Seaplane Charters: Florida and The Bahamas
Your gateway to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and other tropical destinations, Port Canaveral is the largest cruise ship terminal in the United States. Located on Florida’s East Coast this port of call is home to some of the largest cruise ship fleets including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and most famously the Disney Cruise Line that hosts their own terminal!
Aside from cruising, this area is also home to the Kennedy Space Center which offers daily tours of this out of this world facility! You can even experience a simulation of a real space shuttle launch or visit the “Rocket Garden” which features some of the most famous capsules to kiss the sky! If you are lucky you may just catch a glimpse of a shuttle headed for a galaxy far, far away!
If ships of the sea and stars don’t peak your interest, you might want to explore the U.S. Air Force Space & Missile Museum, Manatee Sanctuary Park, or one of the many beautiful beachside parks. What better way to begin your adventure than on a seaplane!
Captiva is a piece of paradise located off Florida’s southwestern shore in the Gulf of Mexico just north of Sanibel Island (another paradise) and we’d love to take you there. The island was originally part of Sanibel Island until a hurricane came through in 1926 separating the two. Now the space between them, known as Blind Pass, is a well-known spot frequented by fishermen. The island is just five miles long with beautiful white sand beaches. Here you will see some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises you’ll ever see.
This charming island is a perfect family destination with something for everyone. There are plenty of children’s activities and water sports to choose from. The kids can learn to sail, go snorkeling or drift around on paddleboards. Both Captiva and Sanibel Island are known as two of the best destinations in the world for collecting seashells. Take a bucket and you can expect to find plenty of the sea’s jewels. Fishing is another popular pursuit in the waters surrounding Captiva. There are fishing guides who have spent years learning exactly where to go to satisfy the diehard anglers who visit.
Several resorts, hotels, and rental properties are available for your visit. The South Seas Island Resort and Yacht Harbor makes up the northern 2 miles of the island and has a lot to offer. ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort is another great destination. It’s a little more rustic and symbolic of Florida’s past. Both resorts are great destinations for weddings, honeymoons, or family reunions. They also have spas which is what I always look for in a resort.
If you’re looking for a place to take the kids out to dinner, check out the very colorful Bubble Room, a restaurant with collections of old toys from the 1930s and 40s and where you’ll hear the music from those eras as well.
Another great destination for our seaplanes is Gasparilla Island, located off the Gulf Coast. It is the home of Gasparilla State Park and the lovely (and much photographed) Boca Grande Lighthouse, the oldest structure on the island, now a quaint museum. Boca Grande, the island’s only town, is known as the “tarpon fishing capitol of the world.” Anglers from all over descend on the island every year for the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament. It’s a sight to behold with up to one hundred boats jockeying for position in a space of two to three acres of water. It’s great fun!
The highlight of the island, The Gasparilla Inn and Club, built in 1913, is designated a member of Historic Hotels of America. The atmosphere harkens back to a simpler time. The Inn has four restaurants, a championship golf course, seven tennis courts, croquet, a spa with ten rooms, and a large swimming pool that overlooks the beach. It’s a perfect setting for weddings, honeymoons and family vacations. What would make it even better? Arriving by seaplane of course! For years Mark Futch, an island resident, brought guests in on his four seater Maule. He retired three years ago and then had a change of heart. Now he’s flying with Shoreline providing flights to all the destinations he’s come to know and love.
People come here for the fishing and the beaches, but there’s plenty to do here. Long ago the island used to be connected to the mainland by train. Now there is a 7-mile long bike path on the old trestle route. You can stop along the path for a swim or some snorkeling. There are also shops, restaurants, nature trails and a Maritime Museum to explore. It’s no wonder people return here year after year.
Like many of the islands in the Florida Keys, Key Largo is known for its underwater landscape of coral reefs, botanicals, and marine life! Molasses Reef has become a top destination for divers and snorkelers. There are all sorts of underwater creatures to discover for those brave enough to dare!
This key has been a hot spot for directors and producers over the years with some of Hollywood’s biggest films being made here! A signature event on Key Largo is the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, which pays tribute to the actor who put Key Largo on the map. You can view screenings of Bogart’s greatest films as well as new entries from up and coming filmmakers!
When visiting the Keys, make sure a stop at Key Largo is on your list. Here’s looking at you kid!
In the Florida Keys, Key West lies at the southernmost tip of the United States and there’s a concrete marker there confirming this fact. Key West is the most popular among the Keys. The town consists of brightly hued conch style homes and many shops of local artisans who are just as colorful. The population is very laid back despite all the tourists coming through. A must-see stop is the Ernest Hemingway House, now a museum, where you can walk through and learn about the life of one of our best-known authors. You can also check out the more than 50 six-toed cats that still reside around the property.
Those travelers who enjoy getting wet may be surprised to find that Key West is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs and fish species. This makes it a popular destination for divers, snorkelers and treasure hunters. For those interested in treasure, check out the booty at Mel Fisher’s Maritime Heritage Museum. Relics and jewels (the largest emeralds I’ve ever seen) from his underwater adventures make this an exceptional stop on your trip.
