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Dolphin Explorer Cruise

Home > Adelaide > Cruises | Disabled Access | Lunch | Nature | School Holiday Activities
by Jenny Brice (subscribe)
I enjoy photography and writing, new places and experiences, living on the edge of the Barossa Valley and my involvement with animals. You are welcome to visit my photography website
Published September 21st 2014
Relaxing cruise to view dolphins and sea birds
The Dolphin Explorer provides a perfect way to escape for a couple of hours on a refreshing and relaxing cruise along the Port River.

The Dolphin Explorer
The Dolphin Explorer at the Queens Wharf, Port Adelaide, prior to a 2 hour cruise along the Port River

With the sound and smell of the sea assailing my senses and a brisk breeze blowing away cobwebs, I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the front deck, viewing the passing scenery and sea birds and watching dolphins as they swam past or frolicked alongside the boat from time to time.

A dolphin frolicking in the Port River
A dolphin frolicking in the Port River

The Port River is part of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and is the only place in the world where wild dolphins live within a city. It is home to approximately 30 frequently observed Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, most of which have been identified and named.

The captain of the boat alerts passengers whenever a dolphin is sighted, and also provides interesting commentary on the passing landmarks, historic sites and industry along the Port River.

Ship Building on the Port River
Ship building is one of several thriving industries situated along the Port River

Some passengers choose to sit on the top shaded sun deck with an all-around view and others, not so keen on the fresh air, sit inside in air conditioned comfort, viewing the scenery through panoramic widows. A lift provides wheelchair access to all decks and facilities, including toilets.

The Crane Barge, Aquane
The bright red crane barge, Aquane working on the Port River

Food available on the boat ranges from a bucket of hot potato chips to a very reasonably priced sit down main meal, with or without dessert and tea or coffee. All food is freshly prepared and cooked in fully equipped, on-board galleys.

The Dolphin Explorer Dining Room
The dining room on the Dolphin Explorer has large panoramic windows to enable diners to watch the passing view as they enjoy their meals.

The Dolphin Explorer ties up at Queens Wharf near the red lighthouse at the end of Commercial Road, Port Adelaide. Tickets are available from a blue van on the wharf. Ample free parking can be found in nearby streets and paid parking is available in sites around the wharf area.

The Dolphin Explorer's Blue Ticket Van
Dolphin Explorer cruise tickets are available from the blue van situated on the wharf near the red lighthouse.

Cruises are available most days, including Sundays and Public Holidays, and during school holidays two cruises are run every day. Specific times and dates can be checked on the website

At only $8.00 per adult and $6.00 per child a cruise on the Dolphin Explorer is a more than worthwhile experience and one which I highly recommend.

The Mary McKillop Rail Bridge and the Tom 'Diver Derrick Road Bridge
Returning to the Queens Wharf (seen in the distance) the Dolphin Explorer sails under the Mary McKillop Rail Bridge and the Tom 'Diver' Derrick road bridge which are situated next to each other.

The Dolphin Explorer also provides cruises for seniors, clubs, groups, and on special occasions, such as Christmas. It can be chartered for private lunchtime or dinner cruises, weddings, parties and other celebrations or gatherings. It has two function decks with full bar, dining and dancing facilities. All details and a downloadable brochure are available at
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Why? Relax as you cruise along the Port River watching dolphins and sea birds.
When: Most days, including Sundays and Public Holidays
Phone: 08 8447 2366
Where: Queens Wharf at the end of Commercial Road, Port Adelaide
Cost: Adults $8.00; Children $6.00
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