Ah, the sweet elixir of salty fresh air off the waters of Pensacola Beach, Florida..
I had just hopped on the newest form of transportation in Pensacola, The Pensacola Bay Cruises Ferry. I was greeted by the concessionaire, and the Captain himself, who greeted me in the most southern accent I have ever heard. I was so excited to finally be riding the ferry, Pensacolians, including local investors have been pushing for a ferry service to connect the area’s most popular 3 spots for quite some time.
Well folks, wish is granted, and there has never been a better time to explore, than now!
Before venturing above the deck, I discovered what there was to see below. Took a few photos, and met the ranger who was aboard the vessel interacting with a family giving out a Jr. Ranger Packet (Bravo!). It was Ranger, Joe Rainey’s first week on the job, I shot off about 15 questions (which he answered to the best of his knowledge, perfectly)! Here’s a few things I learned from him:
- Glass is allowed, you can even bring a dog; Bikes, Surfboards, Boogie boards, bring it on.
- The Park Rangers who are employed at Ft. Pickens, work in shifts each day on the ferry.
- There’s a video playing in the air conditioned seating area, they are currently playing a movie about the history of Fort Pickens.
- 65 and up is $18.50; Children 3 – 15 $13.00; Children Under 2 Free.
- They have two 149 passenger ferries that have food & beverage service.
Ranger Rainey even gave me my very own Gulf Islands Nat Seashore Turtle sticker! Sweet dude!
After all the excitement I went to see some sights from the deck. Just as I went outside we were swiftly approaching the beach bridge, which was bumper to bumper, whew, glad I’m not in that traffic.
Captain Rowe even let me drive the ferry as we approached Downtown Pensacola. Everyone thought it was a big mistake but we made it out alive.
I truly took the scenic route that afternoon, taking 3 legs of the vessel from the Beach, Downtown, Fort Pickens, and back to the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk. And although it wasn’t the most picturesque of days along the Florida Gulf Coast, it allowed for me to feel the true essence of nature, and appreciate the enjoyment of my hometown from a different perspective.
I hereby assert that this bay is the finest jewel possessed by His Majesty… not only here in America but in all his kingdom.
– Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora to the Conde de Galve, Viceroy of Mexico, June 1, 1693
If you haven’t had a chance to take the family to Fort Pickens, or the Beach this summer via ferry, I encourage you to see the surrounding area from a different view, reserve your spot today online at www.pensacolabaycruises.com.
I’m sure I’ll see you aboard Pensacola Bay Cruises, soon.
Pensacola Bay Cruise Schedule
June 22 – August 19; Monday – Sunday
August 22 – September 28; Wednesday – Sunday
September 29 – November 4; Saturday & Sunday
For more information, call 850-497-6005