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Outer Banks Cruises

dolphinsThe Outer Banks is a paradise of sand and surf. One of the best ways to explore this paradise is on a cruise. Outer Banks cruises boatinclude a variety of tours on a variety of vessels from sailboats to headboats. Visitors can cruise the sound, search the harbor for dolphins and sail along the islands looking for wildlife. Visitors can reserve special charters for family reunions, private parties and weddings.

Ann and I went on a dolphin cruise in May of 2006. The boat was (right) was comfortable, making for a mostly pleasurable trip. We launched from the causeway and got to see a lot of the west side of Roanoke Island including the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park. The two-hour trip did not yield any dolphins, but we did get to see an osprey on its nest (right). osprey

Crystal Dawn offers daily cruises from May to October. Evening cruises give visitors a view of the beauties of Roanoke Sound along with its history. Fishing enthusiasts can take the headboat fishing cruise, even if they didn’t bring their own equipment. Crystal Dawn supplies all bait, tackle and fish bags. Private cruises can be chartered as well. Call 252-473-5577 for rates and schedules.

Downeast Rover Sailing Cruises (252 473-4866 or 1-866-SAILOBX) offer three sailing excursions per day in Manteo. The cruises take place on the Downeast Rover, a 55-foot topsail schooner. Cruises are two hours long and weather dependent.

Hatteras Historical Cruises (252 986-2239) invites visitors to join Captains Randy and Jeri Collins on one of the most unique Outer Banks cruises. From March through October board the Satisfaction for a 75 minute trip detailing the history of Hatteras Island, including commentary on Native Americans, pirates, and explorers. Reservations are recommended and space is limited.

Nags Head Dolphin Watch invites visitors to join researchers as they cruise the Roanoke Sound to study dolphins. The cruise takes place on a 40 foot, covered pontoon boat and includes detailed commentary by researchers about dolphins and the history of the Outer Banks. Reservations are essential.

Outer Banks Cruises offers cruises from May to October led by 9th generation Outer Banks native Captain Wescott. Cruises include dolphin watching, bird watching, shrimping-crabbing, and safari sightseeing. Departure times vary. Call (252) 473-1475 or (866) 473-1475 in advance to confirm departure.

Outer Banks Jet Boats offers one of the standard Outer Banks cruises, but with a twist. The vehicle for this 90 minute cruise is a twin-engine, 700 horsepower “Yellow Bird” jet boat. In addition to sighting dolphins in the Roanoke Sound, this tour gives visitors a thrilling jet-powered ride with spins and splashes. Call (252) 473-2357 or 1-877-FLYTHIS for reservations or book online.

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