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Vessels arrive for new Gulf Islands Water Ferry Service

BRADENTON – The two 50-foot catamarans, as part of the highly anticipated Gulf Islands Ferry service, have splashed down in Cortez, Florida. The water ferry service is set to transport visitors and locals between downtown Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. The service is anticipated to launch later this summer.

“This has been a long time in the making for Manatee County,” said Executive Director of The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Elliott Falcione. “I commend our colleagues throughout the County, our Board of County Commissioners and Tourist Development Council members, who have worked tirelessly to bring this service to our community.”

The service, marketed by The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (BACVB) and operated by Gulf Coast Water Taxi, is a tremendous first step in providing multi-modal transportation throughout the County. 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 and Leave No Trace commitment.

A one-way ticket will cost $8 per person, providing an economical and easy way to hop between the mainland and island. Special pricing will be available for children and seniors. The two catamarans, Miss Anna Maria and the Downtown Duchess, hold 49 passengers and will have two crew aboard to ensure smooth transport to and from each port.

“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,” continued 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.

Coast Guard trial will take place over the next four to six weeks, at which time final run times and ports will be determined.

“This is just the start of providing multi-modal transportation to our residents and visitors,” said Falcione. “We look forward to continuing to provide easy, accessible travel opportunities throughout Manatee County.”

Source: Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau