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The best Miami boat tours

Cruise the coastline and weave through scenic Intracoastal waterways on one of these top Miami boat tours.

Virginia Gil
Falyn Wood
Written by
Virginia Gil
&
Falyn Wood
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There are two types of people in Miami: the haves (a boat), and the have-nots (sigh). No one reading this is part of the first group, so we can all commiserate here. Yes, there’s plenty to see on land and lots of things to do in Miami, but the fact is if you’re not getting out on the water, you’re doing something wrong. Especially you water signs, we're looking at you. 

Luckily, Miami’s best boat tours have something to offer every type of seafarer, from nature excursions to adrenaline-pumping speedboats and DJ’d booze cruises - the perfect thing for a celebration. Many even pull right up to some of Miami’s best waterfront restaurants and bars, just be careful not to fall in the water while boarding! Here are some of our most-loved boat tours in Miami, chock-full of cheesy celebrity spotting, al fresco drinking, and other aquatic adventures in South Florida. Sounds like a great way to spend your break, right?

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Best Miami boat tours

Duck Tours South Beach
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Duck Tours South Beach

Duck Tours, like the mammals they’re named after, travel on land and water, which is the best way to experience South Beach. You’ll spend part of the 90-minute trip driving through South Beach and the Art Deco District. Then it’s wheels up and into Biscayne Bay for the amphibious vessel. A wise-cracking guide gives you the low-down along the way, including deets on Fisher Island and Millionaire’s Row. Even though food isn’t offered or permitted on board, passengers are allowed to carry on their own small alcoholic beverages.

Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/djmcaleese

2. Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami

Raise your hand if you like going fast on a boat? Ok, us, too. And this jet boat tour promises just that: 45 minutes of scenic cruising combined with pure adrenaline while you zip, spin and drift across blue coastal waters. You’ll take in the skyline, border the string of islands you’ve only seen from the highway till now and get back to shore faster than the time it’d take you to cross the causeway in a car.

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Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Herb Neufeld

3. Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi

The Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi is not only a fun way to see the city, but it’s also a fairly practical transportation method to get around the so-called Venice of America. For a fun route, hop on at Oakland Park Boulevard and work your way to the historic Las Olas Boulevard, bar-hopping at waterfront eateries along the way. Your driver will point out the interesting bits as you pass them, like the Stranahan House, Broward County's oldest surviving structure, or Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet's booze-themed resort. Since this is Fort Lauderdale, the boats have liquor licenses and will sell you cold, cheap beer along the way.

Miami Millionaire’s Row Tour
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jimmy Smith

4. Miami Millionaire’s Row Tour

Cruise through Biscayne Bay and experience Miami's water vibes. A local guide will take you along the turquoise water for you to marvel at vibrant architecture and see famous areas like the Port of Miami and Millionaire's Row - you'll see opulent celebrity mansions, too. The tour lasts 90-minutes and cocktails and snacks are available to purchase, too. Sounds incred. 

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Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/creativelenna

5. Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise

The Jungle Queen cruise has been operating since 1935, taking folks on a scenic tour of Fort Lauderdale’s winding waterways. And you can still book a trip on the Queen today, in all its original old Florida charm. Do some simple sightseeing or cruise to a private island and watch an alligator show. There’s a dinner cruise as well, featuring barbecue and a live variety show.

Everglades Air Boat and Alligator Tour
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6. Everglades Air Boat and Alligator Tour

Explore the Everglades’ vast and totally unique ecosystem while keeping a safe distance from the crocodiles, snakes and other creatures that inhabit the national park. These flat-bottom boats go fast, like hair-blowing-in-the-wind fast, but that’s part of the fun. Your tour along the River of Grass concludes with an alligator show on land, where you’ll get the chance to pose with a baby gator. We promise they’re totally adorable.

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7. Fort Lauderdale Cruisin’ Tikis Tour

Imagine a little island tiki hut that succumbed to a gnarly squall, got lost at sea and eventually floated its way up Fort Lauderdale’s New River. Cruisin’ Tikis tours launch from the Historic Downtowner bar and last anywhere from two to four hours. Why ride a boat to a bar when your boat can be the bar? Pack a cooler to bring aboard your private, petite tiki bar on the water. Partying with a larger group? Cruisin’ Tikis has a multi-boat fleet available so you can caravan up and down the river.

Skyline Miami Cruise
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Skyline Miami Cruise

Velvet ropes and bouncers can be a real buzzkill. Bypass the trappings of a night out in South Beach with a ride on this party cruise departing from Downtown Miami. The 80-minute cruise by Biscayne Bay and the Venetian Islands features a live DJ, a cash bar, snacks for purchase and plenty of neon lights to keep your lousy dance moves under wraps.

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Stiltsville Tour
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Zoë

9. Stiltsville Tour

Get a rare up-close view of Stiltsville, a curious Miami landmark of colorful, crumbling buildings originally built in the 1920s and '30s in the shallows on the northern end of Biscayne National Park. Available as part of a daily two-hour Biscayne Bay sightseeing tour or customizable as a private tour, you'll be treated to stunning views and authentic stories about the area’s history and culture by your captain, who is also a spirited local guide and longtime Miami resident. You might even spot a few dolphins while you’re out there.

Pontoon Party Boat Tour
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phil! Gold

10. Pontoon Party Boat Tour

Pontoon boats aren’t just for relaxed afternoons on the lake, namely because South Florida doesn’t have many of those. But you can have your own adventure on the bay aboard a laidback vessel large enough for you and 9 friends. Your captained tour includes a large cooler containing soft drinks, speakers to connect to and snacks. You'll also have access to paddleboards, jet skis and a floating trampoline for maximum fun. 

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