At 5350 The Pour House, where we savor the flavors of Holmes Beach one cup at a time, we’re thrilled to spill the beans on some exciting news that’s sure to brew excitement among islanders and visitors alike. After months of eager anticipation, the Gulf Islands Ferry and its splendid catamarans, the Miss Anna Maria and the Downtown Duchess, have officially embarked on their inaugural voyages as of last Monday! This marks a turning point for transportation on Anna Maria Island, offering a unique and memorable way to experience our slice of paradise.
The Maiden Voyage for City Officials is Complete
Imagine a sun-kissed afternoon, clear skies, and the gentle lapping of water against the hull of the ferry. Local county and city officials, accompanied by area media, gathered at the scenic Bradenton Riverwalk, just a stone’s throw away from our cozy coffee shop. They boarded the catamarans, their excitement palpable as they embarked on a 35-minute journey that would redefine their perception of island transportation.
Elliott Falcione, the visionary behind the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, aptly captured the essence of the experience: “It’s so much more than taking a ride on the water.” As passengers embarked on this unique voyage, they were treated to a delightful surprise—a playful pod of dolphins dancing alongside the ferry at the Anna Maria City Pier. It’s moments like these that remind us of the unspoiled beauty of Anna Maria Island.
Public Anna Maria Island to Bradenton Water Taxi Service Starts December
Starting December 8th, with the final certification of the vessels in sight, the Gulf Islands Ferry service will open its doors to the public. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. will mark your passport to island adventure. This accessible mode of transportation ensures that everyone can hop on board and explore the island’s treasures.
Anna Maria Island Ferry Ticket Prices
We know the importance of affordability in today’s world. The Gulf Islands Ferry service understands this too. One-way tickets come at an incredibly accessible price, with adults enjoying the voyage for just $8, providing a scenic journey that won’t break the bank. Seniors aged 55 and older are in for a treat with a discounted rate of $6, while families with children aged 4-11 can embark on their adventure for just $5. And for the littlest island explorers aged 3 and younger, the ride is on the house when accompanied by their families.
Charting a Course for the Future
The Miss Anna Maria and the Downtown Duchess are just the beginning of an exciting journey. Plans are already underway to introduce a fast, enclosed vessel, bridging the gap between the mainland and the island even more swiftly. With this expansion, the two existing catamarans will focus on transporting passengers along the coast of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, providing a broader range of travel options.
Local Leaders Share Their Enthusiasm
Mayor Dan Murphy of the City of Anna Maria hailed the arrival of the water taxi service as a dream come true. While he hopes for additional initiatives to assist island service workers with transportation, he sees the ferry as a significant step in the right direction.
Kevin Van Ostenbridge, chairman of the Manatee County Commission, expressed what many have been thinking for years: “We have all wanted multi-modal transportation.” The ferry service fulfills a long-held dream of connecting Anna Maria Island with downtown Bradenton and Palmetto, forging an essential link for both residents and tourists.
A “Caffeine Kick” for Island Excitement
At 5350 The Pour House, we’re buzzing with excitement as we welcome travelers seeking a caffeine kick before their island adventures. As the ferry service becomes an integral part of Anna Maria Island, we can’t wait to be a stop on your journey. Whether you’re fueling up for the day or winding down with a cup of joe, our coffee shop and cafe will be your home away from home.
As we anticipate the full launch of the Gulf Islands Ferry service, the Anna Maria Island community is on the brink of an exciting new chapter. At 5350 The Pour House, we’re raising our mugs to toast this unique addition to our island experience. Stay tuned for updates, and get ready to set sail into a new era of transportation that promises to bring the flavors and magic of Anna Maria Island closer than ever.
Sip, savor, and sail on—we can’t wait to serve you!