Sail away into the sunset on one of Florida’s many boat cruises and tours.
By Erin Carter
After spending a long, hot day at the beach, taking in Florida’s mansions and other shoreline vistas from a deck chair could be the perfect recipe for Florida day cruises.
St. Augustine Scenic Cruises – scenic-cruise.com
Relax and take in the sights aboard Victory III’s one-hour, 15-minute cruise. The tour, narrated by the captain, shows off the beauty of the city with its natural and historic landmarks, including the Bridge of Lions.
Dolphin Cruise – southernstardolphincruise.com
Destin Relax on a two-hour tour aboard this million-dollar cruise ship with Captain Steve. Children are allowed to steer the 80-foot glass-bottom boat, which has a snack bar and restrooms.
Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise – captainmemo.com
Water-gun battles and treasure hunts are just some of the kid-friendly activities offered during this two-hour family fun cruise. Complimentary beverages are also available.
Hubbard’s Marina – hubbardsmarina.com
John’s Pass, Madeira Beach
The catamaran Big Blue tour boat not only takes you out to see the dolphins but also showcases a wide variety of birds, including osprey and pelicans. During sunset tours, enjoy free drinks while you cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway, past Treasure Island and through Blind Pass, returning by way of the Gulf of Mexico.
Pier Dolphin Cruises – stpetepier.com
St. Petersburg Pier
Climb aboard the catamaran M/V Dolphin Queen, where dolphin sightings are guaranteed or you get a second trip. During the tour, also see beautiful mansions on Snell Island and hundreds of pelicans at Pelican Island.
Starlite Cruises – starlitecruises.com
Clearwater Beach and St. Petersburg
Lunch and dinner cruises are available aboard Starlite’s two vessels, the Majesty in Clearwater Beach and the Princess in St. Petersburg.
Naples Princess – naplesprincesscruises.com
This 105-foot luxury yacht takes you to see multimillion-dollar homes at Port Royal and lets you discover dolphins and other wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. Lunch and sunset dinner cruises are also available.
Captiva Cruises – captivacruises.com
Cruise to the barrier islands, accessible only by boat, to watch dolphins in the wild or collect seashells on Cayo Costa’s seashore. With a fleet of boats, traveling into the Gulf of Mexico to witness a beautiful Captiva sunset is a breeze.
Southeast Island Queen Cruises – islandqueencruises.com
During Florida day cruises, make sure to see the homes of the rich and famous when one of Island Queen’s yachts goes through “Millionaire Row.” If you miss one cruise, don’t fret – narrated tours along scenic Biscayne Bay begin every hour.
Yankee Freedom – yankeefreedom.com
The Yankee Freedom II brings you to the Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson. Learn about the natural park and surrounding area from the vessel’s onboard naturalist.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium Eco-Boat Tours – seewinter.com/sea-life-safari
Experience scenic, 90-minute eco-boat cruises that include searching for wild dolphins, sea birds and other marine life as CMA’s marine biologists narrate the tour of Clearwater Bay. Stop at Shell Island to collect seashells and take part in citizen science with a net pull and sea creature presentation aboard the Sea Life Safari tour.