They're Back, Island Boat Lines Eco Tours Returns to Cocoa Beach -- Servicing Port Canaveral Cruise Ships, Schools & Tourists

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Those traveling east bound to Cocoa Beach Florida on State Road 520 will discover two big yellow boats as they enter the beach. One may appreciate these bright and cheery vessels as a wonderful way to welcome visitors to Cocoa Beach. Visitors and locals will be delighted to know that these boats are the Island Boat Lines eco tour boats who have returned to Sunset Cafe after having to depart from a remote boarding location in Merritt Islands for the past six years. The City of Cocoa Beach has granted Island Boat Lines with exclusive dockage from the Sunset Café waterfront bar & grill. Island Boat Lines offer daily tours of the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands which are home to herds of Manatees, flocks of Birds and playful Dolphins.

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Over the past nine years IBL has managed to tackle many obstacles that prohibited them from continuing their operation from Sunset Café. Since 2005 their passengers have had to board from a remote location in Merritt Island. “Not being at a visible boarding location is challenging but we were happy to realize our tours were so popular that our passengers will drive anywhere to get onboard," said Penny, the boat lady and founder of Island Boat Lines.

February 17th, 2011 The City of Cocoa Beach granted approval for Island Boat Lines to return to Sunset Cafe to exclusively operate from that location. “We are so thrilled that not only will our passengers be able to board in Cocoa Beach they will also be able to enjoy wonderful food and beverages at the restaurant. The Sunset Café, waterfront bar & grill offers fresh seafood, wonderful entertainment, outdoor & inside dining, full liquor bar service, perfect for group gatherings & special events, manatee observation deck, cat fish feeding from the docks and Island Boat Line daily eco- tours.

“We are really enjoying being back in Cocoa Beach at Sunset Café. Yesterday a little boy in a wheel chair on vacation from Holland with his family was able to enjoy a boat tour. They tried to take a tour out of a park in Merritt Island and the tour boat operators turned them away. He was upset and teary eyed when a friendly and concerned flats boat captain witnessed the family being turned away. The Captain told them about the Island Boat Line tours that departed from Sunset Café in Cocoa Beach. They showed up at the dock and were welcomed onboard. The little boy and his family said that 'the eco tour was the best thing they had done since they were in Florida.' They were so happy, which is why my crew and I do this. We love sharing the joys that boating bring to others. It is so rewarding to have a young child who is limited to a wheel chair able to enjoy a boat tour just like everyone else. Life is good!” Said Penny.

If one wonders where many of the tour boat passengers come from that ride the river with Island Boat Lines they will discover that these unique passengers are from all over the world. Island Boat Lines is known worldwide. Travel writers and convention excursion agents frequently feature the Island Boat Line tours in their publications. This year Island Boat Line tours are also featured in the Orlando UK Travel Guide.

Island Boat Lines educational field trips is a favorite amongst local schools and Universities. Debbie Sheridan, the field trip coordinator works one on one with every teacher to ensure that their field trip is a success.

All tours are guided by a professional naturalist and master captain who educate and share historical information about the Space Coast, Indian River Lagoon and the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands. A bit of humor and music is also enjoyed on every tour.

Island Boat Lines also offers shore excursions to cruise ships in Port Canaveral. Ship passengers can ensure they have a seat onboard by purchasing a boarding pass at the shore excursion desk on their ship. Otherwise with limited seating they risk not getting a boarding pass when they are shore side.

Island Boat Line Tours are not currently being offered on any Carnival Cruise Lines ship so CCL passengers can purchase boarding passes directly from Island Boat Lines. They can also enjoy Sunset Café before or after their eco tour. This local treasure will ensure their visit to Cocoa Beach will be memorable.

So to sum up this bit of news…
Island Boat Lines is back in Cocoa Beach.
They are the BIG YELLOW BOATS you see as you enter Cocoa Beach.
Tours depart twice daily 10:00 am & 2:00 pm from Sunset Waterfront Bar & Grill.
Boarding location: 500 West Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach Florida.
Passengers should call ahead to confirm availability and to make a reservation.
Passengers can also book online.
Bus parking is not permitted at the boarding location. Buses can drop off group travelers and pick up following the tour or after they have finished dining.
For additional information call Island Boat Lines 321-454-7414

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Penny Flaherty
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