Gulf Islands Water Ferry service set to launch Dec. 8

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 4:02 PM EST
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The new Gulf Islands Water Ferry service is set to kick off Friday, Dec. 8, pending final approval. The ferry will shuttle visitors and residents to and from Anna Maria Island and downtown Bradenton.

Two 50-foot open air catamarans, Miss Anna Maria and Downtown Duchess, will take riders from the day dock located directly off Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton to Anna Maria City Pier and Bridge Street Pier.

“We anticipate families parking in downtown Bradenton, hopping on the ferry at the downtown port located just off the riverwalk near Green Bridge and enjoying a beautiful boat ride out to the island,” said Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Elliott Falcione. “At the same time, visitors staying on the island can enjoy a leisure boat ride to downtown Bradenton to enjoy our amazing restaurants and attractions located on the mainland.”

The two catamarans hold 48 passengers and will have two crew aboard.

The ferry will operate Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Ride times between stops will range from 25 to 40 minutes.

A one-way ticket will cost $8 per person. Special pricing will be available for children and seniors.

In addition to providing easy transport to the island, the service is an extended commitment in working to preserve and protect the natural beauty of the area for future generations. Powered by renewable energy sources and energy-efficient design elements, the vessels further support BACVB’s Love It Like a Local initiative.

“This has been talked about for decades and now it’s here. It’s just the beginning of something great,” said Manatee County District Three Commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge.

Tickets can be purchased here.