restaurants you would recommend?
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:12 PM   #8
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I subscribed to groupon for Savannah/Hhi and got a deal through Vagabond in Harbor town in Sea pines. We had so much fun and there Are a lot of cute shops and the lighthouse there. Then we went to Salty dog for dinner.


If you have small kids, Shannon tanner, who performs at the shelter cove marina across from dvc offers a pirate cruise/dolphin cruise. It was more expensive but kids love it! If you have kids, you must end an evening listening to him and dining over in Shelter Cove. Also, you can go to restaurant.com and get discounts at restaurants.

Enjoy, we love hhi
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:51 AM   #9
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I have googled this question but cannot find an answer or opinion. What is the customary amount to tip your tour guide? We will be taking a 90 minute walking tour in Savannah and all of the trip advisor reviews say, "And don't forget to tip your guide." but never say a percentage or dollar amount.

Any opinions appreciated.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:00 AM   #10
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I have googled this question but cannot find an answer or opinion. What is the customary amount to tip your tour guide? We will be taking a 90 minute walking tour in Savannah and all of the trip advisor reviews say, "And don't forget to tip your guide." but never say a percentage or dollar amount.

Any opinions appreciated.
We generally tip about 20%, but if the Guide was fabulous you could definitely tip more . . . and I have done that before.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:04 AM   #11
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I subscribed to groupon for Savannah/Hhi and got a deal through Vagabond in Harbor town in Sea pines. We had so much fun and there Are a lot of cute shops and the lighthouse there. Then we went to Salty dog for dinner.
I love Salty Dog. That's one reason I talked my DH into going back to Hilton Head. It's been since 2007 and I still crave their scallops.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #12
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We had a wonderful experience on the Dolphin trip out of the marina next to HHI. The boat was small, but we saw tons of dolphins. The captain brought his dog along, and at one point we were stopped for a few minutes, and one of the dolphins kept checking out the dog. He finally came up out of the water and got nose to nose with the dog, it was amazing. I guess the dog had been on so many trips it didn't phase him in the least! An experience we will never forget.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:39 PM   #13
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We also had a good experience with the dolphin excursion booked through the resort. We saw lots of Dolphins and got a little history lesson of the surrounding area. Very relaxing and it was only our family on the boat.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:39 PM   #14
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We took that walking tour of Charleston with Michael. Absolutely fantastic!! I hope you can arrange it.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:40 PM   #15
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I just sit there and think "Oh, pretty colors."
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We took that walking tour of Charleston with Michael. Absolutely fantastic!! I hope you can arrange it.
Thank you for the feedback. I e-mailed him last week and he responded within a few hours. He said he doesn't put up the schedules more than 6 weeks out. He will be doing a tour while we are there and I am going to make sure we do it, even though DH's eyes bugged out when I said Walking Tour versus Boat Tour for July.

Still researching my options for Boat Tour in HH. Has anyone's done the Tuesday night Firework's Cruise?
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