CHINCOTEAGUE TO ASSATEAGUE CRUISE & KAYAKING with ASSATEAGUE EXPLORER

Assateague Cruises

Plan your Chincoteague & Assateague vacation with Assateague Explorer.

  1. What is the best time of day to see wild ponies and wildlife?
    Anytime of day. The ponies are not like deer. Ponies graze all day, shorebirds, eagels and dolphins are seen any time of the day. We see different herds of ponies and various species of wildlife at different times throughout the day. Every cruise or kayak trip we do throughout the day is different. No two trips are ever alike. The ponies are always grazing, resting or socializing. Wild ponies like to walk, graze and sometimes even run along the lush marshlands, edge of the woodlands and remote beaches we travel to all the time. Ponies, Eagles, Shorebirds and Dolphins can be seen just as good at anytime of day. Anytime you go out with us, you will have a good chance at seeing the ponies. The ponies move around all day, we see them throughout the day.

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  2. Should I make a reservation now?
    Yes. Advance reservations are the normal thing most people do and are strongly recommended. Trips can book up quickly. Maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer by calling us now since seats are limited. If you have to change or cancel your reservation, you can do so as long as you give us at least a 48-hour notice (you don’t loose anything then). Reserve now online.

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  3. What month is best to see ponies?
    Anytime from late April through mid October. Summer is a great time to see the foals. The weather is best at this time of year.

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  4. Do we get off the boat?
    It depends. Most of the time we stay on the boat so we can cover a lot of the pristine areas in search for more wild ponies and wildlife. However, sometimes we do decide to land on a beautiful remote sandbar and search for shells if we have seen plenty of ponies and we are in that vicinity. The kayak trips sometimes land on an awesome remote beach, but it depends where our guides decide to take you, where the wild ponies are hanging out, etc...

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  5. Gratuity/Tipping? Should we tip the boat crew or kayak guides?
    It is standard to leave a tip for the boat crew or kayak guides if you enjoyable the area. Our crew works hard to provide the best experience possible for you. They work here because they love being outdoors, helping others, and meeting people like you. Gratuity is always helpful and appreciated.

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  6. Do you guarantee sightings?
    You are guaranteed to see the areas that the wild horses, birds, dolphins & wildlife live and are active. This is the only way to reach these places. It would not make sense to visit and not see this beautiful 1/2 of the island only accessible by boat. You'll have the best success (99.9%) in seeing the wild ponies (good as it gets, see our youtube & photos, the best way to see ponies). We see bald eagles & dolphins frequently. However, no guarantee that we'll see these wild creatures close or doing something remarkable, every Summer tour. The wildlife at Assateague and Chincoteague is “wild”, this is not a petting zoo, nature is unpredictable, think National Park. A variety of scenery, wildlife & marine life is here, in the wild outdoors that makes it so special.

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  7. What happens if it rains?
    The boat and kayak tour leave from the best location possible, near where the wild ponies and wildlife are on the refuge. The weather is usually pretty good to us here at Chincoteague and Assateague, thank God. We have cooler weather than the mainland during the Summer. If it is a light shower, that means nice cool weather also. We usually still go. The rain does not bother us or the wild ponies and wildlife. In fact, some of our best pony watching can be on a rainy day and we always welcome some cool weather. We have nice rain parkas for you (like going out on the “Maid of the Mist”) but you are welcome to bring your own. The boat is 40ft. long and very wide with a nice large top. We monitor wind and sea conditions and they are not necessarily bad during the rain. In the case of severe weather, such as strong winds, we may cancel but you are not under any obligation.

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  8. Is there a bathroom on the boat?
    Yes, there is a restroom on the boat.

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  9. Will I get Sea Sick?
    Nobody has ever got sea sick, the waterway is protected and calm. We operate in between Chincoteague and Assateague Island where the waters are sheltered and our Coast Guard Certified boat is very stable.

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  10. Is the boat wheelchair accessible?
    There is a nice floating dock ramp at the harbor for easy access. We will do all that we can to accommodate customers with disabilities, but everyone is different and although most can get on and off, we can try but cannot guarantee. We'll gladly do our best to help.

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  11. What is the boat like?
    The newest 40ft vessel "Misty" is awesome. It is Coast Guard Certified which requires an annual inspection each year. The boat was designed and built as a high speed catamaran, to be very sea worthy and has twin engines for speed and reliability, plus a restroom. In addition to modern safety equipment, this vessel is operated by a licensed “Master” captain. U.S. Coat Guard Certification also requires a crew member. The boat has undergone a U.S. Coast Guard stability test and the Cost Guard performs hull inspections. The boat has meet plan approval, passenger weight regulations and construction phase observations by the U.S. Coast Guard. The vessel is hauled out periodically for a complete U.S. Coast Guard hull inspection. A Certified vessel is held to a higher standard for passenger safety. The captain has also worked on these waters as a boat captain starting way back in the mid 80’s, has operated boats in the Pacific and is the unquestionable pioneer of Pony Watching in these areas by boat. This tour vessel is wide and provides a smooth ride. It is very spacious and the boat sits up higher off the water which allows great views of wildlife and scenic vistas. Bring the family and experience Assateague and the splendor of one of nature’s great wonders. The boat has a restroom and canopy for shade.

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  12. How early should I arrive before my tour?
    Please arrive 15-20 minutes before your tour. Look for the sign near slip #71 that says Assateague Explorer, our crew will help you onboard.

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  13. Where does the boat and kayak tour leave from?
    The tours depart from Chincoteague Island, Virginia. Visit and print the driving directions page.

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  14. Is there shade on the boat?
    Yes. The boat has a nice big top that covers for abundant shade.

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  15. Are gift certificates available?
    Yes! Gift certificates are available. Click here to purchase one for your family & friends.

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  16. How far is Chincoteague Island, Virginia from Ocean City, Maryland?
    Chincoteague is located just one hour drive south of Ocean City. A relaxing scenic drive and perfect day trip to compliment your Ocean City vacation.

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  17. Is there an age limit?
    No age limit on the boat cruise, people of all ages go on the cruise. Please email or call about the age limit for kayaking.

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Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photos taken on the tour of Assateague, Chincoteague wild ponies, wildlife & scenery.

Watch Us on YouTube

Video Gallery

Videos of the cruise & kayaking along Assateague & Chincoteague.

Tour Brochures

Tour Brochure

Explore and experience that feeling of discovery. Your outdoor adventure begins here.

Good Morning America

Media Coverage

Assateague Explorer featured on the ABC Good Morning America Show.

Cruise or Kayak: April - November
(7 days a week. Call for off season availability.)
Advanced reservations are recommended.

Wildlife Art Prints