From sun-worshipping to partying, there's much more to do in Miami. How about enjoying the outdoors on a relaxing cruise along the Miami River and Biscayne Bay? We’ve done the research for you, and here’s our roundup of the best tours on the water.
Island Queen Cruises
If you want to see Miami’s beautiful downtown skyline, PortMiami, Fisher Island, Miami Beach and “Millionaire’s Row”–the homes of the rich and famous–then Island Queen Cruises is the type of daytime fun you won’t want to miss. Enjoy a relaxing day on the water sailing by Star and Hibiscus Island, where boat captains share tabloid-worthy secrets about local celeb residents including Gloria Estefan and Julio Iglesias.
Docked at Bayside Marketplace in Downtown Miami, the 140-passenger double-decker, air-conditioned boat fills its 90-minute narrated tour with tidbits of history, anecdotes and fun facts. The first tour starts at 11 am, and the last cruise departs at 7 pm.
Miami Pirate Duck Tours
Departing daily from the New World Center's SoundScape Park in Miami Beach, this top-rated amphibious duck tour takes you along Ocean Drive’s Art Deco District, Monument Island, Star Island and the MacArthur Causeway. Miami Pirate Duck Tours is an informative adventure transitions seamlessly from land to the water as the pirate and mermaid guides share little-known facts of the area. Floating down Biscayne Bay, you’ll experience the rich history of the area in a fun, creative way.
Coopertown Airboat Tours
Since 1945, in a small town known as Coopertown on U.S. 41—11 miles west of the Florida Turnpike—Coopertown Airboat Tours has been the main tourist attraction. The site has been visited by a “who’s who” of notables and celebrities, including actors Doris Day, Burt Reynolds and Chuck Norris and baseball hero Micky Mantle.
With seven airboats in operation, Coopertown offers daily tours of the Everglades National Park and its unique ecosystem from 9 am to 5 pm. After the ride, visitors like to stop in at the Coopertown Restaurant for one of their delicacies like frog legs, gator tail and catfish.
Miami Aqua Tours
Know for its sightseeing cruises and Miami Party Boat, Miami Aqua Tours entertains passengers of all ages with their tours. You can dance the night away to the tunes from yesterday and today while cruising down Biscayne Bay on their signature Miami Party Boat.
The 75-minute tour departs Friday and Saturday at 10 pm and 11:30 pm. Adults receive a complimentary beer with reservation that can be redeemed at the cash bar. Tours are narrated by professional guides in English and Spanish.
Not for the faint of heart, JetBoat Miami is the most exciting way to see Miami. Catch this thrilling tour from Sea Isle Marina and get ready for speed, spins and to get a little wet on this 30-minute rollercoaster on the water.
You'll twist, drift and travel along San Marco Islands, Memorial Island, Star Island and Fisher Island and learn all about the residents of the homes in these private, exclusive enclaves from expert guides. For those adrenaline junkies requesting an extra set of twists during the tour, you may receive a survivor T-shirt from the captain.
Play Time Water Sports
Experience the beauty of Miami at dusk on a two-hour Great White catamaran cruise by Play Time Water Sports. You'll cruise to Key Biscayne aboard the 50-foot catamaran with views of the Miami skyline, Stiltsville and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
Along the way, spot the bay's wildlife including dolphins, manatees, egrets and pelicans. The Sunset Twilight Sail Cruise is a spectacular way to watch the sunset from Miami Beach or Miami. Tour departs from Marbella Marina on Brickell Avenue in Downtown Miami and also includes an open bar with beer, wine, soft drinks and light snacks like cheese and crackers, veggies and fresh fruit.
Ocean Force Adventures
Try a unique sea tour that is fun for all ages, especially families with young children. Organized by Ocean Force Adventures, this tour explores more than 40 miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay on special, high performance Zodiac RIB Boats—the type used by law enforcement, including the U.S. Coast Guard.
Catch this extensive tour on Alton Road in Miami Beach and get ready to cover the surrounding islands, popular film locations for "Miami Vice," "CSI" and "Scarface," the Cape Florida Lighthouse in Key Biscayne and much more!
You'll be treated like a VIP in this intimate boat tour by SpeedBoat Tours on Watson Island. It provides a mix of education and thrill in this tour of the waterways of Biscayne Bay and the Intracoastal. With a deep understanding of Miami's history and culture, their certified captains have garnered them among the best boat tours in Miami on Trip Advisor.
Don't forget to bring your camera, there's much to see on this 90-minute tour, from the Florida White House where President Richard Nixon spent his summers to the former home of Chicago mobster Al Capone.