Florida Splendors is supported by our audience. When you purchase through one of our links, we may earn a small affiliate commission.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Your cost is not affected.

As I sit here, reflecting on my own experiences of cruising down the rivers of Florida, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and excitement. There’s something truly magical about the tranquil waters and the lush scenery that surrounds you as you embark on a river cruise in the Sunshine State.


Florida is home to some of the most picturesque rivers in the country, and what better way to explore them than by taking a leisurely cruise with your significant other? Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or simply want to unwind and connect with nature, a river cruise in Florida is the perfect way to do it.


In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top river cruises in Florida for couples. From the St. Johns River to the Suwannee River, we’ll guide you through the most breathtaking routes and show you what makes each one so special.


So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey through the heart of Florida. We hope that by the end of this article, you’ll be inspired to plan your own river cruise and experience the splendor of the Sunshine State for yourself.


Partners Enjoy River Cruises In Florida


Romantic locals and foreigners take time to travel via river cruises in Florida. This one has a wide array of getaway lakes, rivers, and seas from the different states. With the waters, there are also attractions and amusements for pairs. They are exceptional for retreats and adventures together. Thus, it’s an ideal destination for lovers who wish to enjoy sailing while focusing on one another.


Besides, tourist spots there have people and things ready for Florida river cruises. Cruise ships with professional crews await to accommodate and pamper guests. Also aboard are experts who guide voyages and deliver gastronomical pleasures. Whether you’re indoor or outdoor people, activities are available to enjoy. Thus couples get a lot from cruising in the state waterways.


cruise in florida


Best Dinner Cruises In Florida


Lovers may want to get a bit tipsy or chill while sailing in late summer or fall evenings. There are sights to see, delights to experience, and even cuisines to sample. All that is possible while drifting through inlets. Pairs can have fun with river cruises in Florida due to the many travels and offer available.


Here are some journey recommendations to cross between waterways or to and fro.


Tampa Bay and Clearwater Beach River Cruises In Florida


The Yacht StarShip For Bar and Dining at Sea


Lovers like newlyweds can have their intimate evenings dining and drinking afloat. There’s indulging in seasonal cuisines with buffet options. Savoring booze variants like cocktails, beers, and wine is there too. That is on a 180-feet Yacht with 3 decks and 4 divided dining areas. Thus, it provides many features to and for guests.

best dinner cruises in florida

The Yacht Starship offers a great time for singles and couples alike.


Pairs may make memories appreciating the views, stars, and sea breeze on the upper deck too. There is also a DJ and a superior sound system for those who wish to dance on board. So there are plenty of options for sweethearts on a StarShip cruise vacation.


The Journey


The route for the Tampa, Florida river cruises starts from the Ybor Channel. The ship then sails to reach the Hillsborough Bay and Garrison Channel. The journey provides scenic views of Harbour Island and Bayshore Boulevard. There is also sightseeing of the River Arts District cityscape and Davis island.


The Clearwater river cruises in Florida involve passing the Belleair. Also included is seeing tourist attractions along the way. That is until reaching the Island Estates.


Travel Time


Guests get 2 hours to experience the best dinner cruises in Florida. Passengers get to eat, listen to music, visit the open bar, and more.




The Tampa cruise and dinner cost $79.95 to $119.95 for adults. It’s $54.95 to $94.95 for kids. Without dinner, it’s only $49.95 to $74.95 for grown-ups. For children, it’s $29.95 to $54.95.


Clearwater Florida river cruises for adults are $69.95 to $99.95. Without food, $39.95 to $69.95. The rate for children is $49.95 to $74.95. No dining for kids costs $29.95 to $54.95. All these exclude tax, marine, management, processing, and gratuity fees.

Tropic And Casual Buffet Aboard The Calypso Queen

Its evening dinners promise the best Clearwater river cruises in Florida. The crew offers festive dinners while partners enjoy the serene waters. Couples can also dance the night away with music from a DJ onboard. So it’s also worthwhile to spend evenings on the ship.

river cruises in florida

Board the Calypso Queen for a good time.


