Gulf Island Tours is one of Charlotte County's newer boat chartering companies, having arrived in Florida last October of 2012. They offer several great ways to explore our unique coastal towns and barrier island beaches from the very best vantage point - the water! Gulf Island Tours is owned and operated by Capt. Stuart Keel and his wife, Angela, both natives of the southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. Based out of Englewood Yacht Club in Englewood, FL, the tour company offers full day yacht charters and overnight cruise packages on their 45 foot Carver Voyager pilothouse yacht, the "Reel Keel." Captain Stuart Keel is originally from Martin County, North Carolina where he spent his life hunting and fishing along the banks of Pamlico, Beaufort and Bogue Sounds. Each summer, he would visit family in St. Petersburg, Florida for several months exploring waterways around Tampa and St. Pete at every available opportunity. He describes his love for the water as something that almost feels like as an inherited trait. In fact, his ancestral surname "Keiller" actually means the "Pilot of the Long Ships!" He has a 50 ton Master Captain's license and has been a waterman for over 35 years.
The "Reel Keel" features an interior and exterior roomy enough that you can sit back and enjoy your charter in complete comfort. It's like being in your very own private five star hotel with panoramic views that change daily. On board, you'll find two full staterooms with two full baths, a large L-shaped sectional with recliners, satellite TV, a circular sofa in the lower helm station and a fully equipped galley kitchen to port. Up top, the flybridge comfortably seats six around a big dining table where you can enjoy your meals and favorite cocktails alfresco! If you'd prefer to dine ashore, there are many fantastic "casually elegant" restaurants on the itinerary to choose from. If swimming, shelling and sunbathing is more of what you have in mind, there are grills and cooking areas, both upstairs and down. The best part about a yacht charter, or any kind of cruise, is that you will get to see a lot of different islands, depending on the length of your cruise. The yacht charter itinerary includes: Venice, Manasota Key, Little Gasparilla Island & Boca Grande, Cayo Costa & Cabbage Key, Captiva and Sanibel Islands all the way down to historic Fort Myers.
All full day and overnight cruising packages offer free round trip luxury limousine transfers within a 30 mile radius of Englewood. Gulf Island Tours are unique in that they are the only tour company in our area that offers free limousine service. Of course, the limousine can also be rented by itself for any special occasion. People from all walks of life, from lands near and far have enjoyed the luxurious Chrysler 300 Super Stretch limousine. It features color changing LED lights, two flatscreen TV's with a DVD player and phenomenal sound system. Many people have said "It's almost a destination in it's own right!" The owners have a vast DVD music video collection for your enjoyment and of course, you are allowed beverages of your choice. This is a very welcoming retreat after a long day of traveling to Florida. For people flying into Florida for their three night Platinum package charter, they actually go to the grocery stores by way of the limousine to provision for their trip. Angela said "It's the perfect way to break the ice with people before going on a long boat journey. I really enjoy helping people provision for their journey out to sea; it's all part of the excitement and I can make sure they have what they need to be completely comfortable."
In addition to yacht charters, Gulf Island Tours offers full day tours and sunset cruises on their 30 foot double decker pontoon boat "The H2O Limo" which is located at Eldred's Marina just before the Boca Grande Causeway. Prepare to be dazzled as this boat has been fully customized and features blue LED lights, two flat screen TV's with DVD player and a jamming sound system complete with Sirius satellite radio! The H2O Limo features large sofas on the bow, large shaded areas for dining, a small bathroom and kitchen, and another huge sofa on the stern. The main charter areas for the H2O Limo include Boca Grande, Venice, Stump Pass Beach, Don Pedro Island, Palm Island, Matlacha and Cabbage Key. This boat can also be rented as a bareboat rental for experienced boaters. All full day H2O Limo charters also include free limousine service for the residents and visitors of Charlotte County! Special reduced limousine prices are offered for people outside of these areas for added convenience.
If that's not enough....there is more!
Gulf Island Tours also has three great Carolina skiff boats and a 22 foot Citation Deck Boat that can be rented by the day, week or longer if you have your own dock! They will deliver the rental boats to Little Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande, Venice, Punta Gorda for free and to Pine Island, Cape Coral and Bokellia for a nominal fee. These are perfect shallow running boats for flats fishing, mangrove touring or for going shelling on our wonderful beaches. Both boats have all USCG safety equipment, live bait tanks, GPS Sonar fish finders along with big coolers for your catch of the day.
So, if you are visiting the area or are local residents looking for a fun and interesting venue that's sure to please everyone in your crowd, be sure to give Gulf Island Tours a call.