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*prices are per trip*

Half day ecotour: 4 hours   |    Full day ecotour:  6 hours

                  $450                                $550

Boat tours: $125/hr. (2 hour minimum)

Payment is accepted by cash or personal check.

Reservations can be made by contacting Capt. Jess Hawkins at:

252-808-3354  |  252-241-6909



For your tour you will need to bring the following:

  • lunch/snack & drinks (cooler with ice will be provided)

  • water shoes (mesh or closed toe preferred)

  • sunglasses & hats

  • sunscreen

  • towels

  • suggested items: binoculars, bug repellant, camera


Please contact us with any questions you may have.

We can't wait to share our beautiful home with you!


All reviews written by CCE experiences on TripAdvisor or Facebook. Visit our pages by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page

“Fantastic experience”

I have lived in this area 35 years and explored by land and water the majority of the islands, coastline and maritime forests. When my extended family from the mountains of Virginia visited recently, I booked an exploration trip for them with Capt. Jess onboard the Lucky Dog. They're all outdoor-types, but primarily in their home mountain region. Two of my 6 travelers were ages 4 & 8. To them the beach was sun, fun and sand. By the time they got back to the dock, the beach was much more! Wild ponies, dolphins, clams, jellyfish, lighthouses, hermit crabs, grass shrimp, mud snails, pipefish, bryzoans, pufferfish, osprey, shells .... These were not just passing discoveries - it was everybody out of the boat & into shallow water with buckets, nets and clam rakes for hands-on sleuthing! They even brought back clams for supper. They were here a week and couldn't stop talking about their adventure. Capt. Jess is a marvelous resource for area history and all the creatures that live in our waters and on our islands. He has a wonderful way with people of all ages and makes learning fun, interesting and exciting. Definitely a treat and "must-do" when visiting the area. And for fishermen, if it has fins and swims Capt. Jess can find your catch!


- sherry w

Morehead City, NC


Visited May 2012


“The best day of our vacation was spent with Crystal Coast Ecotours”

I found Crystal Coast Ecotours here on Trip Advisor. I was impressed with the reviews. When I found out you could customize your trip, my family was on board with the idea (since we all had different activities in mind). We ended up going for the 7 hour trip so that we'd have plenty of time to fit everything in. 

We visited and climbed the Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Captain Jess even climbed up to the top with us! We also saw the wild horses and had a great time shelling on the Cape Lookout National Seashore (we were blessed with perfect weather on the day of our trip and the water was so clear and beautiful). We also did some fishing and Captiain Jess helped the kids (7 and 8 years old) catch tiger minnows with fishing nets. He provided information about everything (area history, landmarks, sea life, boats, plants, etc) along the way. He was extremely flexible with the trip-kept telling is it was our trip and we could do whatever we wanted :) Our family had a fabulous time and we learned so much about the area!

Captain Jess even checked up on us the next day to make sure everything had gone well and to see if we had any questions that we forgot to ask the day before. Our family agreed that this was not only the best vacation that we took, but that the day spent aboard the Lucky Dog with Captain Jess was the best day of the trip, too. We hope we are able to go back next summer and take another trip with Captain Jess!


- Sarah P

Columbus, OH


Visited June 2012


“Once again, Captain Jess blew us away!”

Decided to take my parents on this tour last weekend. I had taken the tour in the Spring and just loved it. I didn't think it possible, but this time was even more amazing. Brilliant turquoise waters, teaming with life. We spent some time on Shackelford Banks, and had an unexpected, up close encounter with the wild horses that live there. This is a must do if you are in the area. Seriously, Captain Jess Hawkins has probably forgotten more about the coastal area than most of us will ever know. Wonderful!


- RAC520

Emerald Isle, NC


Visited November 2014


“A wonderful time! Highly recommend.”

We had never been to the Crystal Coast before, and from all the reviews I read, I figured Captain Jess' tour would be the way to really see the area. The reviews were right and the half day tour went above and beyond our expectations. Captain Jess was very accommodating and communicative. He even had trouble with his normal boat, but didn't let them stop him; he just informed of us the change in boat and the change in meeting place and everything went off without a hitch. One of the things I appreciated most was his ability to communicate with my normally uncommunicative teenagers! He was great with them. We went to Shackleford Banks, went snorkeling, netted a crab, saw the horses up close, picked up shells, found sanddollars. We learned so much, without even realizing we were learning. We really enjoyed it and would highly recommend that you contact Captain Jess in advance of your trip to the Crystal Coast to book a trip with him. You won't regret it!

- sledgejoyce

Alexandria, Virginia

Visited September 2015


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