top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

map-laminate website 2022.png

Pontoon Rentals
Sightseeing & fishing Tours
Deer Island Ferry

Deer Island Sunset Cruise
Biloxi Boat Ride
What is Deer Island??

Ferry? Cruise? Tour? Rental?

* Deer Island Ferry is a drop-off/pickup service open to public.

* Tours & Cruises are private or public and may include island time.

* Pontoon Rentals--you are the captain! Experience required.

* Biloxi Boat Ride is a chill cruise along the coastline.

* Catch & Release Family Fishing Tour is a hybrid fishing charter and tour.


* You are the captain! Experienced required.

* Designated Operator must be at least 25yo.

* 3-8 hour rentals available depending on season

* Prohibited: illegal substances, underage drinking

* Pets permitted: 3 max.

* Traditional Pontoon: 8 passengers max

BILOXI BOAT RIDE: public cruise

* 45-minute boat ride along Deer Island and East Biloxi coastline

* Route determined by weather/sea conditions

* Early rides stop on Deer Island

* Prohibited: pets, smoking/vaping, illegal substances

* 6 passengers max (all ages)

* Aboard traditional style pontoon

DEER ISLAND FERRY: public ferry

* 15-minute ride to/from Deer Island west beach

* 90 minutes on the island

* Prohibited on boat: pets, smoking, vaping, illegal substances, fishing

* Permitted on island: alcohol use, smoking, vaping, fishing

* 6 passengers max each boat (12 seats possible, all ages)

* Aboard traditional style pontoon


* 20-minutes ride to/from Deer Island beach

* 30 minutes on the island at sunset

* Prohibited on boat: pets, smoking, vaping, illegal substances

* Permitted on island: alcohol use, smoking, vaping

* 6 passengers max each boat (12 seats possible, all ages)

* Aboard traditional style pontoon


* 2-hour tour around Biloxi Bay or Mississippi Sound

* Route determined by weather/sea conditions

* Possible stop on Deer Island

* Prohibited: illegal substances, smoking

* Pets permitted: 3 max.

* 6 passengers max each boat (all ages)

* Aboard traditional style pontoon


* 4-hours, hybrid fishing charter and tour

* Route determined by weather/sea conditions

* Possible stop on Deer Island

* Prohibited: illegal substances, smoking, pets

* Children under 5 not permitted.

* 4 passengers max each boat

* Aboard 2022 Angler Qwest Tritoon


* Cancellations more than 48 hours of start time are eligible for refund. 

* No-shows are not eligible for a refund.

* There is no prorating for unused time, late departures, early returns, or missed departures.

* There are no refunds once you leave the dock.

* Customers will receive a full refund or credit if BILOXI BOAT TOURS cancels the reservation prior to departure due to weather, mechanical, or personnel factors.

* BILOXI BOAT TOURS reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or modify reservations/agreements if any aspect is deemed unsafe including but not limited to sea conditions, weather, or inappropriate behavior of persons or dogs.

Do I need to make a reservation?

Reservations require payment in advance--cash or card--and must be paidupon booking. If you don't want to pay until departure time, you will not have a confirmed reservation/boat/seat/captain.

It's best to make a reservation to ensure you have a boat and/or captain on the day you prefer! BILOXI BOAT TOURS operates by appointment. 


We can accommodate walk-ups only if our staff is on-site and there is boat/space/captain available. Call or book online!

We are happy to arrange custom events, corporate projects, and captain trips longer than 2 hours. Just call.

How many people can be on a boat?

Traditional Pontoons are allowed 8 passengers max.
All humans count--no exceptions per USCG rules.
Dogs welcome! Max number is 3.

The Captain's USCG license allows for 6 passengers max each boat.
Fishing tour allows for 4 passengers--no children under 5, no pets.
All humans count--no exceptions per USCG rules.
Max 3 dogs on private tours. 
Pets NOT permitted on public tours.

Can we go to Ship or Horn Island?
NOPE--these are small pontoon boats not built for traveling in a true, unpredictable gulf environment. Deer Island and Katrina Reef (conditions permitting) make up the southern boundary.

