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Sailboats

9 Can't-Miss Cruises

There’s no easier way to get on the water than to schedule a cruise. Just sit back and enjoy the view from the deck of a variety of daily outings. From wildlife-watching to shelling expeditions, these day cruises are great for just about any occasion and all depart from Captiva Island.

1. Dolphin Watch & Wildlife Adventure Cruise

There’s nothing more exciting than dolphins leaping in your boat wake. Unless of course you’re within arms’ reach of the action. This is the perfect family cruise for you and your loved ones as you, enjoy the high-flying acrobatics of our resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and spot our native birds.

A pair of dolphins leaping

 

2. Sunset Cruises

Fresh sea air aboard a 40-foot sailing catamaran with Captiva Cruises goes great with sunsets. The perfect way to end a day – is with a cocktail from the full-service cash bar while listening to, relaxing live music, and watching the orange sun slip into the Gulf of Mexico. You can also try the wildlife cruise at dusk when many local animals are naturally more active. Choose the cruise that matches your pace, and watch a sunset like no other.

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3. Cayo Costa Beach & Shelling Cruise

On the secluded islands of North Captiva or Cayo Costa, boat-only access leads you to hours of remote shelling, swimming, bird-watching, and exploring. On the return cruise to Captiva, compare shells with others while watching for dolphins surfacing in Pine Island Sound. Don’t forget to pack snacks and drinks as there are no facilities on these islands.

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4. Cabbage Key Cruise

Cabbage Key is a true "Old Florida" island hideaway and home to the Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant. Autographed dollar bills line the walls and ceilings of this rustic fisherman’s pub. Legend has it Jimmy Buffet has frequented the island and it may have inspired a song or two.

Try any of the fresh seafood for lunch and then explore the short, serene nature trail with Instagram-worthy views from the island’s water tower.

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5. Useppa Island Cruise

A storybook setting with picturesque white cottages, Useppa’s pink pathways and lush vegetation was once a sport-fishing mecca for the rich and famous. Magnates such as Rockefeller, Dupont, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford all visited the tiny island. 

The only way to stay on the island is to be a member of the Useppa Island Club or the guest of a member. If you're looking to simply just visit, book a cruise with Captiva Cruises. Once there, dine at the Collier Inn and then tour the island’s charming history museum.

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6. Lunch Cruise to Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island

Cruise near historic fish houses while witnessing the fishing cultures of Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor. 

Eat lunch at the historic Tarpon Lodge overlooking Pine Island Sound, and then enjoy a guided hike to the top of an ancient Calusa shell mound that pre-dates Colombian history!

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7. Boca Grande Cruise

If you’re looking to relax at a quaint seaside village, then Boca Grande is a destination that should not be missed. Stop by numerous restaurants, shops and art galleries found here on the southern tip of Gasparilla Island. From the marina, enjoy a 10-minute stroll to downtown Boca Grande, or rent a golf cart and roll over to the unique Boca Grande Lighthouse and history museum.

8. Adventure Sailing Cruises

For a more traditional adventure on the sea, hop aboard a 40-foot sailing catamaran and let the wind put distance between you and the mainland. Cruise the Gulf of Mexico in spectacular style while basking in the warm Florida sun, or relax in the comfortable shade of the sails.

Salboat

 

9. Private Cruise Expeditions

For a special memory on the water, arrange a private boat. Custom tours are available from a variety of charter captains in the area for beach shelling, picnicking or island-hopping.

Man looking into distance while lying on sailboat

 

No matter which expedition you select, you are sure to have a good day on the water. Make sure to book your reservation in advance as many tours sell out quickly!