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FERRY SERVICE TO ANNA MARIA ISLAND

The Bradenton Beach Pier just a five minute walk from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida, 34217
An Anna Maria Island ferry service was originally slated to begin service January 2018. Due to docking issues the start date was moved to a possible spring 2018 date and presently there is no word on when the service will begin. The new ferry operated by Paradise Boat Tours was to ferry passengers from the Historic Bridge Street Pier in Bradenton Beach to downtown Bradenton and Sarasota is on hold until docking issues are resolved in Bradenton Beach. We earnestly hope the issue is resolved soon, as water service to and from Anna Maria Island is a much wanted and needed service for both tourists and residents of the Island.
As car-less options to Anna Maria Island grow in popularity, another ferry operator is interested in establishing business with the Island. This particular service would be mid-way on Anna Maria Island in Holmes Beach. The Tampa Bay Ferry & Taxi headquartered in Madeira Beach have lobbied to establish a link with a landing spot in Holmes Beach. Captain Hubbard, a fourth-generation ferry operator whose family business dates to 1928 has been trying since 2013 to establish ferry service to Anna Maria Island. At the Holmes Beach Commission meeting March 13, 2018, Corey Hubbard of Tampa Bay Ferry & Taxi addressed the officials with the option she and her father, Capt. Mark Hubbard, want to provide. Ms. Hubbard spoke that with their company’s background as a pleasure cruise operator, the suggested ferry route is an opportunity to alleviate congestion and give visitors and residents an option of travelling to and from Anna Maria Island without sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Travelling by car from Anna Maria Island to St. Petersburg without traffic normally takes one hour. I know I am not the only one that has experienced double the normal travel times from Anna Maria Island to the St. Petersburg area due to traffic issues. In my opinion, the Ferry service would provide a nice option for our guests of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals and we are certainly on board.
 
The Hubbard’s proposal is this:
The ferry would dock at Waterline Marina Resort, 5325 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, serving the downtown area. They would board up to 49 people at the resort at $30 a head at 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, arriving at Fort De Soto in about 40 minutes and later embarking for Egmont Key. The ferry would return to Holmes Beach at 4 p.m.
The General Manager of the Waterline Resort, Sandy Zinck, has confirmed the need for a ferry service as well as the interest to move forward if the council approve it.
As well, Terri Kinder, President of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, seems interested. During a phone interview with The Islander Newspaper Ms. Kinder showed interest in assisting transportation to Anna Maria Island.
The Holmes Beach Commision is considering the proposal and will put the ferry project on their agenda soon. If approved, Hubbard is ready to launch the program within a week.
The service both projects will provide to Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach suggest some exciting times ahead.
We will keep you posted!
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WATER TAXI SERVICE DELAYED, BUT COMING SOON …

In October Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 wrote, The Sarasota Bradenton Ferry water taxi service will be launching in early 2018. It has now been announced the project has been delayed. We anticipate the launch will take place mid 2018 and promise to keep you updated.

The service will connect downtown Sarasota and downtown Bradenton to Bradenton Beach. The drive between Sarasota and Bradenton Beach (Anna Maria Island) can take approximately 40 minutes without traffic, but the commute by water is expected to take just 28 minutes. With the approval by all three cities in 2017, Captain Sherman Baldwin, owner of Paradise Boat Tours in Bradenton is ready to provide this innovative service. Unfortunately, a Bradenton Beach floating dock is delaying this long-awaited water taxi service.

Sarasota Bradenton Ferry is all ready to launch its 149-passenger high speed catamaran. The docks from the 10th Street Pier at Centennial Park in downtown Sarasota and the Bradenton Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton have been secured. The installation of the Bradenton Beach floating dock to unload and load passengers at the Historic Bridge Street Pier is the only thing holding the project back. Lenders will not release the ferry until all three docks are cleared for use. So until Bradenton Beach gets its dock in place this service is docked so to speak.

The Bradenton Beach dock contractor, Technomarine were to begin work in September 2017, butte active  hurricane season put them behind. We were in Bradenton Beach when Hurricane Irma swept through the area which gives us a better understanding of the delay. Installation of the dock is now scheduled for February 2018.

This long term project becoming a longer term project has work commuters, locals and tourists waiting a little longer. One thing we are sure of is that this long-awaited water taxi service will be worth the wait.

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog