Looking to explore the Tampa Bay area beach aquatic life, wildlife, and spectacular shoreline? An adventure cruise is the perfect way to take in the area’s scenery with the whole family!
The Tampa Bay beaches, particularly St. Pete Beach, have some of the most beautiful waterways of the entire Gulf coast. Unlike the California Pacific coast, Florida’s Atlantic coast, and even the Eastern coast of Florida, the Gulf coastline is pristine and free from litter. The water is clear and wildlife is plentiful. It provides the perfect backdrop not only for a Tampa Bay beach vacation, but also an adventure cruise.
Adventure cruises are short, leisurely boat trips that last two to four hours and span the coastline. Cruisers can take part in sightseeing excursions, including exploring the land from a different perspective and wildlife-watching.
Dolphin-watching is the most popular attraction among adventure cruisers. The fall and winter months, while not as enticing to the vacationer, offer plenty of opportunities to see dolphins because of their migration southward for the winter. During the fall months, it’s actually pretty common to see dolphins bobbing up and down, in and out of the water. If you’re looking for dolphins, there are several charter boats that offer dolphin watching exclusively.
You can also take an adventure cruise to enjoy a day filled with snorkeling or shelling. Boats can depart from St. Pete Beach or Treasure Island and head out to Egmont Key State Park or Fort DeSoto. Those places also offer unbelievable opportunities to observe Florida wildlife in its most pristine, unadulterated form, including a national wildlife refuge. They also feature special landmarks such as historic Fort Dade and the Egmont Key Lighthouse. Be sure to bring your camera so you can capture these gorgeous places.
Adventure cruises typically hold anywhere from 30 to 50 people although you can rent out a charter boat among friends for several hours. Prices are around $25 to $35 per adult or child, and typically supply you with a life vest, snorkel equipment, and more.
Those rates are in-season rates, however, and you may be able to score some off-season deals if you visit during the months of September, October, November, December, January, or February. Just don’t expect to snorkel or go for a swim during that time, although September and early October would be exceptions.
Make sure that whatever charter boat you ride on has all the necessary safety equipment specified by the U. S. Coast Guard and that the boat and captain are both licensed by the U. S. Coast Guard. Many Tampa Bay beach charter boats offer snacks on board, beverages, bathrooms, and are handicap accessible but it’s wise to call ahead to make sure special accommodations can be made.
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