Mermaid Encounter Boat Tour - Hilton Head kids activities

 Are you looking for fun Hilton Head kids activities? Look no more and join Pinky Plankton and Sailor Scruffy as they take you on a journey through the waters around Hilton Head to find Mermaid Nina. 

 This is an exciting and fun family friendly adventure that everyone will enjoy! In 2019 this tour was named the Best Marine Wildlife Experience in South Carolina by LUX Life Family & Visitor Attraction awards.


Adult: $35.00

Child (under 12): $30.00

Infant (0-1 year): $0.00

Quick Look:

75 minutes of fun 

Great for kids and families 

Meet a real life mermaid

Dolphin watching 

Covered boat 

Become an Ocean Ambassador 

 Life-Size leatherback and loggerhead sea turtle mural on board

The tour is based on the Children's Book, Mermaid of Hilton Head: The Mermaid's Friends 


 Pinky Plankton met the Mermaid of Hilton Head, Mermaid Nina, who taught her how to protect the ocean and gave Pinky Plankton the title of Ocean Ambassador. On this 75 minute tour you will learn how to protect the ocean and earn your Ocean Ambassador badge too. This tour is better than a dolphin cruise because you get to see dolphins and a mermaid. Along the way you will also see birds and other Low Country wildlife as we journey to find the Mermaid of Hilton Head. 

 You will also learn the story of how Mermaid Nina became the Mermaid of Hilton Head and how she helps protect her ocean friends as well as why the things she does are important for our ecosystem and what you can do to help. When we find the real mermaid, she knows our boat! She will swim right up to the boat and talk to our passengers about the ocean, Hilton Head wildlife, and of course, answer all of your mermaid questions! You can not get any better kid friendly live entertainment than a real mermaid! 

 You never know what will happen when you are on the tour. Sometimes Mermaid Nina’s arch nemesis, Professor Al G will show up and try to capture her to put her in a mermaid performance tank, but Mermaid Nina loves to be wild and free. She will rely on you and your family to save her from Professor Al G and scare him away! 

 At the end of the tour, you will earn your O’fish’al Ocean Ambassador badge that you can take home with you. This is a must do if you are planning a family vacation full of fun, magic and education. Our tour is based around the book The Mermaid of Hilton Head: The Mermaid’s Friend, this book was written and illustrated by Mermaid Nina herself. 

 The boat is fully covered with bench seating and sits low to the water for easy viewing of wildlife and Mermaid Nina. The Mermaid Encounter Boat Tour is such a fun, unique experience that the little ones will be talking about for weeks, months, and even years to come. 

 Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Per Coast Guard regulation kids 12 and under must wear a life vest that we will provide. If you are looking for a dolphin tour or Sunset Cruise, without a mermaid make sure you check out our Dolphin Experience Boat Tour and Sunset Dolphin Cruise.


Where do we check in and board the boat?

Check in is at Hilton Head Harbor Marina (43A Jenkins Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926). Please be checked in at least 15 minutes prior to departure. Once all guests are checked in they will be escorted down a ramp, to the boat.

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Is the boat handicap accessible?

Yes! Our tour is handicap accessible. Just let the staff know at check in that you may need assistance boarding the boat.

Can I bring food and water on the boat?

Yes! Please feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks. We strongly recommend reusable bottles versus single-use plastics to reduce plastic waste that ends up in our oceans.

Will we see dolphins on the tour?

Dolphins are wild, like Mermaid Nina, and while we can always guarantee a mermaid sighting, dolphin sightings are not as reliable. We see dolphins on almost every tour however we cannot promise that they will be out. Luckily Mermaid Nina is friends with a lot of them, and they do like to swim around her when she is around, giving you a good chance of a close encounter with them.

Do I need a reservation or can I just show up at the time of the tour?

We highly recommend reserving your spot. We sell out most of our tours and very often do not have space on the tours last minute. If you do not have a reservation, we can not guarantee you will be able to get on the tour.

How long does the tour last?

For the Mermaid Encounter Boat Tour we are out on the water for 75 minutes.

Do I have to wear a life jacket?

If you are an adult, you do not need to wear a life jacket. Life jackets are provided for children and we do ask that they wear them, as we have had several little ones try to jump in the water with the mermaid. 

What happens if we get bad weather at the time of our tour?

We watch the weather closely as it changes constantly in Hilton Head. If the tour needs to be cancelled due to weather we will let you know as soon as the Captain makes the call. We will either schedule your family on another tour if there is space or we will move the tour to another time. If we are unable to reschedule, we will issue a full refund.

Is there a restroom on board?

No, so please arrive early so you can use the restroom prior to departure.

How far out does the boat go? (Choppy, deep water?)

The boat does not go out into the open ocean. We stay in more shallow water (15-40ft.) and you will be able to see land. 

Do boys enjoy the tour too?

Yes! Mermaid Nina has had several marriage proposals from our younger male guests. They have just as much fun as the girls and they love to help fight off the evil villain.  

 We have partnered with One Dollar for the Ocean and we donate One Dollar to a non-profit organization for every service booked. Join us on one of our Experiences and help us give back. Come have fun and do something good for our oceans.