The Best Snorkeling in Panama City Beach

Ride the Shell Island Ferry® out to pristine Shell Island and find the best snorkeling in Panama City Beach Florida. Explore the calm St. Andrew Bay waters along the shore of amazing Shell Island. This undeveloped barrier island features miles of empty beaches and an untouched natural environment that is home to many rare and endangered species. The unspoiled shore and clean waters of Shell Island allow marine life to flourish, and the protection of the Shell Island jetty and the island itself create a sheltered area where children and beginners can explore the underwater world with ease.

The Shell Island Ferry® is the safest and quickest way to reach Shell Island for a day or afternoon of fun snorkeling adventures. The Ferry will drop you off near some of the best Panama City Beach snorkeling spots. They are found around the northern end of Shell Island near the passage that joins St. Andrew Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The Shell Island Ferry® crew is also your connection to snorkel gear rentals and all-inclusive Shell Island Snorkel Tour Packages that are great for all ages and experience levels.

Shell Island Snorkeling

Our comfortable, modern catamaran ferry will drop you off in the calm, sheltered waters on the bay side of Shell Island. This shallow inland shoreline is the perfect place for beginners to get the feel of snorkeling, and it is also a great starting point for a snorkel safari out into the open water.

Exploring along the Shell Island jetty and out toward the exit into the Gulf of Mexico will give you the chance to spot tropical fish, crabs, rays, and other small marine animals. You may get lucky enough to encounter some of the resident bottlenose dolphins or a sea turtle. Swimming along the inland side of Shell Island into St. Andrew Bay will take you over shallow sea grass flats and into a completely different marine biosystem.

Shell Island Beach

When it’s time to relax, come ashore and enjoy the sugar-sand beach along Shell Island’s Gulf Shore. Relax on the sand, walk the beach to collect shells, or hike along the island to spot wildlife. See why visiting Shell Island is one of the most popular things to do in Panama City Beach. Book your Shell Island snorkeling trip online right here, get in touch with us at (850) 753-8301, or visit our Shell Island Ferry® headquarters at 5709 N Lagoon Dr. Panama City Beach Florida 32408 to arrange your Shell Island adventure!

Shell Island Snorkeling

Take the Shell Island Ferry® out to explore the clear waters around Shell Island and encounter beautiful, interesting marine animals in their natural habitat. Snorkeling is easy, fun, and educational for all ages, and Shell Island is the best snorkeling spot in Panama City Beach.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is snorkeling?

Snorkeling is swimming along the surface of the water with a dive mask, snorkel, and fins. The mask lets you see clearly underwater, while the snorkel is a tube that rises above the water to allow you to breathe with your face in the water. Because you are floating face-down and relaxing with no struggle to breathe, snorkeling is considerably easier than swimming. All snorkel equipment is included in a Shell Island Ferry snorkel tour.

Is snorkeling safe?

Snorkeling is safe and easy for people of all ages. One of the best things about Shell Island is that the calm shallow water behind the jetty is the perfect place for first-time snorkelers to try the sport.

What if water gets inside my snorkel?

Getting water in the snorkel and clearing it out are perfectly normal parts of the sport. For example, advanced snorkelers often dive down deep to take a look at interesting creatures. Clearing the snorkel is a simple matter of blasting a strong breath through the tube. It is kind of fun because it is just like a dolphin or whale spouting. Of course, in the shallow waters near Shell Island you can always just stand up and drain the water from your snorkel.

Can I wear contact lenses while snorkeling?

You can wear contact lenses but you should be aware that you may lose your contacts. If your mask floods, it will be just like swimming with your lenses in. Snorkeling is a lot like swimming anyway so don't count on keeping anything dry! Purchasing a prescription lens dive mask is a good alternative to wearing your contacts underwater.