Friday, August 2, 2019

Fun Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise from Florida Water Tours in St Augustine

This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.


St. Augustine is Florida's oldest city. We recently took a trip there, and one of the things we wanted to do was explore the beautiful water. We researched the reviews on Trip Advisor and selected Florida Water Tours. It was a good choice. Just to note, we did make reservations, but the sign says walk-ins are welcome. It's worth checking into if you're there and they're about to go (and you want to go too), but our boat was full, so I do recommend calling ahead.



There are quite a few cruise excursions to choose from including Sunset, Full Moon, and the one we took, the Dolphin and Wildlife Adventure. This is a 90-minute cruise for all ages that takes you around beautiful St. Augustine, with a waterside view.


Our boat was called the Osprey, and she was a beauty. There were plenty of seats for all, and it was easy to walk around once the boat got moving. The sides and end of the boat had open-space areas where everyone could comfortably fit, to see the wonderful things we came across along the way.


There was a covered portion too, in case rain popped up, or you wanted to get out of the sun for a bit.


The seats on the inside of the boat were cushioned and comfy. As you can see, most people opted to go to the open-ended areas though, as did we right after taking this photo.


I love to see the nature scenes, but coming across other boats, either moving or docked is always lovely for me as well. I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, the older I get, the more I gravitate towards the water. I just love it.


The boat has a pay-for cooler, where you can get drinks. We got soda, but in hindsight, we probably should have gotten water! Not because of any one reason, but if you're outside in the heat, you want to stay hydrated, and nothing does that better than H20. On the top-right you see a tip jar. There is also one as you exit the boat. There is no pressure whatsoever to leave money, in fact, it's not even mentioned, but the crew works for tips, and the 90-minute boat ride is great, so I recommend leaving one in either of those spots.


The captain and the guide were great. They worked together effortlessly, and changed course as needed when they thought we would come across something appealing. While a lot of people have reported seeing dolphins on this cruise, we didn't. We did, however, come across a manatee. When you spot something in the water, the guide will start to give you a history of what it is you are looking at, which I thought was a great way to run the boat.


There's something to be said for seeing the sights of St. Augustine, from the water. It just gives you a different visual that is hard to ignore (and why would you want to?). Plus, there are no crowds to fight (or stairs to climb in the case of this lighthouse, lol). Not that I mind those things usually, but having a relaxed vantage point was nice as well. Very nice.


It was a great day to be on the water, so it was no surprise that there were quite a few people out and enjoying it as much as we were.


The guide on our tour did inform us that he and another member of the crew did offer kayak tours, if you were interested. He seemed very capable and knowledgeable, so if were going to book that, I would have been comfortable choosing them as our guides. I'm honestly not huge on kayaking, but my kids' aunt was along and she LOVES it.


At one point in our ride, we came across the backside of Castillo de San Marcos, a large Spanish stone fortress built to protect and defend Spain's claim into St. Augustine years ago. There were changes of hand at this fort, but  never due to defeat.


Our timing was impeccable, as we got there right when they were firing the cannon. We all covered our ears, and ooh'd and ahh'd at the boat-view of the experience. Again, no crowds, and no breezeless, beating hot sun on you while you stood to watch. We had the ocean breeze in our faces, and it was as pleasant as pleasant could be.


I'm not sure why I get excited every time a bridge goes up for a big boat. I've seen it a million times on land (and have been stuck in the traffic that can build up because of it), but it never gets old.


My son decided taking selfies to send his friends would be a good idea. I should have told him he was on the wrong side of the boat (the other side had the water views), but meh, I let it go. If you see the things he and his friends find amusing, you would understand (goofy dancing, making faces, selfies with the cat). ;) At this age, they just pretty much giggle at everything.


He did change his viewpoint later in the ride (that is his aunt right behind him to the left), but it wasn't a view I was happy with him getting (for some reason, he thinks it's hilarious to send his friends videos of me). 😏


One of the things I like about a peaceful boat ride, is seeing other boats on the water. It's a camaraderie much like military people or motorcycle riders seem to have. Everyone is happy to acknowledge the other party as part of the in-crowd, or group. ;)  Almost every boat we passed had people waving hello, and of course we waved in return.


There was one exception to the waving rule. This boat (the U.S. Coast Guard) was chasing down another boat, and tooting his horn as he did. The boat he was behind was oblivious it seemed, and I had to inwardly chuckle, because I'm kind of a goofus and can see that driver being me. It clearly was not a serious infraction taking place because once the Coast Guard got the driver's attention and said what he needed to say, he turned around and went on his merry way.


