5 of the Best Orlando Boat Tours

by Oliver Stallwood  |  Published January 9, 2024

Skip a day at a theme park to explore the swamps, lakes and sea around Orlando, Florida. Here are five of the Best Orlando Boat Tours: 

(Photo: getyourguide.com)

The closest a lot of people get to water in Orlando is a trip to Wet ‘n Wild. But Orlando in Florida offers so many great options to get out on the lakes and sea, getting up close to the many natural wonders the state has to offer. Outdoor activities include airboat tours, nature parks, natural springs, wildlife viewing, kayaking and off-roading. Florida is fast becoming a destination as much for eco-tourism as it is for roller coasters – and that’s a great thing. Here’s a guide to five of the best boat tours in and around Orlando:

Wild Florida Everglades Airboat & Wildlife Park

Probably the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to boats in Florida is an airboat skimming through the Everglades. This tour doesn’t disappoint, flying through 4,200 acres of lush scenery, including protected swamps, marshes and rivers, at the heart of the Central Florida Everglades. There’s a reason why this tour is top rated – it’s particularly well organised. From the friendly knowledgeable US Coast Guard approved captains and boats to the fully insured facility (the property is all privately owned); it’s a quality 30-minute adrenaline ride for not that much money. Wildlife park admission if thrown in too as well as a live alligator demonstration. From €31.97.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Private Sunset Sailing Trip on Lake Fairview

(Photo: getyouguide.com)

For something a bit more romantic than bombing it through the Everglades pointing at alligators, how about this sunset sailing trip? The 25ft MacGregor sailboat heads out onto the calm waters of Lake Fairview at sunset for a two hour private tour. But it doesn’t stop there. For anyone who wants to try their hand at sailing an instructor will explain how to help trim the sail and take the helm – by the end you’ll feel like you are part of the crew. Then sit back and enjoy the sunset as it reflects in the water. From €81.30.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Clearwater Beach Pirate Cruise with Lunch

Calling all budding Jack and Jacqueline Sparrows. This is a legit pirate cruise around Clearwater Beach from Orlando, accompanied by stories of Captain Kidd and the infamous Blackbeard. The bright red Pirate’s Ransom, a custom-made 70f vessel, certainly looks the part, and the two-hour tour includes a treasure hunt, face painting, water guns, story-telling, and dancing. No pieces of eight will be needed for lunch too – food at a local beachside restaurant is included – but you’ll probably be out of cash anyway from the anything-but-cheap tour price. From €154.38.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Urban Clear Kayak or Paddleboard in Paradise

(Photo: getyourguide.com)

The most sedate way to hit the water near Orlando is by kayak or paddleboard. You get a choice of vessel on this tour (take the kayak, it’s much more relaxing) as well as lessons and instruction throughout. There is something wonderfully eco about floating around Lake Ivanhoe in a clear kayak, looking out for fish, otters, turtles and birds. Don’t worry either, there are no alligators in this lake. From €59.38.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Riverboat Sunset Cruise in St Cloud

Just 30 minutes from Orlando is East Lake Toho and one of the most relaxing boat tours you can find. The Pearl of the Lake is a period-style paddle wheel riverboat that takes visitors out at sunset, chugging past beaches and nature, all with music, drinks and snacks served up inside. It’s simple but charming, with plenty of people, both locals and holidaymakers onboard to get to know. A top tip is save room for dinner after the hour-and-a-half trip at one of the many restaurants nearby. From €35.34.

Book at Viator.com