The executive chef and galley staff serve only tasty food for all types of guests. Individuals who are health-conscious or want to go green may enjoy salads. Examples are Caesar, Tri-colored pasta, and Key West Potato salads. Meat lovers may delight themselves with Mango-glazed Roasted Chicken and Tender Beef Teriyaki. Exclusive Chilled Shrimp is likewise available for evening journeys too. So, in food alone, pair guests already receive plenty from sailing.

Trip Details


Rain or shine, this 65-foot ship with 3 decks sails from Mondays to Saturdays. Its departure time is 7 PM, while guests have to be there 30 minutes before to board. It operates on Sundays but leaves at 6 PM. So, couples can take pleasure in Clearwater river cruises in Florida on any day of the week.

The evening casual dinner accepts adults and children. Its menu is even ready to cater to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The admission cost for adults is $24.95. Passengers need to pay $24.95 more to avail of the optional buffet. For kids, it’s only $17.95 for boarding and an extra $11.95 for the buffet. These rates do not include taxes. Also, service animals are the only animal companions allowed. They are there to go with disabled passengers.

It has accessible areas for wheelchairs and strollers. There is no elevator on the boat so stairs are the only option to get from one deck to another. Yet, at least, the captain of the ship offers narration while navigating. Also, while the trip is ongoing, unlimited drinks are available and select desserts.

Boarding Requirements


Before getting on the vessel, making a reservation is necessary. This is possible online or by visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Settle payments days before a voyage to get a confirmation number and boarding pass.


The Calypso Queen dinner river cruises in Florida ask passengers to put on the right attire. Dressy casual is the recommended outfit. This means swimwear is not allowed on board for the buffet experience.


Sunset Cruise With Latitude Tours


With this option, history, wildlife, and dining experience are what await lovers. This sunset eco-tour with dinner is perfect for couples who are fond of sightseeing. It allows people to visit and view preserved and historical tourist destinations. That is while eating good food during a trip.


The 2-hour river cruises in Florida offered by Latitude Tours have a lot. It begins with a relaxing guide to the Little Manatee River in Hillsborough County. There, guests may witness diverse animals and plants in the estuary. Later, in the Gulf of Mexico, cruisers get to watch the gorgeous sunset. There may even be dolphins playing nearby. Together with the tour is also a catered dinner with drinks included.


Food Options and Prices


Paying an extra $15 grants guests onboard with meals. The best dinner cruises in Florida are $34.99 for adults and become $49.99 with food. The rates for children are $24.99 without meals and turns $34.99 with dinner. There is still a fee for kids under 2 years of age and it’s $9.99.


Various food options are available for passengers who want to eat. The local Bubbaque restaurant caters to voyagers and gives 8 meal options. The meal choices almost always include grilled food items. Available are the Texas Brisket, Pulled Pork, and Fried Shrimp dinners. Smoked Turkey, Fried Chicken Tenders, and Texas Sausage are also offered. Vegans can also have the Steamed Corn Cob, Green Beans, and Salad. Many of the meals include BBQ Baked Beans and Mac n Cheese. Still, there are Friday fish fry options too.


Trip Time Considerations


Departure time is 1.5 hours before sunset and a whole tour takes about 2 hours to finish. Couples can have fun afloat, seeing wildlife like dolphins and watching the sunset. That is while getting quality narration and eating local and grilled food along the way.

Video Credit: @RuthLesProductions2

Travel Considerations


Partners need to make preparations before trying river cruises in Florida. That is so entire trips would turn out well and very enjoyable. So don’t rush things. Rather, be ready in advance. It will help you make the best use of your time, effort, and resources.