The time we spent seeing the coastal marshes, wetlands, wildlife and points of interest was so enjoyable that we felt like it was over very quickly! Truth be told though, we left and returned exactly on time, which wasn't really surprising, considering the captain and crew worked together very capably and efficiently.


If you find yourself in or around St. Augustine, I do highly recommend Florida Water Tours. We had a wonderful time, and will be taking another tour when we return, perhaps on the Sunset Cruise, where I'm sure the colors in the sky are pretty amazing to behold.


I will say the views we had in the daytime though, even when there was nothing but sky and water to see, were faaaantastic. That's a pelican coming in to land. I get excited when I see a pelican every.single.time.


You can learn more about this and the other tours they offer by visiting the FLORIDA WATER TOURS website. You can also follow them on InstagramFacebook and/or Twitter. If this sounds like a great way to spend some time in St. Augustine, Florida, please share the post. :)

26 comments:

  1. Sorry you didn't see any dolphins but it looked like a great family trip anyway.

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  2. This is a place that I would really enjoy visiting. Your review and images are so compelling! Making plans to visit now and go on the dolphin and wildlife cruise! Lavern Moore

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  3. Oh my gosh, this looks like such a wonderful place to visit! I've never been to St Augustine before, but it looks amazing. Thank you for sharing these travel tips! Plus, it's best to enjoy animals in their natural habitat, like you can do on this dolphin tour.

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  4. Florida Water Tours seems like a great travel provider. I hope I can do the same itinerary as yours. So nice for family!

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  5. That's too bad you didn't see any dolphins while you were there. It still looks like everyone had a great time.

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  6. I've been living in Florida now for three years and I've yet to see a dolphin. I need to get out to one of these tours- hopefully I finally come close to one.

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  7. He looks like he's enjoying his time. Not sea sick at all. How fun!

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  8. Looks like an incredible trips! Glad you went to see the wildlife in their homes and experience first hand places that need protecting.

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  9. That was an amazing trip and I can see with your kid smile that he really had a wonderful time during that trip.

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  10. This looks like great cruise to go on. The view looks beautiful x

    Laura
    https://pinkfrenzymissl.blogspot.com/

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  11. The canoeing activities seems like so much fun to be so close with the water and really a great day out with the family.

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  12. Can make all the difference when you have a great guide and crew. haha hey, at least you get the kiddos to laugh when he sends videos. Sure different seeing the sights from the water too.

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  13. Such a fun and great experience you had. Looks like the kids really enjoyed it. Glad you found a perfect way to make them so happy.

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  14. This looks so much fun. I have never tried cruising but this post makes me wanna go there and experience how exciting it was.

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  15. That looks like a great time. We didnt get to do much this summer... but i am thankful we did get to still do our regular biloxi trip

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  16. That looks like a fun tour! It looks like beautiful weather to enjoy it in too.

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  17. I'm a huge fan of boat tours too! They are a great and relaxing way to get to know new places. Hope you can see some dolphins the next time!

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  18. How fun! Looks like you had such a fun time out there...perfect activity for the whole family.

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  19. The last time I did something like this I was 12 years old. Oh boy, did I get sick as a dog. I would love to try it again as an adult though.

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  20. This seems like such a great time! My husband and I are overdue for a boat trip so this seems like the way to go!

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  21. Looks like a fabulous outing despite not seeing dolphins. I went on a whale watching tour a few years ago. The boat trip can be so delightful.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

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  22. What a fantastic day to head to St. Augustine and to get on the kayak. Looks like you all had a lovely trip

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  23. Oh a little disappointing your didn't see any dolphins but still a really lovely boat ride and the most sustainable way of seeing wildlife as appose to somewhere like seaworld

    Laura x

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  24. Jason would totally do the kayak tour. I'd much prefer sitting on the boat and letting the captain show me around.

    LOL about sending videos of you to his friends. I have a feeling that I've made many an (unknowing) appearance on my girl's snapchats and also sent to their friends.

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  25. I've never been to Florida but would love to someday. A water tour sounds like a perfect excursion.

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  26. Glad y’all had a good trip and can see how it was easily enjoyed. I’ve never been to that part of Florida but if and when I do I will keep this in mind. Thanks for sharing this n

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