Turning the traditional boating tour on its head, Tampa Speed Boat Adventures encourages visitors to don the captain’s hat as they pilot their own sightseeing experiences. From a base in St. Petersburg, seasoned instructors teach tour takers the essentials of operating one of the company’s eco-friendly, 13-foot mini speedboats as they cover topics such as boating basics, rules of the water, and at what speed time begins to flow in reverse. Once participants are confident in their training and have donned their life jackets, they snuggle into their vessel and take off on a 15-mile tour of the waterways of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg. One of the company’s quick-witted, knowledgeable guides joins boaters in an adjacent watercraft on the two-hour sojourn, broadcasting commentary about the area’s history through the boat’s radio-communication system. As speedboats wend past jaw-dropping sites such as national wildlife refuges and Fort De Soto Park, passengers can keep their eyes peeled for passing seabirds and the mansions that famous dolphins call home.
Charter one of Simple Sailing Charters, LLC's sailboats, and take a relaxing trip to Tampa Bay, Sarasota, or Egmont Key. You can gauge just how relaxing the trip will be by the boats' names—_The Simplicity_, The Miracle, and The Dream, to name a few—and their amenities. The Simplicity, for example, boasts three cozy cabins for downtime, and their fleet of wind-powered catamarans means there's not a noisy motor in sight. Even the company's three electric powerboats are unobtrusive, gliding through the water silently unless passengers choose to use the onboard iPod docks to play their favorite tunes or whale songs.
The fleet isn't just good for vacations, though. The company doubles as an ASA-certified sailing school, where sailors can hit the decks for lessons that introduce beginners to the sailing world. Other sessions cover specialized topics such as coastal cruising or navigating by the stars instead of just following the most confident-looking bird.
The veteran captains at Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center promise tour-takers a 99% chance of spotting bottlenose dolphins during excursions in Boca Ciega Bay. That’s because the bay is home to more than 700 resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, along with manatees, and tropical sea birds.
During voyages, guests cruise in comfort on a US Coast Guard–inspected vessel. The boats serve complimentary soft drinks and water, and BYOB is welcome.
Originally from central New York, Captain Brian spent years navigating the region's lakes, rivers, and canals. Long, brutal winters inevitably cut his sailing seasons short though. So Brian jumped at the opportunity to retire to Florida and commit to spending even more time on the water. Today, he shares his passion by welcoming passengers aboard his 38-foot sailboat—aptly named Nowhere to Be—and leading casual, laid-back charters. During outings, guests can dive into the surrounding waters, savor sunset views, or even steer the boat with Captain Brian's supervision.
Tampa Bay Boat Rental helps patrons access some of the top beaches on Florida’s west coast, including Treasure Island, St. Petersburg, and Indian Rocks Beach. Its fleet of 24-foot pontoon boats can accommodate up to 9 passengers for a fishing trip if guests so choose. Ice and bait are available for purchase in the shop. The company also offers a number of private boat charters and guided excursions such as two-hour dolphin tours that allow guests to witness dolphins in their natural habitats and luxurious TV lounges.
Take some time off to unwind on the water. Your ship awaits at Tierra Verde Marina in Saint Petersburg.
What's a fine center without fine dining to accompany it? Be sure to pick up a tasty meal when you visit their great restaurant.
Tots are more than welcome to hang with their parents at this center.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Make your next outing a splash! Check out the exciting boats at Tierra Verde Marina in Saint Petersburg today.