One thing visitors notice during their vacation on Fort Lauderdale Beach is just how many things there are to do in and on the water. After all, with over 300 miles of navigable waterways, and the nickname, the "Venice of America" no visit can be complete without touring the destination by boat.
Whether you are looking for the unique or the utilitarian – there is one thing for sure, touring Fort Lauderdale Beach by boat will certainly be unforgettable.
Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi is the trolley in the water, and probably the best way to see it all. However, don’t let the ‘taxi’ fool you; this is more than that. The captain and crew are a wealth of information and inform their riders with recommendations of where to dine, where to grab a drink and where to be entertained. In fact, many locals use the Water Taxi to hop from restaurant to restaurant, club to bar, all safely and easily.
A daily pass will get passengers on and off at 19 stops, including the countless shops and restaurants at Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale Beach and nearby Hollywood Beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea at points north and south. For the tour crowd, you can simply sit back and enjoy y the ride on these glimmering aquatic waterways, lined with spectacular mansions, luxury yachts and pleasure boats taking in the same. To start your tour, log onto the Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi's website for pricing and maps, and enjoy!
TIP!: Get discounts at Cruise and Save Partner restaurants, bars, and shops with your Water Taxi ticket!
It’s A Jungle Out There
One of the most spectacular ways to enjoy the waterways is on the Jungle Queen Riverboat. The Sightseeing Cruise is about three hours and takes you up the New River. Enjoy a pleasant and humorous sightseeing tour given by the Jungle Queen's captain about the many interesting sights, celebrity waterfront homes, historic landmarks, huge yachts, and downtown Fort Lauderdale.
After seven miles down the New River, the Jungle Queen stops at a tropical isle for dinner and a show. At the tropical isle, you will walk to the dining room for a delicious All-You-Can-Eat dinner of BBQ ribs, chicken, and shrimp along with plenty of side dishes. Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are available at an additional charge (cash only).
After dinner, you'll enjoy the for some laughter during the Jungle Queen's famous and hilarious variety show including comedians, magicians, and a game show. After the show, you will leave the tropical isle and return to the Jungle Queen Riverboat to enjoy a relaxing moonlit return cruise back the departure location.
Jungle Queen Facts: The Jungle Queen Riverboat has been enjoyed by many since 1945. In addition to their famous dinner cruise, the riverboat offers a 3-hour sightseeing cruise with two departures daily; one in the morning and one in the afternoon (meal and show are not included).
Take a Ride on the Duck Tour
Certainly, a unique ways to see both water — and land — is on one of the very popular Fort Lauderdale Duck Tours. This 90-minute tour of Fort Lauderdale starts on dry land and becomes even more exciting, as the amphibious vehicle splashes down and the tour becomes of water.
This tour passes by many memorable hot spots throughout the city, including the ever-popular Las Olas Boulevard with its boutique shopping, fascinating and delicious restaurants and ideal people watching, as well as stops in the fascinating historical districts, where the history of the city is on full display. Along the way, just sit back and enjoy the interactive experience, narrated by an entertaining DUCKtainer who really knows the city.
If You’re Going: Head to the Quack Shack, located on the second floor of Beach Place on Fort Lauderdale Beach to purchase your Duck Tour tickets. This activity is especially great for families, as kids will marvel at the land and sea experience. Tours are available daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets for adults cost $30, $22 for seniors and $16 for children. Those under the age of three ride free. Bring along your phone (or a camera) for great pictures and memories that will last a lifetime.
Bluefoot Pirate Adventures is a fun, interactive pirate cruise for adults and children offering a daily pirates’ treasure hunt along the Ft. Lauderdale waterway. Upon arrival, children are gussied up into pirate attire and for a small fee, you can buy some pirate gear like an eye patch, bandana and sword.
During the 1 ½ hour trip children learn the basic layout of the vessel and safety measures to be taken. Once all have boarded and taken their positions, the adventure begins. The first half of the trip concentrates on science, and the second half including social studies and local history – while following nautical charts and locating specific land marks. The trip will end with a “battle on the high seas (intracoastal)” with the notorious “Barnacle Bill”, looking to claim a long lost treasure.
Cruises take place every day except for Wednesdays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. from Bahia Mar located at 801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. The cost is $25 per person; Free for those 2 and younger; Tuesdays and Thursdays are buy one, get one free specials.