Can we go to Fort Bayou, Gulfport, or north of I-10?
These places are OFF LIMITS with our boats per our insurance:
Ya Momma's 
Flamingo Landing 
Marina Cantina
Capt Al's 
Pier 15
SOUTH OF DEER ISLAND (except Katrina Reef)
​How about Da Bayou? Bacchus on the Bayou?
The Shed?
These restaurants are permitted case by case with local knowledge and high tides.
So where CAN we go? 

The Catch & Release Fishing Tour is a private, in-shore excursion. Children under 5 and pets are not permitted. Up to 4 passengers are permitted.

The Deer & Bay Sightseeing Tour excursion may include Deer Island, Biloxi Bay & Back Bay, and Fort Bayou (Ocean Springs). Up to 3 dogs allowed.
The Deer Island Ferry is a drop-off/pick-up exclusively for Deer Island. Explore & swim all over the island! The west end beach is the preferred drop-off spot, but the northern dock near the woods may be available if tides permit. Dogs prohibited.
Other tours and cruises will determined by weather and sea conditions. Generally, the route is along Deer Island and Biloxi Beach in the channel.

During orientation our staff will review where you can travel. These areas include Deer Island, Katrina Reef (conditions permitting), Biloxi Bay and Back Bay, Biloxi and Tchoutacabouffa Rivers, various sandbars and beaches, fishing spots, and restaurants with docks. 

We ask that you remain within the boundaries that we have set. These limits are in place for safety of the boat, passengers, our insurance, and those who would have to assist if you are in distress. 
Traveling beyond these points will result in the loss of your security deposit, and you become responsible for any financial obligations including but not limited to towing/rescue fees and damages to the boat, party, and other property involved.

These are small pontoon boats not ocean vessels; therefore, traveling into the Mississippi Sound beyond Deer Island is not wise. Wind and sea conditions often quickly become uncomfortable and dangerous.

Our boats are easily handled in the areas that
BILOXI BOAT TOURS has defined. Even with limited local knowledge, if you adhere to the rules, boundaries, and advice of our staff, then you and your crew should have a safe and pleasant adventure.

What if there's bad weather?

Once you leave the dock, there are no refunds if you return early for any reason. If BILOXI BOAT TOURS or your party cancels due to unfavorable weather/sea conditions, a full refund or reschedule is available prior to leaving the dock.

Savvy boaters assess the risks and consider their skill level and the comfort of their group. In boating there is more to the weather than sunshine or rain. Wind, waves, and thunderstorms can be the most dangerous phenomena on the water. 

Afternoon storms with gusty wind and lightning occur frequently in June, July, and August and can rapidly present several hazards at the same time. A forecast of 50% scattered rain/storms is standard for summer afternoons in Mississippi. If a Small Craft Advisory (or worse) is issued and wind is gusting over 20mph, reservations will be revised.

Can you rescue us in bad weather??


Depends on the the conditions. If strong wind and waves prevent the boat from safely reaching the island, if rain reduces visibility drastically, or if lightning is severe, then you will have to wait out the storm on the island. It may or may not be fun. 

What about dogs?
Dogs are permitted on the Deer Island Ferry and Biloxi Boat Ride ONLY if your party books all 6 seats making it a private excursion.
Dogs are welcome on the Deer & Bay Private Sightseeing Tour and rentals. 
State law requires dogs to be leashed when on the island, and pet waste must be collected and removed from the island.

Drinking salt water will make your pup sick in ways that are very unpleasant. Please remember to bring items to keep her/him comfortable especially if boating or the climate here is unfamiliar. 
Offer your furry pal plenty of freshwater, food, shade, and time to get used to the situation. We encourage you to bring a leash, properly fitted doggie life jacket, and a favorite toy.

Can we have a memorial service to scatter ashes on the water?

There are federal laws that govern memorials at sea. Releasing human or pet remains is not within our scope of operations. Please refer to EPA Regulations to plan your service legally and inquire with offshore fishing charter guides.

Is the water safe?
Mississippi beaches are OPEN! See MDEQ for more information. 
Beach advisories can be issued or rescinded any time. Bacteria levels along the beaches are frequently checked.

Can I do a sunset trip?
Check out the Deer Island Sunset Cruise. This trip lasts 1.25 hours.

Can I hire a captain? What's included?

I can't drive a boat, but I want to go on the water!

