Fort Lauderdale Boat Tours

#5 in Best Things To Do in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Boat Tours picture
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Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

One of the best ways to take in your surroundings is to sign up for a boat tour. Fort Lauderdale boat operators offer a variety of ways to get out on the water, from traditional sightseeing outings to fishing charters to themed excursions in specialty boats. The following are a few traveler favorites:

Carrie B Cruises: For a standard narrated tour of Fort Lauderdale's waterways, consider booking a cruise with Carrie B Cruises. Lasting one-and-a-half hours, Carrie B Cruises' sightseeing excursions travel up and down the New River and Intracoastal Waterway, passing Port Everglades and Millionaires Row (a waterfront strip of mansions in the Las Olas Isles neighborhood) along the way. Each trip departs daily at 11 a.m., 1 or 3 p.m. from October through April, but cruises are not available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between May and September. Adult tickets cost $23.95; passes for children ages 3 to 12 are $12.95, and kids 2 and younger ride for free; reduced rates are available for visitors who book in advance online.

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures: According to reviewers, families will love exploring Fort Lauderdale's Intracoastal Waterway with Bluefoot Pirate Adventures. All outings, which last a little more than an hour, include rides on a replica pirate ship and commentary from captains and guides with pirate-inspired names like Barnacle Bill and Cannonball Kiki. Excursions are available four or five times every day and cost $6.50 or $25 per person, depending on age. Extra charges apply for drinks and pirate accessories (think: eye patches, swords and bandanas) purchased on board.

Spirit Yacht Charters: Also known as Tropical Sailing, this boat operator offers four tour options in Fort Lauderdale, including trips with stops to snorkel or play on water toys like a waterslide and a water trampoline. Spirit Yacht Charters' popular "Cast Away the Day Sunset Cruise" features a more romantic atmosphere, with soothing music and cold beverages to enjoy as you gaze at Millionaires Row's lavish homes. Sunset tours last two hours and cost $25 for children ages 2 to 12, $40 for seniors and $50 for passengers between 13 and 59.

Top Shot Sportfishing: Fort Lauderdale's easy access to the Atlantic Ocean makes it a world-renowned spot to fish. To help you reel in everything from barracudas to sailfish to sharks, opt for an outing with Top Shot Sportfishing. The operator's fishing charters last four to eight hours, though departure times vary by excursion. Rates – which cover a fishing license and the use of rods, reels, tackle and dead bait – start at $500 per charter, or you can pay $130 per person to share a boat with another group.

Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides: If you're not planning a visit to Sawgrass Recreation Park, travelers recommend paying for an airboat tour with Fort Lauderdale Airboat Rides. These private excursions on smaller boats give you the opportunity to see alligators as you explore parts of the Everglades that larger vessels cannot reach. Tours last one to three hours, and the longest option includes a lunch break on a private island. The most commonly booked excursion, the two-hour ride, will set you back $375 for two adults; additional passengers cost $75 each, but reduced rates are available for children between 6 and 12.

Jungle Queen Riverboat: Visitors who want a unique twist on a traditional sightseeing tour will enjoy booking a cruise with Jungle Queen Riverboat. As the company's name implies, these excursions take place on a classic riverboat. Past visitors recommend booking the basic tour, which features one-and-a-half hours of exploring the New River and Millionaires Row, and costs about $14 to around $25 per person. Morning cruises are available daily at 11 a.m., while afternoon and evening trips depart at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on select days.

To learn more about boat tours in Fort Lauderdale, visit the tour operators' individual websites. Boat excursions are also listed on Viator's website and the tourism board's website.

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Fort Lauderdale Beach
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#1 Fort Lauderdale Beach

Want a beautiful Florida beach without a crazy party scene? Fort Lauderdale Beach may be just what you're looking for. Here you'll find a calmer and less chaotic version of Miami Beach – but with the same sugary sands and crystal clear water. There are still parties, but you're more likely to find families relaxing or leisurely walking the waterline than raucous groups of college kids. Backing the shoreline, the palm tree-lined promenade bustles with visitors looking to shop and dine in the many establishments along it. There are also beach chair and water sports equipment rentals near the shore. 

Recent visitors loved Fort Lauderdale Beach for its wide, expansive shoreline, with some noting that even when there were a lot of people, it didn't feel crowded. Many were also impressed with how clean the beach is, adding that its calm waters make it a great place to bring kids.

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