Preparation Tips

  • Pack light because Florida river cruises often take no more than 2 hours.
  • Select the right river and company to help you with your journey. Do some research for this one since different boats and waterways have many things to offer.
  • Think about your budget. Your money will determine if you can add food and drinks to your cruise experience.
  • Book in advance. Usually, cruise ports only accept passengers with boarding passes. So have travel permits ready beforehand to avoid inconveniences.


Enjoy the River Cruises in Florida


Lovers have different options to go on river cruises in Florida. Some say that these waterways’ natural and man-made attractions are fit for romance. Some of the spots to check by boat rides are the Tampa Bay area and Clearwater City waters. These could lead to channels where the sky is gorgeous and unique wildlife is around. Also, you can mix cruising with dining, dancing, and pure relaxation.


Despite the availability and convenience of tourist voyages, preparations are essential. It pays to read the reviews of the best dinner cruises in Florida and the specifics of what each offers. Still, there’s the matter of availing and enjoying these travel experiences. So, partners may want to do some reading beforehand before booking and going on a cruise.


Is river cruising better than kayaking?

Ah, this is a tough question as both river cruising and kayaking offer unique experiences! Let’s explore both options and talk about kayak storage.


River cruising can be a fantastic way to see different parts of a river or waterway while enjoying the comfort and convenience of a larger vessel. You can sit back, relax, and take in the beautiful scenery while someone else takes care of the navigation and logistics. Plus, many river cruise ships offer amenities like restaurants, bars, and entertainment, making it a luxurious and hassle-free way to travel.


On the other hand, kayaking provides a more active and immersive experience. You can paddle your way through the water and get up close and personal with the surroundings. Kayaking also allows you to explore smaller and more remote waterways that might not be accessible by larger boats. And there’s something exhilarating about being out on the water with just you, your kayak, and the natural world.


Now, when it comes to kayak storage, it can be a bit of a hassle. Kayaks can be bulky and take up a lot of space, so storing them at home might not be an option for everyone. If you own a kayak, you’ll need to find a place to store it when you’re not using it, such as a garage, shed, or rented storage unit. However, some kayak rental companies and outfitters offer storage options for their customers, so you don’t have to worry about transporting and storing your kayak between trips.


So, ultimately, the choice between river cruising and kayaking depends on what you’re looking for in an experience. If you’re seeking a luxurious and relaxing trip with all the amenities, river cruising might be the way to go. But if you want a more active and hands-on adventure, kayaking could be the better option. And when it comes to kayak storage, there are solutions available whether you choose to buy your own or rent one from an outfitter.

Do many couples try river cruising?

Yes, river cruising can be a popular choice for couples! Many river cruise lines offer romantic itineraries with stops in picturesque towns and cities along the way. Couples can enjoy a relaxing trip together, taking in the beautiful scenery, indulging in fine dining, and exploring new destinations. River cruising can be a great way for couples to bond and create lasting memories together.

Can we bring our own food and drinks on a river cruise?

It depends on the specific river cruise you choose. Some river cruises may offer food and drinks onboard, while others may allow you to bring your own snacks and beverages. We recommend checking with the river cruise company beforehand to see what their policies are.

Can we bring our own food and drinks on a river cruise?

It depends on the specific river cruise you choose. Some river cruises may offer food and drinks onboard, while others may allow you to bring your own snacks and beverages. We recommend checking with the river cruise company beforehand to see what their policies are.

Do we need to bring our own life jackets for a river cruise?

No, life jackets will be provided for all passengers onboard the river cruise. It is important to wear your life jacket at all times while on the water, even if you are a strong swimmer.

What happens if it rains during our scheduled river cruise?

In the event of inclement weather, river cruises may be canceled or rescheduled. We recommend checking with the river cruise company beforehand to see what their policies are regarding weather-related cancellations or rescheduling. If your river cruise is canceled, you may be able to receive a refund or reschedule for a different date.

Optimized by Optimole

Subscribe To

Florida Splendors' Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. Watch for special offers, too!

No Spam (we promise!)

You have Successfully Subscribed!