The green-blue Floridian waters and deserted cays seem to call to Tropical Sailing’s experienced crews in a sort of inescapable siren song, beckoning the sailors back to the Atlantic day after day. Tropical Sailing's team of seasoned mariners—composed of licensed Coast Guard-certified Master Captains as well as first mates certified in first aid and rescue—share their love of the sea with visitors via scenic cruises off the coasts of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Crews pilot a meticulously maintained fleet of catamarans along aquatic paths, including the 78-foot Caribbean Spirit whose shaded lounge area shelters skin from intrusive sun rays and offers seating to passengers who haven't yet mastered walking in their mermaid costumes. Tropical Sailing’s daily roster of adventures ranges from picturesque Full Moon Party Cruises in Fort Lauderdale to high-energy Ski and Splash Water Sports Adventures in Miami.
Following in Ernest Hemingway's footsteps takes true dedication to the craft of writing—or a Grand Yacht Club cruise. The club's Hemingway's Holiday excursion, which lasts up to 14 days, whisks voyagers off to the iconic author's favorite adventure spots, from the Florida Keys to the islands of the Bahamas.
The club's cruise packages aren't all so lengthy, though. The beachside Millionaire's Weekend, for example, consists of two cruises and various alfresco meals spread over three days. The fleet of spacious vessels, which house up to five bedrooms apiece, are also available by the hour. Watersports equipment comes free with each charter trip, allowing for plenty of jet-skiing, fishing, and competitive ice cube-making.
Co-owners and master SCUBA trainers Brian Gagas, Steve Gagas, and Dave Hoffert don't just teach scuba classes; in their free time, they can be found in the water diving up to five times a week. Gold Coast Scuba offers classes for beginners and more advanced students that follow PADI-certified curriculum. Advanced classes include night dives, dives that focus on navigation and peak performance buoyancy, and deep-sea and shipwreck diving in the bathtub. The shop also offers 24-hour equipment rental for snorkelers and divers.
The Floridian sun sparkles off rolling waves, reflecting dancing patterns of light onto the white-and-red hull of Aquaworld Miami’s excursion vessel, the Caribbean Spirit . The double-masted catamaran catches the gulf’s gusty winds in its twin sails to journey to a shallow sandbar for a day of watersports, offloading jet skis, banana boats, and a parasailing-equipped speed boat into the knee-deep water. On Atlantic Ocean excursions, the 78-foot vessel parks over a shallow water shipwreck for guests equipped with snorkels to explore. The rhythmic thump of the waves combines with Calypso music that constantly drifts from the boat’s speakers, offering the only method of sonar capable of identifying an undersea dance party.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: No
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: Bring a sense of humor
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Turbo-charged snorkeling
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
My parents threw me in the ocean at 10 months old and that was it, I was hooked.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
I'm always surrounded with a positive vibe. Everyone on the boat is on vacation and they want to have fun.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Watching, listening, and teaching about my world?the Ocean?and its sea creatures.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our snorkeling program is for beginners through experts, but you must know how to swim. Read our FAQ [to understand the restrictions before heading out].
There's a whole other city off Miami's coast, lurking just beneath the Atlantic. Eels, stingrays, and tarpon swim across terrains as unpredictable as the sonnets formed by a pot of alphabet soup—terrains made of sunken yachts, oil platforms, army tanks, and even a 727 airliner. To date, Miami Beach holds more than 75 wrecks and manmade objects, many of which were sunk as part of an artificial reef program. Only two things stand between adventurers and these submerged wonders: equipment and training.
Enter South Beach Divers, a PADI five-star facility and equipment retailer that has certified more than 4,500 divers since 1995. Its aquatic alumni continues to grow thanks to versatile instructors who, combined, speak seven languages. These experts teach the full PADI curriculum, starting with Discover Scuba and Open Water Certification and working into specialized areas such as night diving, wreck diving, and rescue diving. Once students acquire the basics, South Beach Divers takes them on daily trips to Miami Beach and Key Largo's John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary, where more traditional, coral reefs lay.