Treasure Coast Boat Tours
These are just some of the many boat tours that sail the waterways of Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.
River Lilly Cruises
River Park Marina
500 E. Prima Vista Blvd., Port St. Lucie
This 36-foot Trident pontoon boat holds 32 passengers with room for one wheelchair. Its 90-minute jungle eco-cruises and one hour evening relaxation cruises traverse the North Fork of the St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve. See alligators, slider turtles, native birds and water birds and other wildlife on the peaceful North Fork.
Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures
600 S.W. Ocean Blvd., Stuart
The Margot is a 22-foot sailboat capable of sailing in shallow or deep water and holds six passengers. By summer, the sloop Resolute is expected to be ready for about 15 passengers each trip. The most famous of Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures boats, the Schooner Lily is undergoing rebuilding. The Lily is a former double-masted cargo boat, flat bottomed and able to get into shallow areas.
Capt. Bob’s Airboat Adventures
Blue Cypress Recreation Area
County Road 512/Lake Garcia, Vero Beach
Airboat rides in the Blue Cypress Recreation Area at Lake Garcia are an exciting way to see alligators, wading birds and discover what marshes and shallow lakes look like. Capt. Bob’s Custom 20-foot Diamondback airboat is powered by a 525-horsepower Chevy engine and is equipped with helicopter headsets for a fully narrated tour.
Dolphin Watch Tours
613 North Causeway, Fort Pierce
On this two-hour tour, which departs from Stan Blum Boat Ramp on North Hutchinson Island, explore the lagoon by heading north under Little Jim Bridge, past Jim Island toward Jack Island State Park to explore the mangrove marshes. From there it’s out to the Intracoastal Waterway northward toward Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and around the many islands. Then follow the south shore of the Fort Pierce Inlet to the Atlantic and return along the north shore to the boat ramp.
Environmental Learning Center
255 Live Oak Drive, Vero Beach
Passengers board most of the pontoon boat tours at the Environmental Learning Center although the seasonal Sebastian River trip departs from the Dale Wimbrow Park boat ramp. The ELC offers various tours. There is one to Pelican Island, the Feathers and Fins tour is at the Sebastian Inlet, there are guided sunset Pelican Island pontoon tours and the Spoil Island Splash Tours offer a stop at an island for lunch and swimming.
4307 SE Bayview St., Stuart
The 82-foot touring boat departs from Pirate’s Cove Resort and Marina in the Manatee Pocket. The lower deck is enclosed and air conditioned while the upper deck is partly covered. Island Princess offers a sightseeing lunch tour, a dinner sunset tour, a full-moon tour, a 4½-hour Jupiter Island cruise on the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon as well as holiday-themed tours.
Discovery Research Boat Tours
Harbor Branch Research Institute
5600 North U.S. 1, Fort Pierce
Board a 30-person pontoon boat to explore the most biologically diverse estuary in North America and learn about wildlife and the important research Harbor Branch conducts. The tours are 10:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Reservations are required. An FAU Harbor Branch outreach person will discuss the wildlife encountered as well as the research that the institute conducts to better understand and protect the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem, an aquatic preserve and Estuary of National Significance.
See the original article in print publication