The ferry is not yet open to passengers, but tourism leaders say the new mode of transport should be open this summer.
BRADENTON, Florida. If you are looking for an easier way to get to Anna Maria Island and back, it is already under development. Urban tourism leaders say they are making headway in building a ferry to the Gulf Islands.
Although the service has yet to launch, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (BACVB) says the ferry will begin carrying passengers this summer. It will be operated by a Gulf Coast water taxi operated by the Clearwater Ferry.
On Thursday, the BACVB announced the splashdown in Cortez of two 50-foot catamarans, the Miss Anna Maria and the Duchess in the City Centre. The two boats will be part of the transport service and will accommodate 49 passengers and two crew members on board.
Once the Gulf Islands Ferry is operational, people will be able to park in downtown Bradenton and then board the ferry and stop at one of three stops – Anna Maria Island City Pier, Bridge Street Pier and Rakovnik South Boat Ramp, according to online map. . The plan is to stop every hour at the Bradenton waterfront in the city center and at Anna Maria Island.
One-way tickets for children and adults aged 12 and over will cost $8. Seniors will receive a discount and pay $6, while tickets for children ages 3 to 11 will cost $5. Children under 3 ride for free.
You can find more information about the ferry crossing to the Gulf Islands here.
“We expect families to park in downtown Bradenton, board the ferry at the downtown port located near the waterfront near Green Bridge, and enjoy a wonderful boat trip to the island,” said Elliott Falcione, chief executive of BACVB, in part. “At the same time, visitors staying on the island can enjoy a boat trip to downtown Bradenton to enjoy our amazing restaurants and attractions located on the mainland.
The BACVB says the Coast Guard is testing catamarans over the next four to six weeks. After that, ferry times and ports will be agreed upon.
“This is just the beginning of providing multimodal transportation to our residents and visitors,” said Falcione. “We look forward to continuing to provide easy and affordable travel experiences throughout Manatee County.”