Wild Dolphin Adventures and Dolphin Watch are some options for swimming with dolphins in the wild in Key West, Florida. Dolphins Plus on nearby Key Largo lets tourists swim with captive dolphins in an aquarium environment. Many tour and charter companies in Key West offer tours that take participants to view dolphins in one area but do not allow them to swim there. Promotional material must be read carefully from tour providers to ensure that actual dolphin swims are included.
Dolphin Watch offers tours leaving from Old Towne in Key West's historic seaport. Charters are given aboard the company's 31-foot catamaran Gemini. Tour groups are limited to only six participants so advanced booking is recommended. The small group size helps to ensure an uncrowded experience and minimize the impact on the wild dolphins. The tour company does state that sometimes, in the interest of the dolphins, the swims must take place in an area adjacent to their actual habitat.
Wild Dolphin Adventures has a similar itinerary as Dolphin Watch with six-person tours leaving twice daily from Key West on four-hour half-day dolphin encounters. Dolphin enthusiasts also have the option of booking private full-day charters with personalized itineraries.
Dolphins plus is a short distance from Key West and offers many different types of dolphin experiences, including swims, shallow water wading, dolphin encounters without getting in the water and programs that allow visitors to be a dolphin trainer or a marine biologist for the day.