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Cruises & boat tours

Check these out

By Times Staff Writer
Published September 15, 2005

Billy's Stonecrab Boat Tour

38-passenger excursion boat takes 30-minute narrated eco-tour of waterways near Fort Desoto. 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. Tue.-Thur., weather permitting. Free with $1 purchase at Billy's. 1120 Pinellas Bayway, Tierra Verde. (727) 866-2115.

Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center

Two-hour Dolphin Watch sails three times daily on Boca Ciega Bay, $30 adults, $20 children. Shell Island Adventure, 31/2-hour cruise to the barrier island, call for schedule, $40 adults, $30 children. Two-hour Sunset Sail, $30. 4737 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. 727 360-7411; or www.dolphinlandings.com

DolphinQuest Eco-tour

Experts help look for bottlenose dolphins, manatees, native birds and fish in two-hour tour of Tampa Bay aboard Bay Spirit, a 64-foot catamaran. Times change depending on demand. $18.95, $17.95 seniors, $13.95 ages 3-12. Combo ticket for Florida Aquarium and DolphinQuest available. Buy tickets at Florida Aquarium box office, 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Call for tour updates. (813) 273-4000.

River Odyssey Ecotour

Naturalists lead one-hour tours down Hillsborough River for views of gopher tortoises, hawks, herons, manatees and more. Tickets sold at the front gate of Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Tour departs at river across the road from zoo, several times daily. (813) 935-8552. $14 adults, $13 seniors, $10 children ages 3-11; zoo and ecotour combo tickets available.

Sarasota Bay Tours

Two-hour nature cruise aboard the Sarasota Bay Explorer, with marine biologist on board. Tours at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. daily. 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. (941) 388-4200. $26 adult, $22 ages 4-12.

Sea Life Safari

Two-hour cruise along the Intercoastal Waterway of Clearwater Beach guided by a marine biologist from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Departs at 11 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. daily from the Clearwater Municipal Marina, 25 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater. (727) 462-2628. $17.75 adults, $11.45 children ages 3-12. Combination tickets for cruise and aquarium available.

Sea Screamer

One-hour rides and dolphin-watching on a 73 foot speedboat; tours leave at noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. daily, weather permitting; call to confirm departures. (727) 447-7200. Clearwater Beach Marina, 25 Causeway Blvd., Slip 15, Clearwater Beach. Regular fare: $15 adults, $10 children ages 5-12, ages 4 and under free.

Shell Key Shuttle

Daily departures for roundtrip boat ride aboard 49-passenger vessel to the Shell Key Preserve, unspoiled barrier island. Departs 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., with return trips at 12:15, 2:15 or 4:15 p.m. Also 90-minute Sunset Cruise with sightseeing through residential waterways and barrier islands; normally departs one hour before sunset (times vary with season), reservations required. $16.35 adults, $8.17 children. 801 Pass-a-Grille Way, St. Pete Beach. (727) 360-1348..

Tampa Duck Adventures

90-minute historical sightseeing tours of land and water in downtown Tampa on amphibious 49-passenger Hydra Terra "duck-type" vessel. Tours Ybor City, downtown and the Channel District by land, then explores the waters off Davis Islands. Tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wed.-Sun. no tours Tuesday from Cruise Ship Terminal 2, 651 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $25, $20 seniors, $18 ages 6-12, $5 ages 5 and younger. (813) 341-3825; or www.duckadventures.com

Yacht Starship Dining Cruises

Brunch, lunch or dinner cruises with entertainment. $39.95 adult and $26.95 child for lunch or Sunday brunch cruises; and $69.95 adult, $39.95 child for dinner cruise; tax and gratuity not included. Additional fee may apply for booking by phone. Call or check Web site for cruise schedule, to book online, and get Florida residents rates. Docked at 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa. 813 223-7999; or www.yachtstarship.com

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