I'm disappointed that they don't have these boat tours broken down by the different tours because they are extremely different. We took the tour of the 10,000 Islands which was on a larger boat and went out almost all the way to the Gulf. Our tour was at 9:30am and left on time. We were joined by a National Park Ranger. Apparently, they do not always have a park ranger on board these tours, so it may be of value to ask if one will be on your tour. It might be random, so if you book well in advance, you might not be able to plan that.
It was nice having the park ranger and he discussed the water and salinity of it and how the fresh water and salt water meet in this area. However, its my understanding that the concession staff also give a guided tour, so perhaps you don't necessarily miss a lot if you aren't with a ranger. What I was disappointed in is I guess I expected a little more discussion of the history of the area, the islands, etc... just maybe MORE. We were lucky enough to see 2 seconds of a manatee coming up for air, which was VERY exciting for me as I had hoped to see a manatee in the wild during this trip. We also saw some dolphins, but I thought it was pretty silly when the boat kind of chased them around trying to see them. Of course, I've seen a zillion dolphins, so maybe for the other guests on the boat, that was exciting.
Overall, it's a nice tour. It's not exciting, but you get a feel for the area and you get out on the water... I love a boat trip! I think they should bulk up the info they provide, but otherwise, the staff was really great and they made a real effort to spot and point out wildlife.
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