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Intercoastal water tour

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Burlington...
posts: 75
reviews: 3
Intercoastal water tour

Is there an Intercoastal water tour run by a company, or do you just jump on the water taxi?

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 32,361
reviews: 11
1. Re: Intercoastal water tour

The Carrie B (carriebcruises.com) starts on the New River ( a smaller canal that feeds into the Intracoastal) but eventually goes on the Intracoastal down as far as Port Everglades. It is the only tour like that I can think of and I would recommend it even though only part of the tour is on the Intracoastal.

My next chore when I get off TA is to revisit the Water Taxi site. They have made several changes to their service of late and I have not kept up with them. I did see one of their boats dropping folks off at Shooters yesterday but it looked like the signage on the boat had changed- so before I advise anyone about it I want to update myself. I'll repost for both you and the Embassy Suites questioner once I have updated info.

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 32,361
reviews: 11
2. Re: Intercoastal water tour

OK, you still visit the same website (watertaxi.com) but for some reason the service in Ft. Lauderdale is now called Water Bus and they seem to have a $10 pp fare for any service- previously there were both lower fares and the option of $5 for an all day pass- that is apparently not the case any longer. It is not clear to me if that $10 is good for all day on and off service.

The stops are pretty much the same although a few of the less used stops seem to have been eliminated. It does goes from Oakland Park Blvd south along the Intracoastal as far as 17th Street and also along the New River which takes it behind Las Olas Blvd as far west as the River House /Riverfront stop. It seems it may not stop at as many individual restaurants- for instance now it seems to stop only at Shooters below Oakland Park Bridge, where befre I think it made individual stops at Charlies Crab and Taverna Opa as well. It is not problem to walk to each of these from Shooters- they are all in a row.

So, visit their Web site and see what you think. If they are indeed now $10 for all day ( as opposed to $5 previously) they are still a good deal in my opinion. If you have to pay $10 each time you hop on, that may be another matter.

At any rate the map being provided will clearly show you the route and stops.

This is all the result of a political battle between the taxi owner and the County Commission. It seems to be pretty much a stand off at this point!

South Florida
posts: 87
reviews: 5
3. Re: Intercoastal water tour

The Jungle Queen (http://www.junglequeen.com) also has Intercoastal tours. You may also be interested in a gondola tour www.gondolaservizio.com/ftLauderdale.htm

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 32,361
reviews: 11
4. Re: Intercoastal water tour

Be sure to check the many reviews of Jungle Queen on this site before booking- while they arev mixed many are very poor and in my experience it is really not very good- mediocre overpriced food and folks strung along the deck on bolted down chairs.

Many tour and convention groups that are herded aboard like sheep.

The Gondola ride is on a little side canal on Las Olas near Stork's Cafe- it's fun to do, but probably wouldn't substitute for an Intracoastal cruise.

I'd do either Carrie B or the Water Taxi in preference to either of those two.

Lake George NY
posts: 210
reviews: 3
5. Re: Intercoastal water tour

I visited the water taxi on St. Pattys Day. The price was $10.00, I believe all day. We went from Bahia Mar to the riverfront, they were not stopping at ususal spot but other side of the river. It was a very unsafe spot, we had to walk along a path over the water that was about a foot wide. There was a official screaming at the water taxi, saying you can't let them off here.

We then asked about going to Shooters and it would have taken us 11/2 hours because there is no longer north/south. I don't think we would use this mode of transportation again.

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 32,361
reviews: 11
6. Re: Intercoastal water tour

Wow! I knew the price had changed, but didn't know the service and attitude had gone so downhill- what a shame! This is obviously something folks really enjoyed using.. I will be very cautious in suggesting it to anyone for right now. Unfortunately, it almost seems like they want things to be awful to force the County Commissions hand in negotiating their subsidy. How awful to put tourists in the middle and our tourist appeal in such jeopardy. I'm so sorry this happened to you!

