Last Updated on December 22, 2023

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Heading to the Florida Panhandle and looking for fun things to do?  If so, look no further!  In this post, we look at the highest-rated snorkeling tours in Panama City Beach Florida!
 
I love Panama City Beach and visiting the attractions such as Pier Park and Dog Beach.  Even the piers are great spots for taking a stroll and fishing.  But if you’re looking to get on the water, then these snorkeling tours in Panama City Beach are just for you!
 
Let’s dive in!

 

 

Don’t Have Time To Read The Full Article? Book The Shell Island Snorkel And Dolphin Catamaran Cruise With Island Time  with a 5⭐️rating

 

 

 

 

7 Best Snorkel Tours Panama City Beach Florida!

 

Tourists and guests boarding the Paradise Adventures Catamaran boat in the crystal clear waters of Panama City Beach

Photo Credit- Paradise Adventures Catamaran

Tour Rating: 4.5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 3 Hours      Check Rates Here

The Catamaran Snorkel and Dolphin Watch Tour in Panama City Beach offers an unforgettable adventure on the calm waters of the historic Grand Lagoon in the Gulf of Mexico.

This 3-hour tour promises an adventure that will leave visitors with lasting memories of beautiful sea life and natural environment.

The sleek catamaran sets sail from the dock down from the Sheraton PCB Golf and Spa Resort.

This snorkel tour offers guests the opportunity to swim with vibrant coral reefs and discover a mesmerizing glimpse of the underwater world of colorful tropical fish, hermit crabs, graceful sea turtles, and other stunning marine life.

But the excitement doesn’t end there. The snorkel tour also includes a captivating dolphin sightseeing experience, where guests can witness these intelligent creatures playfully leaping and swimming alongside the vessel.

It’s a heartwarming encounter with nature’s most charismatic inhabitants.

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“It was a great way to spend an afternoon. Captain Justine was great! The boat ride was super chill and relaxing. Plenty of drinks and snacks if that’s your thing. We were able to see a bunch of dolphins close by. All in all, a fun excursion. 🙂

Liz_N  

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • Complimentary beverage

  • Snorkel gear

  • Boat captain

  • Snorkeling tour guide

 

 

A Catamaran Sail with Inflatable slides and activities in the waters of Panama City Beach for an ultimate Water Adventure

Photo Credit- Paradise Adventures Catamaran

Tour Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 3 Hours      Check Rates Here

Experience the ultimate water activity adventure with the Panama City Beach Water Activity Adventure Catamaran Sail tour.

This action-packed excursion offers an exhilarating blend of fun and relaxation on the sparkling, calm waters of Panama City Beach near Mexico Beach.

The Privateer charter sailing catamaran sets sail along the scenic coastline and transports you to the small island of Shell Island where an array of thrilling water activities await you.

These include kayaking, paddleboarding, and even ride a jet ski, for an adrenaline-fueled adventure, especially for larger groups like an entire family vacationing together.

There is also a climbing wall, a see-saw ball, a water slide, and a giant water trampoline on this 2 hours of fun tour, best suitable for children of all ages!

After a jam-packed adventure, you get the chance to sip on refreshing drinks from the onboard bar and laze on the deck as you take in the breathtaking surroundings.

Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping thrills or serene relaxation, this snorkeling tour offers an unforgettable experience that caters to every water lover’s dream.

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“We had so much fun on the inflatables, paddle boarding and on the banana boat! … After you’re out on the water for 1.5hr you’ll sail out to see plenty of dolphins. The crew was absolutely amazing! Very friendly, funny and overall wonderful to be around! I definitely recommend, seen all ages out there having fun.”

Savannah_S  ⭐

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • All activities

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Bottled water

  • Restroom on board

 

 

group of people on board a private boat cruising in the waters of Panama City Beach for a fun snorkeling and dolphin tour

Photo Credit- Paradise Adventures Catamaran

Tour Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 4 Hours      Check Rates Here

Run by Paradise Adventures rated 4.8 on Google, this ultimate VIP experience on a guided pontoon tour will stay with you forever, as it makes for one of the best Panama City Beach dolphin sightseeing tours.

