Top 10 Day Cruises In South Florida, USA - Updated 2022

day cruises in south florida

A cruise makes for a perfect escape—away from all the hustle and bustle of life, away from responsibilities and duties, where you worry about nothing and no one. The deluxe onboard amenities, expansive ships, sandy beaches, and beautiful sun all tick the boxes of what would make your ideal cruise getaway. No doubt, cruises are top among the most memorable ways you can enjoy your weekend, holiday week, or vacation. Have you been scouting for the best ways to lie back and unwind away from home? Whether you are cruising alone, as a couple, or as a group of friends, here are the top day cruises in South Florida, USA, that you will certainly love.

1. Set sail toward the sunset with your friends (from USD 79.0)

From sea lions and sea turtles to cute dolphins, nothing spells excitement better than a day cruise on these crystal waters of the Caribbean. Savor the thrill of being right in the middle of the ocean, feeling the warm sun on your skin, and meeting new people. On this cruise, there’ll be delicious seafood prepared by experienced chefs using locally sourced ingredients. The trip is scheduled to go on for seven days. Upon departure from Miami, you will visit places like Cape Liberty, Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, and more.

Key West Sunset Sail with Full Bar, Live Music & Hors D'oeuvres

Duration: 2 hours

1434 reviews

2. Party the evening away on a unique buffet cruise (from USD 40.0)

Let all your worries melt away on this one-of-a-kind Calypso Queen tropical party buffet cruise. Bursting with color and activity, Calypso Queen is a riverboat with two decks. It comes complete with a party DJ and dancing. There’s an open bar serving rum punch, beer, and assorted wines. There’s also an option for a daytime cruise or an evening cruise, where guests enjoy time on Florida waters making merry, discovering beautiful beaches, and taking in enchanting views.

Calypso Queen Tropical Party Buffet Cruise

Duration: 2 hours

783 reviews

3. Learn and mingle on this intriguing day trip (from USD 190.0)

Feel like royalty as you traverse the waters of South Florida on this Dry Tortugas National Park day trip. As the breeze softly caresses your skin, your hair all in your face and your skin glistening in the sun, there’s no better way to relax and unwind. Guests aboard the catamaran get to enjoy snorkeling, a dip in the warm water swimming by the vivacious corals, a walk on the sandy beaches, and a visit to the national park. Also included in the package are delicious meals for breakfast and lunch, along with a tour of a historic military fort.

Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West

Duration: 10 hours

333 reviews

4. Sail, snorkel, and kayak all day long (from USD 124.0)

This tour is bursting with activity, and visitors get to spend time sailing on a gigantic catamaran into the clear blue waters of the Mexican gulf. Guests can come close to the water when paddling on the kayak, swimming with the fishes, snorkeling above the coral reefs, or diving deeper for some underwater adventure off the Key West coast. Tourists love to find stingrays, dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees. Included in this full-day tour are sumptuous buffets for breakfast and lunch, along with soft drinks, sangria, an assortment of wines, and beer.

Key West Full-Day Island T'ing Eco-Tour: Sail, Kayak and Snorkel

Duration: 6 hours

491 reviews

5. Swim with the dolphins for an unforgetable experience at sea (from USD 30.0)

Do you love dolphins? Does time in and on the water leave you excited beyond measure? If yes, then why not treat yourself to this Tampa Bay dolphin sightseeing cruise? Here, you will see different types of fish, bottlenose dolphins, birds, sea turtles, and so much more—all part of the Tampa ecosystem. The best thing about this tour is that it is scheduled to last for only 1.5 hours. This way, you can still plan to do other fun things or get back to your normal duties on the same day. Also, there’s a guide to help you learn and discover a whole new side of Tampa.

Tampa Bay 1.5-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Cruise with Guide

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

158 reviews

6. Unveil your inner geek on this informative cruise (from USD 30.0)

Tampa is an intriguing harbor with hidden gems. You can never learn or see enough of this beautiful location. If there’s an inborn explorer, adventurer, or scientist in you who loves discovering, experiencing, and learning new things, this Tampa history cruise is designed just for you. The whole trip lasts for 1.5 hours, where travelers get to see the real Gabriella pirate ship, visit world-famous museums, and view enormous millionaire homes. You will learn about Tampa’s rich past and get to see Plant Hotel—all narrated by the onboard guide.

Tampa History Cruise

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

200 reviews

7. Experience life as a pirate (from USD 24.0)

This Fort Lauderdale family pirate cruise, though designed mainly for families, is also perfect for any other occasion. It’s great for birthdays, anniversaries, bachelor parties, job promotions, you name it. If you have a reason to celebrate, why not book this tour? Here, travelers spend a whole hour cruising along Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway. Activities include finding hidden treasure, getting temporary tattoos, face painting, and dressing up and talking like pirates. If you’re in the company of kids, they will be ecstatic once they receive a pirate bag of loot and a certificate to take home.

Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal Waterway Family Pirate Cruise

Duration: 1 hour

982 reviews

8. Take in the most breathtaking views on a tropical isle visit (from USD 31.0)

If you are an outdoor enthusiast in search of a unique voyage, then this afternoon tropical isle visit and sightseeing cruise is right down your alley. Whether you are in your own company or with a loved one, such a day cruise is guaranteed to keep you in high spirits. On this family-friendly cruise, you’ll get to see alligators and macaws, watch birds, and get a front-row view of native Florida wildlife. Seeing as the cruise is fully narrated, you will learn tons of information regarding this part of the state.

Afternoon Tropical Isle Visit and Sightseeing Cruise

Duration: 3 hours

198 reviews

9. Spend quality time with loved ones exploring the waters (from USD 28.0)

Do you think it’s time for a romantic getaway? Or maybe you want to spend quality time with family? Whichever applies to you, this Fort Lauderdale riverfront cruise will leave you in awe. Visitors spend time aboard a huge yacht complete with climate-controlled cabins and an observation deck. On this trip, you’ll view luxurious mansions along the Fort Lauderdale riverfront. You can also learn more about the city’s world-renowned marinas and piers. The day cruise is scheduled to last for 90 minutes. You will, however, need to buy food and drinks available on board if you so wish.

Fort Lauderdale’s Riverfront Cruise 'Venice of America' Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

10 reviews

10. Get up close with colorful corals (from USD 103.0)

Looking at fish, coral reefs, and other marine life on TV is good. But nothing quite tells the story better than seeing them up close, in their natural habitat. Such experience awaits you with this glass-bottom boat coral reef tour. Explore underwater corals via a 28-inch looking glass at the bottom of the boat. Make a daring move and jump in the water to snorkel—the snorkel gear will be provided. Plus you can either book a brief tour as part of a group or opt for a private session as a couple, a family, or alone.

Morning Glass Bottom Boat Coral Reef Adventure from Key West

Duration: 3 hours

Have fun on the waters of Florida

Day cruises make for enjoyable daytime activities. Whether you are up for a long tour or a brief excursion across South Florida waters, you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice with the long list of options above. Come alone, with a loved one, or with the whole family—you are sure to find the perfect package!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hildah is a Nairobi-based travel writer and lover of nature, world cultures, food, languages, urban places, and wild spaces. She's interested in tasting fine wine and meeting new people. Having...Read more

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