Assateague Wild Pony Watching Cruises

Assateague is an amazing destination. Visit Virginia to see the only place like this on earth.

Assateague Explorer Pony Watching Cruise



10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM, SUNSET
(Other times may be available.)
See sunset departure time.


Approximately 1.25 -1.5 hours



Adults $55
Children 3-11 years old receive $10 off
Children under 3 years old are free


Chincoteague Island, Virginia.
Driving Directions


PayPal Online Reservations

Reserve Now Online

Call (757) 336-5956
or (757) 894-2932

7 days a week 7am-11pm

Advanced reservations are recommended. Reserve now and you are confirmed, we have your name on the list at the dock.

Private tour is availabe also. Call for details.

* Group discounts available.
* The schedule & price are subject to change.
* 6% fee will be applied to all the transactions.

Combo Tour (SAVE 10%):

Get the most out of your vacation. You can do the cruise & kayak tour or go twice on the boat or kayak (the same day or separate days). Every time we go out is different. Herds of wild horses, dolphins & other wildlife move around all day long. The combo tour is the best way to see the most wildlife & scenery.
Combo tour scenarios:
Example 1: Do the 10:30am cruise, it returns about 12:15pm, grab lunch (there are good places for food nearby), eat your lunch nearby at scenic Memorial Park where the kayak tour departs from overlooking the lighthouse, conveniently get on the 1:30pm kayak tour there. The kayak tour goes into pristine remarkable parts of the Wildlife Refuge for wild horses etc.
Example 2: Do the 8:30am kayak tour, get back about 11:30am, have lunch, then do the 1:30pm or sunset cruise.
Example 3: Daytime cruise then the sunset tour later that day or the next day.

Assateague Explorer Tour Boat MISTY

The Assateague tour boat "Misty" is a Coast Guard Certified inspected vessel. A Coast Guard Certified vessel undergoes stability tests, periodic inspections at various phases of construction, continuous hull inspections & annual safety inspections by the coast guard. The boat is guaranteed to get you to the best areas, is really comfortable and has a restroom.

USCG inspected vessel

Assateague Explorer Pony Watching Cruise

Dolphins are encountered almost everyday during the cruise. The marine waters and pristine estuaries here set the perfect stage for dolphins and other marine life that we encounter frequently. Dolphins love to hunt for fish and socialize. The waters and land are teaming with life. Horses & wildlife are active in different areas all during the day, you can encounter various forms of wildlife throughout the day, so go twice while you are here. Do the Combo Tour. You will love pony watching and the awesome scenery. Wild ponies, dolphins, shore birds, wildlife & scenery await. Travel to the best part of Assateague in Virginia & see the legendary wild horses & wildlife. The Chincoteague tour to Assateague is a great family vacation.

Dolphin Watching near Assateague

Dolphin Watching near Assateague


Travel to Assateague’s wild horses

Wild horses, dolphins, birdwatching, spectacular scenery and wildlife in Virginia. Assateague Explorer's U.S. Coast Guard Certified tour boat "Misty" departs from Chincoteague Island, Virginia, by the beautiful southern part of Assateague. Traveling by boat is the ultimate way to see wild ponies, eagles, shorebirds, marine life and spectacular views. Led by an experienced captain with local knowledge, cruise along the backside of Assateague for the best chance to see the wildlife. If you're looking for adventure, Assateague Explorer has it. This is a great family vacation in Virginia.

What is the best time of day to see wild ponies and wildlife?
Anytime of day is great, wild horses graze and move around anytime of day. Shorebirds, eagles and dolphins are also seen at all times of the day. Mid April through mid October is awesome.

The smooth waters between the barrier islands of Assateague and Chincoteague are perfect to enjoy the scenery & various wildlife. The sightseeing tour take you in comfort through some of Assateague and Chincoteague’s most spectacular scenery including the lighthouse. Jump aboard and head across to nearby Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors of all ages can catch a glimpse into the daily lives of the legendary wild ponies. Travel to the best areas to see herds of the wild horses, bald eagles, dolphins, shorebirds and other wildlife.

Assateague Explorer Pony Watching Cruise

The Assateague Explorer Chincoteague boat tour to Assateague is the best way to see the wild horses & wildlife along the Wildlife Refuge. Captain Mark (the founder of pony watching by boat) has been called the “pony whisperer” and for good reason. He knows where to look for the wild ponies and was featured on the Good Morning America show as the pioneer of Pony Watching by boat. He has worked as a park ranger for the National Park Service and is a native of Chincoteague. His family has lived on Chincoteague Island since the early 1800’s. His parents were classmates with the children from the famous book “Misty”. Capt. Mark’s grandfather had a starring role in the film “Misty of Chincoteague” and some of his grandfather's horses (such as “Phantom” Misty’s mother) were featured in the movie. Captain Mark is a nature photographer on the boat as well, you can see his art prints of wild horses and nature at his website: The history of Assateague’s ponies, wildlife behavior, special adaptations, birdwatching and local ecology are our specialty.

Assateague Explorer Pony Watching Cruise

The Assateague Explorer cruise takes you to places the legendary wild horses and migratory birds call home. Since 2001, we have introduced thousands of visitors to these pristine areas on our cruises. Assateague Explorer's nature cruise offers a balance of relaxation, natural history and outdoor adventure. We have been featured on the ABC Good Morning America show. Explore with us and discover a vast landscape. The waterways here provide an extraordinary array of protected coves, channels and inlets as we search for wild ponies and other things we discover. The wild horses live in family groups called “bands” and graze on the salt marsh grasses at various remote areas where we see them. These horses are actually a registered breed known as Chincoteague Ponies and are as unique as they are impressive to watch. Each Summer, about 60 new foals are born. Approximately 150 wild ponies graze in various family groups along the scenic interior coastlines we can reach by boat here.

A vacation to Chincoteague Island, Virginia and Assateague offers an island escape, away from the crowds in Ocean City, Maryland. Just a one hour drive south of Ocean City, our tours are easily accessible. Assateague Explorer departs from Chincoteague Island, Virginia and offers incredible opportunities for exploration and outdoor relaxation. Assateague is a popular destination for families in Virginia. We provide an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about nature, while they have a chance to encounter the wild ponies that make this place so special. The tour is family oriented and all ages are welcome. Assateague Explorer takes you to prime habitat for both wildlife viewing and photography. Although wildlife is wild, it’s not unusual to see several herds of wild ponies, dolphins and eagles all on the same tour. We usually see the wild ponies with their foals frolicking along the shoreline as we search for various herds of ponies, birds and dolphins.

Assateague Wild Horses

Assateague provides safe haven for the legendary horses and is a vital habitat for both resident and migratory bird species. The island is located in a major bird migration route. Visitors see many species of birds during our cruises. The places we visit provide excellent birding. Birdwatching by boat is awesome. If you enjoy horses, birdwatching or photography, you will love it. The cruise offers the most efficient way for pony watching & birdwatching. This is the way to get out to the best parts of Assateague Island. Bring your camera, there are excellent opportunities for outdoor photography.

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 / Kayak - 2022 Season
March 19th - November 20th

7 days a week.
Reserve now, the reservation office is open all year.
Advanced reservations are recommended.

Wildlife Art Prints