This exclusive small groups snorkeling tour takes you on a luxurious pontoon boat rentals for a guided snorkeling adventure, diving into the crystal-clear waters.

Discover vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life like colorful tropical fish, graceful rays, sea urchins, and maybe even a sea turtle!

After the snorkeling, the beach-hopping escapade around the undeveloped paradise of Shell Island takes you to secluded, beautiful beaches accessible only by boat that are especially known for sand dollars.

With a knowledgeable guide to lead the way and a luxury pontoon boat that fits up to 11 people, this VIP eco-friendly tour is the epitome of luxury and coastal wildlife adventure, offering a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

Definitely one of the best places to experience sea life in style!

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“Absolutely worth every penny! Our guide/driver/captain was Hunter and he did a great job! We saw lots of dolphin families swimming alongside our boat and watched them play… The water and scenery were beautiful and the weather was perfect! It is quite a walk out to the boat and … they offer wheelchairs and wagons to assist. I would recommend this to everyone! Thanks for such a wonderful experience!”

Amy_E ⭐

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • Tour guide

  • Fuel

  • Ice cooler

 

 

Family of four with 2 kids enjoying a luxurious private cruise while dolphin watching

Photo Credit- Flippin’ Awesome Adventures

Tour Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 2 Hours      Check Rates Here

If you like to include some learning and knowledge along with fun and adventure, this exclusive experience allows you to delve into the fascinating world of dolphins while accompanied by an expert marine biologist.

Since this is a private tour, it can be incredibly enriching for large groups like a whole family traveling together.

On board a luxurious boat, this Panama City boat tour takes you to the small island of Shell Island and passes by the bay of St. Andrews State Park, where these majestic creatures on their natural habitat.

As you cruise the coast, the marine biologist shares their vast knowledge, providing insights into dolphin behavior, habitats, and conservation efforts.

This private tour ensures an intimate and personalized encounter with these intelligent marine creatures, offering a deeper understanding and appreciation for their existence.

It allows you a unique opportunity to connect with nature and learn from a true expert in the field.

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“We had a great time out on the gulf with Captain Chris. We seen a shark, a manatee, a couple of bottlenose dolphins, a bull shark, and the best part was a couple of sea turtles. Would recommend him to anyone wanting a great time in Panama City Beach.”

Ryan_L ⭐

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • Snorkel gear

  • Bottled water

 

 

Aerial view of a big white catamaran cruise with guests having a fun boat time in the middle of crystal clear green waters in Shell Island Florida

Photo Credit-  Island Time Sailing

Tour Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 3 Hours      Check Rates Here

This Ultimate Shell Island Adventure by Island Time Sailing takes you on a spacious catamaran that makes for the perfect, sturdy base to explore the waters of the breathtaking Shell Island, a pristine barrier island known for its abundant wildlife and its beautiful white sand beaches home to sand dollars.

Upon arrival at Shell Island, grab your snorkel gear and dive into the crystal-clear waters to explore the breathtaking underwater world.

Discover vibrant marine life from tropical fish, sea urchins, sea turtles, and beautiful coral reefs, immersing yourself in nature’s splendor.

Apart from the snorkel gear, the catamaran is also stocked with paddleboards and a waterslide for some fun time out at sea!

This 2-hour tour is a great place to observe the curious and intelligent wild dolphins in their natural habitat.

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“Me and my kids, mother-in-law went on this cruise and absolutely loved it. I most definitely recommend this cruise to go on, the crew was very entertaining and mingled with the guest. Would most definitely be going back on this cruise next time we are on vacation. Thanks to the captain and his crew!”

Ashley_P 

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • Snorkel gear

  • Paddleboard

  • Boat crew

  • Life jackets

 

 

2 dolphins swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Shell Island

Photo Credit- Fintatsic Adventures

Tour Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 3 Hours      Check Rates Here

This dolphin-watching and snorkeling tour departs from Panama City Beach and takes you to Shell Island, a beautiful barrier island with sugar-sand beaches, clear water, and abundant marine life.

On the tour, you get a chance to see the best dolphins up close in their natural habitat, while the experienced and knowledgeable tour guides share interesting facts about this amazing sea life, making it one of the best Panama City Beach dolphin and Shell Island tours!

