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Where to See Dolphins in Gulfport MS

Dolphin Watching in Gulfport, MS - Close up of a dolphin
Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
October 1, 2021

They're friendly, super-intelligent, fun-loving, and iconic--they're the dolphins of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Everyone loves these marine mammals, who are the superstars of every beach town—wondering where to see dolphins in Gulfport, MS? Here are a few ideas.

How and Where to See Dolphins in Gulfport MS‍

Dolphin swimming

Catching a glimpse of Flipper is more challenging than it might sound. Sure, you can head to the beach and hope to get lucky. But dolphins typically like quieter places in deeper water--they aren't easy to spot from shore. Getting away from land is your best bet, but unless you brought a boat, it's not the easiest thing to do!

If you love dolphins and want to ensure that you'll get to see one on your Gulf Coast vacation, your best bet is to head over to the Mississippi Aquarium. A pod of friendly bottlenose dolphins calls this aquarium near Biloxi, Mississippi home. There is a daily narrated demonstration of the dolphins working with their trainers. There is also a dolphin encounter where you can get a few minutes alone with a dolphin and a trainer.

While seeing a trained dolphin isn't the same thing as seeing dolphins playing in the wild, remember that this is the only way you can interact with them. It is illegal to feed or swim with wild dolphins for your safety as well as theirs. But if you want to see one in their natural habitat and get a close-up look, here are a few fun ways to go about it.

La Dolce Vita Dolphin Cruises

Dolphin swimming next to a cruise

La Dolce Vita is Italian for "the sweet life," and that's precisely what you'll be living as you tour Mississippi Sound on this 48-foot motor yacht. Unlike many tours, this is a private charter on a small boat, so it will just be you and your family. You'll ply the waters in search of whatever you're in search of--but if you're reading this article, it's probably dolphins!

Up to six guests can book La Dolce Vita for two to six-hour charters. From Ship Island, Ocean Springs, Horn Island, or Bay St. Louis, you can go anywhere you like. Captain Jim and First Mate Mary Ann will love showing you the sights, and they're experts on where to find the dolphins!

Ship Island Excursions

If you're planning on visiting offshore Ship Island anyway, the team at Ship Island Excursions are the ones to talk to. This is National Seashore's leading ferry boat out to the island.

The island is 11 miles off of the Gulfport beach, meaning you'll have plenty of time to watch for dolphins as you come and go. Dolphins love to jump and play in the wakes of boats, so they are often spotted during the ferry cruise.

Making Memories

Making Memories Sailboat in the water

Making Memories is a small boat charter on a traditional sailboat. They offer four-hour or six-hour cruises, plus a two-and-a-half-hour sunset cruise. Any of them are great ways to spend a quiet and relaxed day on the water, and dolphins will come along just about every time.

A maximum of six passengers are allowed, so like other small boats, you're most likely to be only with your family and the captain!

Make New Friends in Gulfport!‍

Mississippi Sound is home to tons of dolphins and all sorts of other marine life. But the only way you can see them is to go out and say hello! So book a charter trip and see what new friends you can meet out there!

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