Paul's Travel Pictures

Jungle Queen Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Pictures, a video clip, & visitor info from the Jungle Queen Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Bahia Mar Yachting Center
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Jungle Queen Boat Docked
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Cruise Ticket Office

We've lived in South Florida for years and have heard of the Jungle Queen Riverboat several times but never got around to checking it out for ourselves.

Winning two tickets for the Jungle Queen  "BBQ Ribs & Shrimp Dinner Cruise" at a charity event finally gave me enough motivation to take advantage of this Fort Lauderdale attraction that has been around for over 65 years.

Since I'd rather take pictures of the extravagant mansions on the Ft. Lauderdale New River during the day, I traded in our two Barbeque Dinner Cruise tickets ($39.95 each) for two Sightseeing Cruise tickets ($17.50 each).

The all you can eat dinner cruise departs daily at 6 PM. Sightseeing cruises depart twice daily at 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM from the Bahia Mar Yachting Center on the Intracoastal Waterway across from Fort Lauderdale Beach.

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FLL Fire Rescue Boat
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KingFisher Yacht
We had overheard someone say that most of the sights on the three hour tour are on the right side of the 550 passenger ship. So we found seats on the upper level of the boat closest to the right edge of the vessel to ensure a great view of the massive mansions and luxurious yachts that line the Intracoastal Waterway and New River.
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Some of the highlights of the tour included seeing the Bahia Mar area, the Venetian Isles, New River, Millionaire's Row, the skyscrapers of Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Harbor Beach, the Little Florida peninsula, the Large Yacht Storage Basin, Port Everglades, and the Riverfront Seminole Indian land.
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Azteca II Douglas
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Sofia II Bikini
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We arrived at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center at about 9:15 AM. The center is located at 801 Seabreeze Blvd (also known as "1A" or "A1A"), Ft Lauderdale, FL 33316. To reach the Jungle Queen staff by phone or buy advance tickets, call (954) 462-5596. There is plenty of guest parking available at the Bahi Mar Yachting Center for the discounted rate of just $5 with your Jungle Queen ticket. (You should also save your ticket for discounted drinks at the Bahia Cabana Restaurant that you pass during the beginning of the cruise. The Bahia Mar Yacht Center parking lot may fill up on weekends, so try to arrive at least 30 minutes before your cruise to ensure that you can find a spot.
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17th Street Causeway
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Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal
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Mansion & Private Sundeck
The Jungle Queen Riverboat promptly departed the docks at 9:30 AM for our sightseeing tour as the Captain began his commentary by giving us a brief history of the Jungle Queen. For example, he explained how the Jungle Queen got it's name from the lush overgrown vegetation of the land surrounding New River back in the 1930's when the tours first began.
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Venice of America
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Historic New River
During the rest of the time on the boat, the Captain pointed out various mansions and explained which wealthy individuals or families owned them. It seemed like a few of the stories and gossip about the homeowners had changed drastically in the last few years due to the recent financial crisis. Some of the homes seen on the tour include those owned by the late Dave Thomas (Wendy's fast food restaurant chain), Wayne Huizenga (AutoNation, Blockbuster, & Waste Management), and the family that owns Firestone Automotive.
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The Jungle Queen docked at the company's "tropical island" or "Indian Village" after just over an hour of cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway and the New River. On the "island" there are vendors selling trinkets, souvenirs, beer, rum drinks, a small selection of hot food, and a variety of snacks. Most people seemed to head towards the restrooms near the back of the property while others peered in the cages at the monkeys, birds, macaw parrots, and the enclosure with two Florida Alligators
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After about 30 minutes, the Captain announced over the P.A. system that the gator wrestling show was about to begin. A young guy jumped into the alligator pit a few minutes later and explained that due to legal liability issues, he was an unpaid volunteer. We were encouraged to drop a tip into the various buckets attached to the wire barriers surrounding the enclosure. He put on a good show for the crowd, so I dropped in a few dollar bills at the conclusion of his performance 15-20 minutes later.
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On the boat ride back to the Jungle Queen Docks, we sat on the right side again to see what we had missed the first time. Some of the sights on the other side include a waterfront RV park, some more yacht repair shops, Howard Hughes' Cosmic Muffin airplane that was converted into a boat, and Steven Spielberg's "Seven Seas" 86 meter long mega yacht
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Boats Parked By Houses
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Overall, we had a really good time on the Jungle Queen Sightseeing Tour and would recommend it to friends who live in the area or are visiting Fort Lauderdale. From what I've read in other reviews, the dinner cruise is a great value as well with "all you wish to eat" barbecued food and a humorous variety show. (Alcohol is not included.) But I'm glad we opted for the better visibility and cooler weather of the 9:30 AM morning sightseeing cruise.
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Under Construction
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If you get headaches easily from the smell of diesel exhaust, I'd recommend sitting on the upper level as close to the front of the boat as possible. We were near the rear of the boat and occasionally we would get a whiff of exhaust while the boat waited for the several drawbridges on the river to open.
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Boat Dock & Pool
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Riverside Hotel
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Bank of America Building
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Condominiums
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WaterGarden Art
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Pepto Bismol Bridge
During the Jungle Queen sightseeing tour, I captured a few short video clips and edited them together into one movie. To view the video, click on the blue link below. To download it to your hard drive, right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or "Save Link As". The file is about 38 MB, runs about a minute long, and is encoded in the WMV (Windows Media Video) format.
 

Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise & Gator Wrestling Show Video Clip

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Artwork On Bridge
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Decorative Tiles On Bridge
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High Rise Condo Building
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Briny Pub Ft Lauderdale
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Fort Laud History Center
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The River House Restaurant
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Broward Center Performing Arts
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To see the rest of my pictures from the Jungle Queen Sightseeing Tour including the Alligator Wrestling Show, visit Page 2  of this gallery by clicking on the preceding link or using the "Next" and "Last" buttons below.

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