Florida Guide > Days Out
Cristmas Canal cruises at Punta Gorda
If you are staying in the Rotonda West area in December one of the best trips to really get you in the Christmas spirit is to take a boat trip from Fisherman’s Village, Punta Gorda. Boat trips can be taken all year round but for many years the boats have been crossing the harbour to see the lights on the houses along the Punta Gorda canals. Many of the houses backing onto the canals are in the $1, 000, 000 price range. Traditionally from early December until New Year’s Eve the houses and their boats are beautifully decorated for the holidays.
The trips are organised by the Kingfisher Fleet who do three 1 hour trips a night. Popular with all generations they do get booked fast. The booking desk is halfway along on the right at Fisherman’s Village, Punta Gorda or call 941-639-0969 for availability. The larger boats hold up to one hundred people with prices starting at $16 for adults. The boats have rows of seats which comfortably seat 3 adults each side. It does not matter which side you sit as the boat returns exactly the same way. What you miss on the way out you will have the opportunity to see on the return. You can also hire a smaller cabin boat which holds 6 people for $125.
The best time to go is probably the first trip of the evening. As the boat sails out of Fisherman’s Village you can enjoy the sun setting over the harbour. If the weather is mild enough you may even spot Dolphins. Hot chocolate is also served if you are feeling chilly but normally only a sweater or wind proof jacket is needed. Once in the canals it is sheltered from the wind.
During the tour you will get the opportunity to see lights around the residential homes, on the owner’s boats, on the sea walls and also around Punta Gouda Yacht Club. Boats of all shapes and sizes cruise the canals to enjoy the wonderful displays which vary from Floridian palms and dolphins, cartoon and Disney characters even to a line of illuminated Santa’s washing at one home!
If you take the earlier cruise you will be back in plenty of time to have dinner in one of the restaurant’s in the village or in Punta Gorda itself. One word of warning, if you go on a Monday make sure your choice of restaurant is actually open to the public as many are booked for Christmas parties on Mondays. Alternatively you can wander along Fisherman’s Village which is beautifully decorated for the season. The shops normally stay open late during the festive season and have plenty of choice for Christmas gifts.
Author: Val Easton
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