Christmas Light Canal Cruise Helpful Info

Do I need to make a reservation?

These trips are very popular and they do fill up, so advance reservations are needed. Some of the departures sell out weeks or even months in advance! We never overbook and there is always seating for everyone.

What is your accessibility?

Following is information regarding accessibility on our tour boats. If you have questions, concerns or need more information please contact us at 941-639-0969. We recommend that if you or any of your guests have mobility challenges that you contact us prior to booking so we can discuss how best to assist.

None of our boats are “accessible” by ADA guidelines, and they are not required to be due to their small size. We cannot roll a wheelchair onto the boats but we regularly accommodate people who can get out of their wheelchair and be helped aboard. We have set up our boarding facilities and procedures to safely accommodate as many people as possible. Most people who walk with canes or walkers find that boarding is a comfortable process as long as they can negotiate a few steps up or down. For those that use manual wheelchairs but can take a few assisted steps, we can fold up the wheelchair and bring it aboard.

We offer pre-boarding for anyone who has mobility challenges and needs extra time or assistance. Please alert us to this when you make your reservations.

Our vessels “Charlotte Lady”  and “Helen M” are two-deck vessels with approximately half of the seating on the upper deck and half on the lower deck. Boarding is onto the lower deck. Restrooms and bar are found on the lower deck. There is a flight of stairs to the upper deck, similar to household stairs but with a continuous handrail on each side. All doors on the vessels have a sill of several inches in height which must be stepped over to pass through the doorways. This includes the entry doors into the cabin on the lower deck, the doors to the bathrooms, and the doors to the wheelhouse on the upper deck.

The waiting area for boarding is open air and is paved. There are benches available for those that are unable to stand while waiting to board. There are two steps down from the boarding area onto the pier with handrails on each side of the steps. The entryway onto each boat is approximately 15 feet out the pier which is a level concrete surface with handrails on each side. Depending on tide there can be as many as three steps from the pier up to the level of the gangway. These steps have a handrail on the right hand side. The gangway is approximately five feet in length with handrails on each side and can have an incline up or down depending on the tide level. There is a step of approximately three inches in height onto and off each end of the gangway. Once off the gangway there is a door sill to step over to enter the main cabin. At no time will you or your guests need to step over open water.

The above applies to boarding and disembarking at our docks at Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda. Please note that if you take a destination cruise with us the dockage/boarding is somewhat different at each destination. If you or a guest have mobility challenges please contact us at 941-639-0969 to discuss the details about boarding/disembarking at any destination other than our home dock.

Please contact us at 941-639-0969 with questions or concerns.

What time should I arrive?

Boarding time is 15 minutes prior to departure, but we recommend that you check in at our ticket office at least 30 minutes prior to departure to pick up your boarding passes. Seating is not pre-assigned and seats are selected on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have a preference for a specific seat or certain area on the boat, then we suggest that you get in line early. We run on schedule so if you arrive even a few minutes past departure time you will miss your boat.

Can I be on the same boat as my friends?

There are several boats involved so if you want to be on the same boat as someone else who made a reservation, make sure you select the same boat as them when you purchase your tickets online, or mention this to us if you reserve by phone. Note: A reservation will never have the members of the reservation split onto different boats, so if for example you made one reservation for a group of six people, those six will always be on the same boat.

What should I wear?

This is Florida, but you’re going out on a boat at night in December. Dress warm if it’s chilly.

What kind of drinks and food do you have on the boat?

We offer cocktails, beer, wine, soda, water, and coffee, along with snacks such as chips, crackers, and cookies on our Charlotte Lady and Helen M boats. There is no food service available on our boats running Private Tours (6 passenger max boats).

Are there bathrooms on the boats?

All of the boats we use for our Christmas Light Canal Cruises have bathrooms.

Can I bring alcohol on the boat?

Alcoholic beverages cannot be brought on the Helen M and Charlotte Lady tour boats, but can be brought on the Private Tour boats (6 passenger max boats). There are full bars with drinks available for purchase on the Helen M and Charlotte Lady.

Do the large tour boats see the same Christmas lights as the smaller private boats?

Yes, all the boats see the same lights on the same canals. The boats do vary which boat visits which canal first so they don’t all wind up in a traffic jam, but they all see all the same canals on each trip.

Will all the Lights be up by December 1? Will they all still be up by December 31?

Probably not. This is not a commercial display, we are viewing displays at dozens and dozens of private residences. Some people put their displays up later in the month and some take them down before the end of the month, but most are in place for most of the month. 

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 24 hour notice for cancellation of cruises. Participants who fail to show for a cruise reservation or cancel without 24 hour notice (e-mail or confirmed phone call) will not receive any refund. Cancellations made before 24 hours of your scheduled event will receive a full refund. Cruises depart on time. No refunds will be issued for late arrivals.

For Private Tours, we require 48 hour notice for cancellation.

Can I bring my dog?
Pets are not allowed on board. We do welcome service animals which serve to mitigate a disability.
How far are you from?

Englewood: 45 minutes

Sarasota: 1 hr to 1 hr 15 minutes

Venice: 45 minutes

Ft. Myers: 40 minutes to 1 hour

Do I have to wear closed toe shoes on the boat?

Closed toe shoes are recommended for your safety, however we will not prevent you from coming on board if you are wearing something else. High heeled shoes are not permitted onboard.

Can I smoke on the boat?

Smoking (including e-cigs) is not permitted on board.

Where do I park?

All parking at Fishermen’s Village is free of charge. You may park in any available space.

What address do I use for my GPS?
1190 West Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33950

If you have additional questions, please call us at 941-639-0969.