UK
posts: 623
reviews: 37
7. Re: Intercoastal water tour

How odd - we used the water taxi in October and found it an easy experience and a most pleasant way to get around while seeing the sites from the water. Maybe something has changed since then, but we never had any problems with it and the folks on the boats are really knowledgable. I wonder whether there was a particular issue on St Patrick's Day, though we have visited Ft Lauderdale a few times and have always felt safe.

An alternative is to hire one of the little motor boats - it's been a few years since we have done that, but it was great fun to 'drive' yourself. Obviously, you don't have the commentary, but if you just want to see the beautiful properties that you are never going to be able to afford, it's a nice way of doing it.

Apart from that, I would bow to Lulutoo's local experience.

Que

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 32,361
reviews: 11
8. Re: Intercoastal water tour

yes, unfortunately, a lot has happened to the Water Taxi since October- when itbwas it's wonderful self. Since that time the owner and the County Commission have been in a battle. The Commision used to subsidize the Water Taxi as a tourist service and the Comission actually owned some of the Taxi's boats- the Taxi company owned others. The Taxi apparently wanted a higher subsidy. The Comissioners didn't agree and there has been a war of words at various Comisiion meetings and I believe the end result is that the Comission withdrew all their financial support. As aresult, Water Taxi raised their fees- it is now $10 all day instead of the previous $5 and there are no other options for single trip fares and etc. They also cut back on some of their stops. I had really thought that was not a big issue- for instance Shirttail Charlies was no longer a stop and where they used to stop at each restaurant under the Oakland Park Bridge, they now stop only at Shooters. That didn't seem like a big deal, because you can easily walk to the others. But, it appears in reality it is much worse than that. I don't know if they are deliberately trying to make it difficult for tourists ( perhaps to make the Comission give in) or if they really had to make these changes. Bottom line seems to be much less convenient service for our visitors.

There seems to be a stalemate at this point. At one point the Comission was talking about asking the County Transit Office ( that runs bus service) to run the Water Taxi- but I haven't seen any final word as of late. It really is a shame, whomever is really to blame- Water Taxi was a real boon to our tourism and if folks have bad experiences that will be tragic.

But in answer to your previous comment, the problems experienced of late were not perculiar to St. Patrick's Day- at the moment Water Taxi is a shell of it's former self. I'll try to keep posting any newer developments and try to keep this post on the first screen by bumping it up so that those planning to use Water Taxi will know.

Neither Jungle Queen nor Carrie B will be good substitutes because they only go from their dock on a round trip back to their dock and won't bring anyone to any restaurants etc. I'm not a big Jungle Queen fan, as folks may have noticed-not a good value in my opinion. Carrie B is fine for what it is, but serves a limited need.

Fort Lauderdale, FL
posts: 143
reviews: 4
9. Re: Intercoastal water tour

Anyone know the current situation with the Water Taxi? I have family coming in from out of town and want to take them on a tour of the Intracoastal Waterway. I checked Carrie B's website and they are closed until October for the season?? I guess our only option is the Water Taxi/Bus. Any updates to this situation/experiences or other options would be appreciated.

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
posts: 32,361
reviews: 11
10. Re: Intercoastal water tour

Water Taxi is still around and the only option on the Intracoastal, except for Jungle Queen- which I really don't recommend. The Water Taxi fare is $10 for an all day pass. The only change is that they have cut out some stops ( the least popular ones) and it takes longer for the taxi to come back, so you have to leave lots of time for your trip. It is still a fine way to see Lauderdale by water. My understanding is that Carrie B , which was my favorite, will be off for the summer and back in about October or so. I haven't checked lately, but the Water Taxi company was also offering a tour down to the South Beach of Miami on Tuesdays only, leaving from the Convention Center dock in the morning and returning in late afternoon- a possible option if you want to see a little of Miami without fighting traffic. Reservations are necessary for that one- I am sure your hotel will have updated info or you can google water taxi lauderdale or visit the tourist board's website at www.sunny.org for info- a good site to visit anyway. If you do decide to do Jungle Queen, I can sorta suggest the daytime cruise as a possibitity( without much enthusiasm) , but not the evening one- between the awful food and the mosquitos on their island stop, It's usually a disappointing trip, especially for the cost. I think lots of the reviews on this site agree with that.