ROOKERY BAY BOAT TOURS
Explore the Diverse Backwaters of Southwest Florida!
In celebration of National Estuaries Month all Eco-Tours are 20% OFF with code 'Estuary' during the month of September!
From May 1 – Sept 30, only morning boat tour are offered.
Boats are cleaned daily. Customers are requested to follow CDC guidelines.
BOAT TOUR OFFERINGS
Individual Tickets or Full Boat Rental Available
Essence of the Estuary
Life's A Beach
Sunset Bird Rookery Cruise
Sunset to Full Moon Cruise
Boat Tours on DINO DAYS
PRIVATE BOAT TOUR OFFERINGS
3 HOUR TOURS
ESSENCE, SHELLING, ANCIENT, & FULL MOON
Up to 6 Passengers
2 HOUR TOURS
SUNSET BIRD ROOKERY
Up to 6 Passengers
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the tours suitable for children?
On all regularly scheduled tours, the minimum age for passengers is 3. This is based on your captain’s years of experience as a professional educator and as a long-time instructor in the Florida Master Naturalist Program. Some of the interesting environmental science covered during these tours is oriented toward, and preferred by, an adult audience. Interpreting the natural and cultural history of the area for young children requires a different approach than for adults. Trying to do both at once means neither is done well. Private charters may be arranged for families with young children.
Can I come without a reservation?
Advance reservations are required. These tours are designed to be a unique and intimate natural experience and are limited to no more than six passengers. Special private charters may also be arranged. Please call to inquire.
Can I take photos?
Absolutely. Rookery Bay Reserve has always considered photography and art to be a meaningful and effective way to gain a “sense of place”. The light, colors, textures and wildness of this area make it a fantastic natural setting for photographers.
Can the general public access these same places?
Yes and no. Most locations in the Reserve require a boat to get to and there are some locations that are restricted.
Do you offer private charters?
Yes! 3-hour tour at $499 and 2-hour tour is $475.
Is the tour boat handicapped accessible?
Yes, Dino Days is handicap accessible. If you require specific accommodations , please contact us in advance at 239-530-5972.
May I bring my own refreshments on the boat?
It’s okay to bring your own refreshments, but alcohol is not permitted. You are responsible for carrying your items to the beach and back (a short hike, in the dark). Big coolers are a bad idea, and on the boat, your captain will ask guests to be careful that nothing blows overboard (plastic bags).
How can I receive a discount?
Our tours are intimate, nature-viewing and learning experiences, limited to ONLY six passengers per tour. Our tours are competitively priced, and proceeds support the Friends of Rookery Bay. For this reason, the only discount offered on these tours is 10-20% off, available to Friends of Rookery Bay members. Learn more about membership.
What kind of boat is used?
We have 2 vessels. Tringa is a 24-foot Carolina Skiff specially outfitted for this purpose. Dino Days is a 28-foot Bennigton Pontoon. The boats are extremely stable and perfect for negotiating the narrow creeks and shallow backwaters of the Reserve. There are comfortable individual seats for each passenger (maximum of six), a fully shaded canopy, a very quiet four-stroke Yamaha outboard engine and all required safety equipment.
What kind of wildlife might we see?
It depends on the time of year (for migrating birds), which trip you are on and the luck of the day. Other visitors on these trips have seen: bottle-nosed dolphins, manatees, wild hogs, deer, raccoons, bald eagles, magnificent frigate birds, peregrine falcons, black-crowned night herons, roseate spoonbills, spotted sandpipers, American oyster catchers, gopher tortoises, mangrove tree crabs, sea slugs, Bartram’s hairstreak butterflies and a host of interesting native plants and wildflowers.
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Memberships start at $20 per year.