Airboat Excursion

We are going on a Caribbean cruise out of Baltimore that is stopping at Orlando and Miami on the way to the Caribbean. We are interested in taking an airboat excursion and we see that there are options at both ports. Are there any compelling reasons to select one port over the other for this type of excursion. Also it seems that the actual duration of the boat ride can vary from as little as 30 minutes to 90+ minutes. I am assuming that other than the very start and finish of the ride that much of the scenery is the same and that a longer ride may become boring and require more sunscreen. Anything else we should consider?

Tags: Caribbean - Bahamas Cococay (Cruiseline Airboat Excursion

10 Answers

Yeh...been on those things for hours at a stretch..they are incredibly noisy...ear plugs!!!

I have been on one - it was interesting, but not sure I would care to go again.

The one I was on provided ear covers that provided two-way communication with the pilot so you could hear what he had to say.

I think, given your choices, I would choose a 60-90 minute tour - you would be surprised at what the Florida swamps have to offer.

Also (and this is an uninformed theory) I would think the Miami one would have a bigger (better?) tour due to the landscape.

That's interesting BD...I go out on em several times a year out on our lake...big ol impoundment. nite fishing for GAR...don't need to talk to each other much...gotta look into that...but then, idle chatter in the middle of the nite is basically unnecessary when folks know what theyre doing...just like a well planned lifeboat drill...yuk yuk

We did one out of Miami. It was interesting. An hour or so going through the sawgrass looking for gators and other wildlife while being educated on the ecosystem in terms of how it functions and the need for conservation.. Once this was done we got an opportunity to get a photo op with a small gator and then treated to a gator and snake show. Worth the time and money especially for a first timer experience.

I have not done one in Florida, but have just outside of New Orleans. We had a blast but they are noisy.

Sounds like fun.

We did the one out of Miami port through Carnival. It was a great way to spend the day before we headed to the airport for our late afternoon flight home. It was a beautiful day and we got some great photos, including ones of us holding a baby alligator at the show after the Everglades tour. Big Smile

Yea, we done em so many times I'm on a first name basis with some of the Alligators there, along with thousands of other tourists that is.

We have disembarked many times in Port Everglades and sometimes in Miami. Our problem is that the earliest flight west to Seattle leaves Ft. Lauderdale at 6:30 PM and the airline ticket check in counter doesn't open until 4:30 PM; which means there is nothing to eat or do until we can clear security at the airport. Since they kick us off the ships around 8:00 AM and if we go to the airport directly, most of the time, we have to sit on the floor, no seats at that portion of the airport and it is always packed, so we sit for about 6 hours. Therefore, in order to kill time before our flight leaves early in the evening, we have two tour choices in conjunction with an airport transfer, book a gator tour, or book a local bus tour which includes a boat Intra Coastal Waterway tour around Ft. Lauderdale of the rich and famous homes etc which also includes an airport transfer. Even then, they want to drop us off at the airport almost 6 hours before departure. Actually, we have done both so many time that I have lost count. At one time, I said we really enjoyed it.

Here is what I said after one swamp tour: "The weather was unseasonably warm and the air boat tour was nice, 85 F, much warmer than the time we did in January a few years before that. It was a good tour and the operator/guide of the big airport had the necessary skills, area knowledge and a good sense of humor. We saw three little gator's and some other wildlife. Certainly worth doing. Most of the boats now are larger and carry a lot of passengers, we had 27 in ours. It is a wonder that the two big block V-8s can get a load like that up onto the step. But they do. I asked the guy which engines they prefer and he said "Cadillac 500s"

But, it appears to me they are over saturating that area with huge air boats, airboats were roaring around everywhere. Over supply of services for limited attractions is beginning to be the bane of the entire Caribbean. Even Moody's Risk Analysis Department has picked up on it and downgraded some cruise line investment ratings. It wasn't near that congested when we tried it first years before. Perhaps it is time to consider a little conservation discipline before this is all gone.

As far as the Rich and Famous tours. Well, they beat the gator tours out, by far, according to my wife. She refuses to do a gator tour again. I agree.

We live in FL and have taken 3 airboat rides at various locations in the state. The best one was on a way back home, specifically to take an airboat ride through the Everglades. My recommendation is to take an airboat ride in the Everglades for 2 reasons. It will be warmer closer to Miami and there will be a better chance to see wildlife (alligators). When we were at the airboat ride location, there were several excursion busses there using the same one we were. It was the best of the 3 rides we have taken and learned a lot about the Everglades and the eco system.

Always wanted to try that.

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