After the dolphins, it’s time for the snorkel tour amidst the crystal-clear water around Shell Island.

You’ll see a variety of marine life, including fish, turtles, and coral reefs.

Shell Island is a great place to experience the beauty in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and learn about the marine life that lives there.

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“Wow! So worth it. Ashley is very knowledgeable about sea life and can captain a boat like a boss. We loved the boat and the ride but seeing all the wild dolphins up close was so cool… We also had a lot of fun anchoring on the beach at shell island and just hanging out, eating lunch, and swimming. Fun for the entire family. We recommend this to everyone.”

Matt_B ⭐

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • Snorkel gear

  • Ice cooler

 

 

2 young boys wearing snorkeling goggles and smiling while enjoying the snorkeling and dolphin tour in Panama City Beach

Photo Credit-  B By The Sea Adventures

Tour Rating: 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️    Length: 2 Hours      Check Rates Here

This snorkeling, local wildlife, and dolphin sightseeing tour to St. Andrews Bay is a great place to see the underwater world of the St. Andrews State Park area.

As you sail through the scenic St. Andrews Bay, keep your eyes peeled for playful wild dolphins swimming alongside the boat.

Witness their acrobatic displays and marvel at their intelligence and grace.

You then get to dive into the warm, shallow waters and snorkel among vibrant coral reefs teeming with a kaleidoscope of tropical fish.

St. Andrew Bay is also a sanctuary for various wildlife species.

You may also spot majestic seabirds, sea urchins, graceful sea turtles, and even the occasional manatee while you snorkel grass flats, making this one of the best snorkel tours in Panama City Beach!

Here’s what a past guest said about this tour:

“Britanny really took the time to play with the kids. She was very knowledgeable about the area. She is an overall sweetheart and the best tour we did! Thanks Britanny for the wonderful memories!!”

Rebecca_M

✅ What’s Included with this tour?

  • Snorkel gear

  • Ice cooler

  • Bottled water

 

 

underwater photo of a kid swimming underwater

Panama City, Florida Snorkeling – Frequently Asked Questions


Is Panama City Good For Snorkeling?

The shallow water of Panama City Beach is a popular spot in Florida that offers good snorkeling opportunities, particularly around areas like Shell Island along the St. Andrews State Park.

Where you may encounter vibrant fish, occasional sea turtles, and other sea life like manatees and also experience wild dolphin sightseeing!

Is Shell Island Worth The Trip?

Yes, Shell Island is definitely worth the trip! Shell Island is a pristine barrier island known for its sugar-sand beaches, crystal-clear calm waters, and appreciation of wildlife.

You can enjoy sunbathing, beachcombing, swimming, and picnicking on the beautiful beaches, and maybe even spot some sand dollars!

The island also has the best spots for snorkeling and offers opportunities for dolphin encounters, watch sea turtles, and a variety of bird species.

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Shell Island?

The cost to visit Shell Island can vary depending on the group size and the mode of transportation.

Guided boat tours to Shell Island typically range from $20 to $50 per person.

There are some ferry and boat tour company offering transportation to Shell Island from specific locations, with prices generally ranging from $20 to $30 per person for a round trip, except only on bad weather and dangerous water conditions.

Lastly, if you prefer to rent a private charter, the cost can range from $200 to $500 or more, depending on the duration of the rental and the size and type of the boat.

Where Is The Best Place To Snorkel On Shell Island?

West End, St. Andrews State Park Jetties, and Shell Beds are three of the best places to snorkel on Shell Island.

To swim in the shelly ocean beds, and unique rock formations and snorkel the grass flats off sugar-sand beaches is a truly enriching and educational experiences because these perfect spots attract a host of wonderful marine wildlife!

7 Highest rated snorkeling tours in Panama Beach

 Snorkeling Tours In Panama City Beach- Final Thoughts

As you can see, whether you’re a beginner or have experience in the water, these snorkeling tours in Panama City Beach is the best way to see manatees, fish, and other marine life!

With several different affordable and private tours to choose from, you’re sure to find one that will suit your needs.  Safe travels!

 

 

Still Undecided? I Recommend You Book The Shell Island Snorkel And Dolphin Catamaran Cruise With Island Time  with a 5⭐️rating

 

 

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