For the land lovers, I would suggest a stroll down Duval Street which is the heart of the town. Here you will find many unique shops, bars, and restaurants (where you might find alligator and frog legs on the menu). There is a great deal of entertainment going on in Key West. Head to the dock at the end of the afternoon and you can see all sorts of acrobatic acts, magic tricks and musicians plying their talents. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself dancing along to the music of the street musicians lining the strip. It’s one of those places where you can quickly lose your inhibitions!
This vibrant island has something for everyone and what better way to see it then by seaplane!
Marathon sits in the center of 13 barrier islands known for their stunning beaches and coral reefs. This city is a ten-mile long family-oriented community. Marathon is a great base for exploring the entire Florida Keys.
Anglers will be excited to know that Marathon is a great fishing destination. The waters offshore teem with billfish and tuna in the winter months, bridge-hugging tarpon towards spring, and dolphin (the fish, not Flipper) peak in the summertime.
The Marathon City Marina is one of the largest in the Key’s; boasting 1,200 wet slips, 1,200 dry slips, and over 200 moorings. The city marina is minutes away from Sombrero Reef which attracts divers and snorkelers from around the world. If you’re interested in sea turtles, Coco Plum Beach and Sombrero Beach are two areas where loggerhead turtles nest. Curry Hammock State Park has a mangrove creek where snorkelers might find some juvenile fish growing among the roots of the mangroves. There is also the Dolphin Research Center to check out, as well as Crane Point, a bird rescue center located in a tropical forest.
Our seaplanes can take you to your favorite destination in Marathon where you are just moments away from a perfect vacation!
Miami’s Seaplane Base has been in operation since 1926. It’s located on Watson Island about two miles from the city center, easily accessible to downtown Miami, Miami Beach, and South Beach. The address is 1000 MacArthur Causeway. Parking is located just behind the Miami Children’s Museum. For many years, Chalk’s operated the seaplane base serving those traveling between Miami and The Bahamas. The base is public and several seaplane operator’s use the facilities there. The facility is rather dated, but quaint. It harkens back to a more romantic time in seaplane history.
The advantage of flying into the Miami Seaplane Base is its proximity to the Miami Cruise Terminal. You can find the following cruise lines there:
Azmara • Carnival • Celebrity • Costa • Disney • Hapag Lloyd • MSC • Norwegian
Taking a seaplane ride to a cruise ship is a great start for any vacation! Call us at 800-468-8639 to book or for more details.
Orlando, one of the most popular places in the United States, has become a top destination for both young and old. The most popular attraction is operated by the mouse himself, Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971 and has since grown into one of the largest entertainment properties in the world. This all-inclusive venue boasts four major amusement parks, two water parks, twenty-seven themed resort hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs! This property continues to grow and entice travelers from all around the world to come experience the “magic”!
While Disney may be the “big cheese” (pun intended), there are many other entertainment venues in the area! Universal Studios Orlando has expanded their property to include resorts, a brand-new water park, and the ever-popular Harry Potter brand. Another attraction, SeaWorld, is geared toward those you enjoy the wonderful creatures found in aquatic environments including dolphins, sea lions and Orca whales.
For those families who take in Disney World and follow it up with a Disney cruise, our seaplanes can fly you to Port Canaveral to the Disney Cruise Line terminal. It’s all part of the adventure!
Known as “The Island Paradise” Sanibel has much to offer. Almost half the island makes up the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which was designated a National Refuge in 1945. The act ensured that this habitat, consisting of 6,400 acres of mangrove forest, would be preserved for the 245 species that live there including some that are endangered. There is an Education Center that is well worth a visit especially if you’re traveling with children.
A sign that greets visitors as they arrive reads, “Welcome to our Sanctuary,” which pretty much sizes up the general atmosphere. In addition to the Refuge, Sanibel is one of the best spots in the world for shell collecting. The Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum on the island is dedicated to the study of malacology and conchology. You’ll see shells of all types and sizes as well as rare species. If you’re shell hunting on the beach, my advice is to find a field guide on shells to help you identify the different creatures who inhabit these exoskeletons, especially if you’re traveling with children.
There are numerous beaches, nature trails, and bike trails to explore. If you’re interested in water sports, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard or, for the more adventurous, there’s parasailing. For anglers visiting Sanibel you’ll find an abundance of guides and charter boats ready to help you locate your favorite fish including tarpon, red snapper, grouper, shark, and my favorite, hogfish.
The island has plenty of hotels, inns, and condo rentals available. It’s a well-known spot for weddings. What could be more exciting for the bride and groom than to be flown in, or better yet, whisked off to start the honeymoon. Shoreline’s seaplanes are available to make that happen. Sundial Beach Resort is a great spot for a wedding. There’s also South Seas Island Resort, Pelican’s Roost, Sunset Beach Inn, Sanibel Inn and many others. Do a little research based on your favorite activities and you’re bound to find your very own sanctuary on Sanibel Island.
