Island Queen Cruises

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jeffrey on May 29, 2002

Inside the Bayside Marketplace (see my journal) on the Biscayne Bay waterfront, there are many cruise operators that take sight-seeing cruises and tours, among the restaurants, cafes, and shops. There are large boats, fast boats, and even tall boats with sails. Island Queen Cruises is one of these operators. They specialize in tours in Biscayne Bay.

They have a tour that is about 90 minutes that provides views of the skyline of downtown Miami, the Port of Miami and all its cruise ships and huge freighters, and "millionaires row" so-named because of the value of the fantastic waterfront homes you will see. The tour guide will point out several homes that are owned (or previously owned?) by celebrities, or where movies have been filmed, as it passes Star Island, Fisher Island, and Palm Island. The tour guides speak both English and Spanish.

I was personally more interested in enjoying the views and perfect weather, than with gawking into celebrities backyards, but this cruise serves either purpose.

Island Queen Cruises has three very large boats that carry up to 140 people. They are called the Island Queen, Island Lady, and Pink Lady. They also have a smaller and much faster boat called the Bayside Blaster, if you have the need for speed.

In addition to daytime tours ($14 per adult, $7 for children 3-12) scheduled every hour from 11am to 7pm (weather permitting), they also have evening dance cruises with music and DJs. Island Queen Cruises also offers private chartered functions for weddings, birthdays, or other event.

Just about anytime that you visit, one of the cruise operators will have a scheduled departure soon. There are many operators and many scheduled trips, so you won’t have to wait long. In fact, take your time and have a meal and/or drinks and then look for a departure. I found all the operators priced within $2-$3 of each other, so canvassing the waterfront for the best deal provides little benefit.

Island Queen Cruises is located in the very popular Bayside Marketplace at 401 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami, next to the American Airlines Arena, and across the bay from the Port of Miami. Bayside Marketplace has a large parking garage (fee). To get there, take Biscayne Boulevard (US-1) to downtown Miami, and look for 4th Street at the American Airlines Arena. Turn into Bayside at 4th Street and go right into the parking garage.

Island Queen Cruises
401 Biscayne Boulevard (in Bayside Marketplace)
Miami, Florida
(305) 379-5119

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