Destination Gulf Coast: Pensacola Bay Cruises

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — As COVID-19 travel restrictions continue this summer, we are showcasing local attractions and locations for a summertime “staycation.” For today’s Destination Gulf Coast report, Drexel Gilbert hops a ferry boat to take you on a fun trip around Pensacola Bay!

Pensacola Bay Cruises to Ft Pickens and Pensacola Beach are underway once again.

“We are ecstatic to be back, to be able to serve the Pensacola community an opportunity to get out on Pensacola Bay enjoy some fresh air,” says Kelly Langley, Events and Sales Coordinator for Pensacola Bay Cruises.

“We start downtown and we do four round trips around Pensacola Bay. The first stop is Ft. Pickens. When you get there, you can hop on or hop off if you wish. If you hop off, you are there for approximately 2½ hours then you would catch the next boat that comes back around. From there, you go to Pensacola Beach. From there you can hop on, hop off for the day or for the 2.5 hours and then ride the boat back to downtown,” Langley said.

“So the entire loop (if you don’t hop off) takes about 2.5 to 3 hours. Some people come and just ride the boat. They just want to stay on, order a cocktail and enjoy the beautiful day,” Langley said.

Riders on the ferry boat this day included locals and visitors from as far away as Colorado. A local rider likes the convenience of avoiding beach traffic, saying “You get to park right downtown and avoid the traffic on the bridge and enjoy your trip over.”

A visitor from Nevada adds that he feels safe on the boat because of its cleanliness, and open-air environment saying, “I feel very safe. It’s outside and it’s fresh air.”

Port Captain Doug Prater says the crew is “always cleaning., We’re focusing on high touch areas like the restrooms, the counters, the handrails. We’ve built in an extra half hour in the middle of the day to do an even deeper cleaning.”

The ferry boats leave from the foot of Commendencia Street in downtown Pensacola. In addidtion to the daily excursions, Pensacola Bay Cruises offers specialty cruises, such as sunset cruises, private charters for businesses, organizations and individuals.

“A girls’ night out charter is always fun,” says Langley.

“Every day is a happy day here,” adds Capt. Prater.

Once the Blue Angels resume a regular practice schedule, Langley says Pensacola Bay Cruises will again offer cruises that give passengers the opportunity to watch those practices from the water. For information on the ferry boat schedule, specialty cruises and pricing information, go to www.pensacolabaycruise.com.

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