Useppa Island is located about five miles from mainland Florida in Pine Island Sound. There are no bridges and no cars. Residents, many of whom are retired, get around on bicycles and golf carts. Access to the island is limited to boats or seaplanes. Shuttle and taxi service to the mainland is available so islanders can stock up on necessities when needed. Many have their own boats which provide them not only access to the mainland, but access to about twenty different restaurants on nearby islands.
The Useppa Island Club is an exclusive private resort for its own members which extends over 100 acres of the island. Residents have access to tennis courts, croquet and bocce ball. Sailing is a highly competitive sport at the club as well. The Collier Inn, which is part of the Island Club, was built in the first decade of the 1900s. It is an elegant resort with rooms, suites and cottages; the perfect spot for a destination wedding.
Water sports abound on Useppa Island. There are regular regattas among the cat boat owners. At the local marina, you’ll find fishing charter boats lined up next to yachts of up to 100 feet. Kayaks and paddleboards are available for the more contemplative visitors.
While you’re there don’t miss the Barbara Sumwalt Museum where you can learn about the long history of the island, dating from its first inhabitants, the Calusa people, to recent times, when our government trained Cuban exiles to help with the Bay of Pigs invasion. It’s quite a history!
For trips within The Bahamas,
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FAQs: Florida to The Bahamas
Shoreline Aviation is an FAA approved charter company with 25 years experience flying between Florida and the islands of The Bahamas. We can take you to your favorite destinations including resorts, marinas, private yachts (including provisions and parts), and fishing lodges.
Call us at 800-468-8639 or fill out the “Request a Seaplane Charter” form on this website. Tell us where and when you want to go and we’ll work out the details with you and provide you with a quote.
Yes, you will need a valid passport to arrive in and depart from both the U.S. and The Bahamas.
All flights arriving or departing The Bahamas and/or arriving in the USA must clear Customs and Immigration at a designated Airport of Entry (AOE). There are several airports in Florida and The Bahamas so designated. These are denoted as (AOE) on the drop-down menu for our “Request a Seaplane Charter” form on this website. If you are traveling to or from a destination that is not an Airport of Entry, the flight must stop at an AOE before proceeding on to its final destination.
We have a few aircraft working in the Florida/Bahama region and each has a different interior configuration. The maximum number of passengers we can accommodate is eight. All flights are weight limited.
All water operations must be completed prior to official sunset.
A 50% charge will be incurred for cancellations within 48 hours. A flight cancelled the day of the flight will be charged at the full amount.
We fly each charter trip with a highly experienced Seaplane Captain and a First Officer on board.
Safety is always our first priority. Operations may be cancelled or postponed in the event of severe weather. High winds or rough seas may impact water operations.
Departure Tax or Passenger Tax is collected from all persons departing for a port outside the Bahamas. This tax of BS$15.00 is collected from every person 6 years and older.
Yacht Transfers • Marinas & Resorts • Fishing Lodges
Seaplane Charters within Florida
Captiva Island • Gasparilla Island • Sanibel Island • The Florida Keys • Useppa Island
Naples • Fort Myers • Sarasota • St Petersburg • Tampa
Orlando • Port Canaveral (Cruise Ship Port)
Palm Beach • Fort Lauderdale • Miami
Miami Seaplane Base (Cruise Ship Port)
Seaplane Charters between Florida & The Bahamas
Baker’s Bay • Green Turtle Cay • Hopetown Harbour • Marsh Harbour
Sandy Point • Spanish Cay • Treasure Cay • Walker’s Cay
Congo Town (So. Andros) • Fresh Creek (Central Andros)
San Andros (No. Andros) • Kamalame Cay
Chubb Cay • Great Harbor Cay • Whale Cays
South Bimini • Ocean Cay • Cat Cay
Arthur’s Town • Cutlass Bay • Hawks Nest • New Bight
Crooked & Acklin Islands
Spring Point • Colonial Hill • Pittstown Point
Governor’s Harbour • Harbour Island (Pink Sands and Valentines Resort)
North Eleuthera • Rock Sound • Schooner Cays
Bell Islands • Big Major Cay (Pig Beach) • Black Point
Cistern Cay • Compass Cay • Fowl Cay • Georgetown/Exuma Intl.
Halls Pond Cay/Little Halls Pond Cay • Highbourne Cay • Musha Cay
Norman’s Cay • Over Yonder Cay • Pipe Cay • Sampson Cay
Soldier Cay • Staniel Cay
Deep Water Cay • Freeport • West End
Deadman’s Cay • Stella Maris • Cape Santa Maria
Mayaguana • New Providence (Nassau) • Ragged Islands • Rum Cay • San Salvador
Request a Charter
When booking your trip, please remember that all inbound flights must clear Customs and Immigration at an approved Airport of Entry (AOE) before proceeding to your final destination.