Sea Screamer Dolphin Tour
If you want to enjoy seeing dolphins in their natural habitat then a ride on the Sea Screamer Dolphin Tour in Clearwater is something I would recommend. Unlike other dolphin boat tours that we have been on which were on a yacht and therefore by their very nature a very relaxing and peaceful way to enjoy being out in the bay spotting dolphins the Sea Screamer is more of thrill adventure. The boat itself seats about 40 people and is a speed boat and the trip is more around speed and fun. I would recommend booking your places in advance as it is a popular activity.
The skipper will slow or stop the boat when any dolphin are spotted and passengers can freely walk around the boat to get the best views. One of the key highlights of a trip on the Sea Screamer is when it picks up speed and dolphins can then be seen following the boat and jumping out of the water and playing in the wake which is a really lovely sight. It is also very enjoyable moving at speed across the water and feeling the sea spray on your face and just taking in the sights of Clearwater Beach.
The only negative for us in our party was that the skipper would keep putting on loud music whenever he picked up speed, including playing Van Halen's record "Jump" to accompany the dolphins jumping in the wake. For us, although it made us laugh, it did seem a bit corny and detracted from what is a beautiful experience observing such wonderful creatures in the wild.
The trip lasts about an hour and we thought it was good value at $24 per adult (less for children). If you are thinking of spending a day at the Gulf Coast it is less than 2 hours drive from our villa at Watersong and I would definitely recommend a dolphin boat ride. Personally I think I preferred the more tranquil experience on a yacht from St Pete's but there is no denying a ride on the Seascreamer is a lot of fun and quite a highlight and I would imagine would appeal slightly more to children and young adults.