There are several options for a captain trip. All are limited by USCG license to 6 passengers regardless of age. Prices include captain's fee, fuel, and safety equipment. Feel free to bring anything to make your outing enjoyable!

a) Deer & Bay Sightseeing Tour (2 hours, private)

b) Deer Island Sunset Cruise (20min each way + 30min island time, public)

c) Deer Island Ferry (2 hours, 90min island time, public)

d) Biloxi Boat Ride (45min, cruise along Deer Island/Biloxi Beach, public)

e) Rental + Captain: For excursions over 2 hours or at night, please call us to make arrangements. We can contract a captain for you for custom occasions.

f) Catch & Release Family Fishing Tour (4 hours, 4 passengers max)

What costs am I responsible for?
Base price + 7% sales tax + booking fee are due upon booking. Tips aren't expected but always appreciated.
We will also collect a $250 refundable damage deposit on the day of departure. You are also responsible for re-fueling the boat as your last stop before returning for non-captain trips.
We can customize ferry service, rentals, captain trips for special occasions and corporate projects. Feel free to give us a call for your specific needs!

How do I get to the boat?
Times cannot be extended for late departures. Please call us if you will be late so we can coordinate other reservations.
We will meet you on the dock at the boat. See directions here.
Check in @ Point Cadet Marina, DOCK D (one dock east of Harbor Building)--behind Golden Nugget garage. Look for Go Topless Fishing. 

Expect 30 minutes (built into your reservation) for paperwork and orientation. We will cover charts, maps, hazards, boundaries, swimming and fishing spots, and return process. Our staff will show you the specifics of your boat.

Expect 10 minutes for paperwork and loading. Boat departs marina promptly!

Can we pick up people elsewhere?
Per our insurance agreement, your entire party must sign the manifest and liability waiver and depart from Point Cadet Marina--no exceptions. If someone has not completed those documents, then he/she is not allowed to step foot on the boat. 
If you will be returning to add passengers later, you will need to arrange that with us as soon as possible. However, we cannot accommodate passenger swaps. That constitutes a separate rental regarding paperwork compliance. 

Who can rent a boat?
Only one person may be the Designated Operator (DO) of the vessel. The experienced operator must be at least 25 years old and present a valid driver's license in his/her state. The driver must be able to operate a boat competently in the given conditions.

BILOXI BOAT TOURS staff will consider the competence of the DO during orientation and reserves the right to deny rental to anyone who does not exhibit an appropriate level of skill to maintain the safety in the given conditions. THE DESIGNATED OPERATOR MUST ALREADY BE CAPABLE OF SAFELY HANDLING A BOAT. WE DO NOT RENT TO INEXPERIENCED BOATERS. Operating a boat is absolutely not like operating a car.

Who can book a tour/cruise/ferry?

At least 1 person in your party must be at least 18. Others may be of any age.

What about booze, etc?

Neither unsafe/rude behavior nor underage drinking will be tolerated and will result in the termination of your trip without refund.

NOT PERMITTED: Illegal substances, underage drinking, "smoking."


You may bring alcohol aboard (21+) and enjoy a drink on the island.

Glass is prohibited on Deer Island.

Illegal substances are not allowed . . . and illegal.


Alcohol is permitted. Only passengers 21 or older may drink legally. The Designated Operator must refrain from anything that could cause physical or mental impairment. Illegal substances and underage drinking are prohibited.

What kind of boats do you have?
Traditional pontoon with comfortable seating, USB port, radio/Bluetooth stereo, Bimini, anchor, and swim ladder.

Our boats do not have GPS, depth finders, wells, or dry storage.

What CAN we do? Can we fish?
The Mississippi Sound, Biloxi Bay, and Biloxi River offer plenty of water-based activities.


Fishing is permitted only on rentals and fishing tour. 

You are welcome to explore, fish, swim, picnic, and play! Deciding to pack your lunch for a picnic or dock at a restaurant will be the toughest decision you have to make all day! You may bring a grill to use on the island.

The Deer & Bay Sightseeing Tour is a private, 2-hour excursion exploring the Sound and Bay including Deer Island if conditions permit. Fishing is not permitted.


The Catch & Release Family Fishing Tour is a 4-hour, private in-shore excursion for up to 4 passengers (no children under 5). Fishing license, bait, tackle, and gear provided.

