A small bowrider boat for 6 people and a large mid size caddy cabin boat with bathroom.

Looking for a Fun Day on the Water while in South Florida? Try a boat charter tour.

When you think of South Florida, what comes to mind? Sunshine, beaches, and boating! A day out on the water is a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle or add another interesting activity to your vacation plans.

You may think that all boats you see on the beaches and canals of Miami or Fort Lauderdale are private rich people enjoying their trust funds or retirement, but I kid you not, those are most likely tourists (like you) enjoying a boat tour.

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly outing or want to treat yourself to a romantic sunset cruise, we’ve got the perfect boat charter for you!

A Large yatch in the back and a pirate ship nearby in the New River in Fort Lauderdale.
A Large yatch in the back and a pirate ship nearby in the New River in Fort Lauderdale.

South Florida Is the Perfect Place to Charter a Boat. Enjoy the “Florida Experience” From the Water.

South Florida is a popular tourist destination for many reasons, and one of the best ways to experience all that the area has to offer is from the water. There are numerous boat charter companies throughout South Florida, so finding the perfect vessel for your needs is easy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day of fishing or want to explore the area’s many islands and waterways, there is a charter boat that can accommodate you.

The weather here is perfect for boating year-round, so you can enjoy the water whenever you like. And, there is no shortage of things to see and do while you’re out on the water. From manatees and dolphins to shipwrecks and stunning beaches, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re interested in chartering a boat during your next visit to South Florida, be sure to check out the many options that are available below.

Catamarans and sailing boats are also available for chartering and/or renting In South Florida.
A Large yatch in the back and a pirate ship nearby in the New River in Fort Lauderdale.

The Difference between Boat Charters and Boat Rentals

Both of these terms are usually used interchangeably. However, there are a few key differences between boat charters and boat rentals that you should be aware of before deciding which option is right for your needs.

What Is A Boat Rental Service?

A boat rental service is just what it sounds like. You simply rent a boat for a set period of time, usually by the day or week. This option is great if you just want to get out on the water for some fun usually driving the boat yourself. But you can also hire a captain with the boat so you can sit back and relax while the captain operates the boat. Services like Boatsetter and Rentaboat allow you to rent straight from boat owners.

A large party boat charter on the Intracoastal in Miami. Ideal for parties and large group celebrations.

What Is A Boat Charter Service?

A boat charter service is a bit more comprehensive than just renting a boat. When you charter a boat, you are also hiring the captain and crew for the duration of your trip. This option is great if you want to take a longer trip or don’t feel comfortable operating the boat yourself. Boat charters can be customized to fit your needs so you can get exactly what you want out of your trip.

A chartered boat usually has a predefined route and a tour guide who explains the history of different sights and landmarks along the way. 

Also get to enjoy exotic food and drinks while you are on a chartered boat. So it does not come as a shock that chartered boats are usually more expensive than renting a small boat.

Trips go through the New River in Fort Lauderdale or the Miami River by Downtown Miami, and out to the ocean.
Trips go through the New River in Fort Lauderdale or the Miami River by Downtown Miami, and out to the ocean.

Some fun boat trip routes in South Florida

Boat Charter Trips from Miami to Miami River and Virginia Key

Take a short trip to Miami River or Virginia Key and enjoy the scenic views of these waterways. You’ll have the chance to see some of the city’s most popular landmarks, including the Freedom Tower and Biscayne Bay.

These trips are perfect for couples or small groups, and they’re a great way to spend a day exploring the waterways of South Florida. This is an activity that’s perfect for all ages, so whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a fun family outing, chartering a boat is a great way to do it.

When you’re ready to book your charter trip, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, decide what type of vessel you’d like to charter. 

There are a variety of boats available, from small fishing boats to large yacht charters. You’ll also need to decide how long you’d like to charter the boat. One-day charters are available, as well as multi-day trips.

Boat Charter Trips from Fort Lauderdale to Haulover sandbar or Boca Raton sandbar

If you’re looking to charter a boat for a sandbar trip from Fort Lauderdale, you have a few great options. You can head to the Haulover Sandbar, just north of Miami Beach, or up to Boca Raton to visit the Boca Raton Sandbar. Both are great options for a day of sun and fun with friends, and usually plenty of drinks.

When you charter a boat from Fort Lauderdale, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the best sandbars in Florida. The Haulover Sandbar is a great option for those who want to experience a true Miami Beach experience.

If you want to stay near Fort Lauderdale, a short trip to the Whiskey Creek hideout is a nice little nature paradise inside of a state park where boats have access to. Below a video of boats at Whiskey Creek.

Boats at the end of the day at Whiskey Creek Hideout in Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale.

Boat Charter options in South Florida

Let’s take a look at some of the boat charter services available in South Florida.

Kokomo Charters for different affordable options in Miami

A dolphin jumps out of the water behind a Kokomo Charter.
A dolphin jumps out of the water behind a Kokomo Charter.

Kokomo Charters is a full-service charter company specializing in small boats such as the Searays and private island excursions in South Florida. 

Their fleet of bowrider boats are equipped with everything you need for small groups wanting to consider different options: Full Day Charters, Half Day Charters, Sightseeing two hour Charters, Sunset and sunrise Charters too.

