What could be more memorable than a relaxing and enjoyable cruise through the "Venice of America" - part of a perfect day when combined with shopping and dining along beautiful Las Olas Boulevard.
Our fully-narrated 90-minute sightseeing tour begins in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the narrow, winding New River. From there we will enter the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and pass into Port Everglades - home of the world's busiest cruise ship port, and head back up the New River to our dock.
Join us for an unforgettable cruise to see the yachts and mansions of the rich and famous and get a piece of Fort Lauderdale history!
Our tour begins at our Downtown Fort Lauderdale dock which just happens to be a stone's throw away from the Stranahan House . Built in 1901, it is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County. Once used as an overnight station and trading post by Frank and Ivey Stranahan. They are considered to be the acknowledged founders of the city as we know it today. The house has been meticulously restored to its original splendor and is open for tours daily.
We continue our tour over the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel and outbound on the narrow, winding New River. From the upper deck of the Carrie B, you will have an excellent view of the Riverside Hotel. Opened in 1936, this hotel is the pinnacle of old world charm and elegance in Fort Lauderdale.
We continue past homes which sold in the early 1920's for only $4,000 to $8,000 dollars. Today these homes in Rio Vista and Colee Hammock sell for multi-million dollar prices. The home pictured features a "water park" style pool with a bell tower. This home located on Tarpon Bend recently SOLD for just under $20 MILLION DOLLARS! We continue past Colee Hammock Park and head out to the widest section of the New River.
Enjoy incredible views of the most lucrative real estate in Broward County. Millionaires Row was originally a pseudonym for the Las Olas Isles neighborhood. Several waterfront houses in a row were owned by millionaires. In these modern times, there are so many millionaires in Fort Lauderdale, it's hard to define where the "row" begins and ends. The homes are spectacular and so are the price tags. According to some of the owners, the sky is NOT the limit.
We will leave the New River behind and enter the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway or ICW heading south. The section of shallow water (shoal) that we will pass is known to locals as "The Triangle". This sandbar is a popular rendezvous point for smaller boats to "beach" and for dogs and their owners to take a quick dip. Continuing south on the ICW we will approach a landmark property of extreme opulence, known as “La Maison Blanc” or simply, "The White House". The current market value of the home is estimated at 28 million dollars. The owner of the home continues to expand so that figure is certain to increase.
Continuing south, we will pass the oldest yacht club in South Florida and a home where Sonny & Cher spent several winters (Chastity was born at Broward General Medical Center). We continue south leaving more multi-million dollar mansions behind as we approach the World Famous Hyatt Pier 66 Resort. This beautiful art deco style tower has numerous design themes that echo the "66" theme. The 17-story tower was completed in 1967. The multi-million dollar yachts docked at Pier 66 and across the Intracoastal Waterway at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Grande are truly a sight to behold.
Proceeding south through the 17th Street Causeway Bridge, we officially enter Port Everglades. On a busy day we will be rewarded with unparalleled views of some of the largest cruise ships in the world. It's no secret this port is the winter home to one of the world's largest ocean liners, Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 as well as Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. The Carrie B offers the best viewing of these grand ships when they are in port.
Port Everglades set the record for the most cruise ships in port on a single day, then later broke this record on three different occasions. Cruise ship aficionados appreciate our in depth coverage of this fast paced industry. We routinely host passengers from the ships you will see in the port. Want to know more about a particular cruise? Ask the person sitting next to you, they might have just stepped off the ship.
We occasionally see visiting US Navy ships in port as well. Since some of the visiting US Navy ships are home-ported in Norfolk, VA, the sailors see the Carrie B and her twin in both Norfolk and Fort Lauderdale. This might explain the "déjà vu" look on some of the sailors faces. We continue our tour by heading north from Port Everglades and offering a view of the most unspoiled beach in South Florida, John U. Lloyd State Park. The views are tempting enough to warrant a closer inspection. No worries, click here for easy driving directions.
We get another look at the beautiful new 17th Street Causeway Bridge as we continue northbound on the ICW. It is at this point in the tour that we point out several of Fort Lauderdale's nicknames including: Venice of America and the Yachting Capital Of The World. On any given day, we pass hundreds of private yachts which contribute to the Yachting Capital title. Some yacht owners enjoy the privilege of docking their own yacht in their backyard!
The Carrie B offers you an unparalleled view of one of the most famous resort marina complexes in the world, the often imitated but never duplicated Bahia Mar Resort And Yachting Center. Originally the site of a house of refuge for shipwrecked sailors in 1875, it became the site of the first Coast Guard station in Fort Lauderdale. The U.S. Coast Guard moved their station to Port Everglades in 1948. The land was transferred to the City of Fort Lauderdale in 1949 and construction began on the world's first municipally designed, owned, and operated resort marina complex. Bahia Mar is also the main site of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, the largest boat show on the planet.
After we complete our tour of Bahia Mar, we will head southbound on the Intracoastal Waterway, passing the home used in the filming of the movie Where The Boys Are which helped to secure Fort Lauderdale's reputation as a spring break destination. We still have many more mansions to view before sailing back up the New River and returning you to our dock in beautiful downtown Fort Lauderdale.