The Deer Island Ferry is a drop-off/pick-up exclusively for Deer Island. Explore & swim all over the island! The west end beach is the preferred drop-off spot, but the northern dock near the woods may be available if tides permit. Dogs prohibited.
Fishing from the boat is not permitted on this excursion. Passengers must provide their own fishing licenses for use on the island.​

What can we NOT do?


Illegal substances

Underage drinking




Grilling onboard

Jumping off/riding on upper deck of water slide boat

Releasing human or pet remains (per EPA Federal Law)

The Designated Operator agrees to remain without alcohol or drugs.
Towing, tubing, and water skiing are forbidden. 
Bow-riding is extremely dangerous and illegal. 
Islands other than Deer & Grasshopper are off-limits.
Using a grill or other cooking devices on the boat is not allowed.

Releasing human or pet remains (per EPA Federal Law)

Towing, tubing, and water skiing are forbidden.
Bow-riding is extremely dangerous and illegal.
Barrier islands other than Deer are off-limits.

Releasing human or pet remains (per EPA Federal Law)


Fishing from the boat is not permitted on this excursion. Passengers must provide their own fishing licenses for use on the island.


For a licensed fishing excursion with captain, book the Catch & Release Family Fishing Tour.

What do we need to bring with us?
Plenty of water, cooler (glass containers are prohibited on Deer Island and beaches), snacks, towels, weather appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, flip flops/water shoes, and phone. 

A waterproof container is suggested for personal electronics, wallets, and purses. Passengers are welcome to bring their own life jackets if they are marked as USCG Approved.

What do you provide?
We provide a life jacket for each passenger, required emergency gear such as life ring or throwable float, air horn, flares, and fire extinguisher. Each boat also has an anchor, local nautical chart, boat hook/pole, and dock lines that travel with you. 

Anyone under 13 years old is required to wear a properly fitted life jacket any time the boat is moving--no exceptions. We have sizes ranging from infant to XXXL that you may borrow for your outing. Passengers are welcome to bring their own life jackets if they are marked as USCG Approved.


Where can we find restaurants or bait shops?
You may dock at Yul's, McElroy's, Wahoo's, & The Blind Tiger in Biloxi. 
Bait and gear can be purchased at Point Cadet Marina and the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.

Fish, sharks, and other critters?
Check out Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and MDFWP for fishing information. Fishing licenses may be acquired at the tackle shop here in Point Cadet Marina or a local Walmart or Academy Sports.

During the first weekend in June each year, the license requirement is void for fishing in all MS public waters. Each July 4th is Free Saltwater Fishing Day in MS--no license is required that day for fishing south of Interstate 10. Read more here.
No big, scary sharks nearby.
Spot soaring cranes, swooping pelicans, chatty gulls, osprey carrying fish, even migrating geese and monarch butterflies depending upon the time of year. You may spot an alligator lounging in the bayou. Catch minnows dancing and mullet jumping. Along the beaches you'll find so many cool shells and bones, maybe even a horseshoe crab shell. Please don't take away the hermit crabs from their native environments! They will not survive.

During the summer jellyfish are present in the water, and they also wash onto the beach. Scan the water and sand for them. The bigger jellyfish with flowy tentacles have a very painful sting.

Look out for everyone's favorite. Please do not crowd or chase the dolphins! 

Everywhere you look there will be something interesting whether it's in the water, on the land, or in the sky!
Any suggestions where to stay?
If you want to be on the same block as BILOXI BOAT TOURS, we share concrete with the Golden Nugget Casino & Margaritaville Resort Biloxi (that's our pontoon boat in the photo! 😁).
Golden Nugget, Margaritaville, and Point Cadet Marina are on the same block. You can walk from your room to the docks in 5 minutes or less.
Ocean Springs' popular vacation rentals are within 3 miles just across Biloxi Bay from us. 
For semi-local unique rentals, check out Twisted Run Retreat in Vancleave and Fulmer's Farmstead in New Augusta.
Looking for breathtaking RV sites? Check out Biloxi Bay RV Resort in Ocean Springs (approx. 10 minutes away) and Indian Point RV Resort in Gautier (approx. 35 minutes away).
bottom of page