They offer a pick up service and they usually launch from somewhere in downtown Miami or Brickell.

Five O’Clock Charlie Boat Tours, Inc. if you are down in the Keys

Five O’Clock Charlie Boat Tours Inc. is a boat tour company based in Key West, Florida. The company offers daily tours to the uninhabited islands down in the Keys.

Five O’Clock Charlie Boat Tours has been in business for many years now, and are famous for their customer service, and their prices are unbeatable. 

Trips in Key West are usually great for nature sightseeing, swimming or diving.

South Florida Yacht Charters for mid-range to large yatching

Luxury private watches can be chartered with South Florida Yatch Charters.
Luxury private watches can be chartered with South Florida Yatch Charters.

South Florida Yacht Charters is one of the luxury yacht charter companies in the region. They have a large fleet of some of the most luxurious boats with vessels ranging from mid-range to ultimate luxurious 120 foot.

They offer a lot of key information on their website about their services, the destinations you can visit, party boat cruises, and other essential information. 

Some yachts come with jet-ski, jacuzzis, floating mats, and even fishing gear upon request.

Miami Yachting Company for luxury yatching

With Miami Yachting company, companies can rent yachts for team building, or groups can also get into luxurious yachts for a few hours cruising around Miami.

They have captain, crew, lunch, drinks, gear, water toys and more! And also offer catering options for your group.

These yachts belong to wealthy investors that rent them through Miami Yachting Company when they are not using their boats. Yes, if you didn’t know. Now you know. Chartering is a way to maintain their investments without leaving it simply parked.

Look for their deals on their websites.

Fishing charters in Fort Lauderdale

Fishing charters are also good options in South Florida if you are interesting in sport fishing. They are usually a few hour tours with all the equipment, a knowledgeable captain such as Captain Mike from Lauderdale Sport Fishing out of Fort Lauderdale. They take you out on their trawler looking for fish in the local area.

Captain Mike runs a custom 41’ Hatteras Sport Fishing boat that’s fully equipped with a full tuna tower, twin diesel power, state of the art fish finder GPS and VHF radio. This charter fishing vessel is fully equipped with top of the line tackle to ensure a successful day on the water. 

Fishing charters out of Fort Lauderdale offer trips with all equipment for fishing.
Fishing charters out of Fort Lauderdale offer trips with all equipment and routes for catching fish.

Pirate ship parties for kids

Another option if you have kids and are looking to do something fun with them is the Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, a cruise on the Fort Lauderdale river for Birthday Parties, and BYOB Adult Cruises in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Pictures up top.

Pirate ship charters for kids on the Fort Lauderdale new river.
Pirate ship charters for kids on the Fort Lauderdale new river.

Impromptu non-planned short cruises

If you want the water experience but not have to reserve, put down a deposit and book a day with a charter company, simply take the water taxi at either Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

  • Miami Water Taxi: between downtown Miami and Miami Beach. Departing from Bayside Marketplace  To the Miami-Beach/ South Beach Marina. Or from the Hyatt convention center to the Bentley Marina in South Beach.
  • Fort Lauderdale Water Taxi: departing from many areas of the Fort Lauderdale New River: Downtown, the Riverwalk, and trips on the Intracoastal up to Pompano or down to Hollywood. Great for trying new restaurants on the water.
New River free water taxi in Fort Lauderdale.

Frequently Asked Questions about boat charters

These are just some of the best boat charter companies in South Florida. The region is filled with other companies that offer equally as amazing and luxurious services as the companies mentioned above. So if you are planning to charter a boat, do proper research in order to make the best decision for your needs.

Where can I charter a boat in Miami Florida?

The best way is online, and most trips leave from downtown, Brickell or other areas in eastern Miami or Miami Beach by the canals where most marinas are. Some will also offer pick up service options but you can easily take an Uber or Lyft to the location too.

What is included in the price of a party boat charter?

Usually everything you need for your event. Typically that includes your use of the vessel, food and beverage catering, fuel for local cruising and all taxes. Add-on services such as photo / video, DJ or band can also be quoted separately.

What questions to ask before chartering a boat?

Be careful when making reservations: Make sure the company you work with is reputable, has reviews, check their refund policy, etc… with instagram and Facebook ads, its very easy for people that are not even in Florida to try and catfish you into making a deposit to a boat that doesn’t exist.

What is a charter on a boat?

A yacht charter is a contract for the temporary provision of sailing or motor yachts. The ship owner – the charterer – rents out his ship for a charter fee. A charter contract is concluded to regulate rights and obligations on both sides.

Do you tip a charter boat captain? And how much to tip a boat captain?

Captains of charter boat fishing reported that they usually receive tips of 10-20% of the trip’s cost. A 15% tip is generally expected. The tip for a full-day trip is $600. The tip is split among the captain and the crew on most boats.

How much do boat charters in South Florida cost?

Boat rentals start at 400 U$D for a 3 hour rental with no captain. They go from 500 U$D for a small group of 4 people on a chartered small boat through the rivers of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. For catered trips for about 12 people on a luxury large yatch start at about 4000 U$D for 4 hours trip.

Max Francisco