provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Captiva Cruises, a family owned and operated cruise excursion service, has reopened on Captiva Island with limited operations after temporary closure due to Hurricane Ian.
In December, Captiva Cruises is operating out of McCarthy’s Marina on Captiva Island, serving only residents, passholders and paid guests of ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa until the Sanibel Causeway reopens to the public on Jan. 2. In December, cruises are offered with trips to Cabbage Key and sunset/wildlife cruises. Excursions are also departing from the Pink Elephant Dock on Boca Grande on Dec. 29 and Jan. 5 with trips to Cabbage Key running at 10:30 a.m. and dolphin sightseeing cruises at 3 p.m.
In January, the company will open to the general public with a limited cruise schedule from Captiva traveling to Cabbage Key and sunset/wildlife cruises with additional cruises from Boca Grande to Cabbage Key and dolphin sightseeing cruises. A ribbon cutting in partnership with the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 12 at McCarthy’s Marina to celebrate the reopening.
All cruises are led by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains, guiding passengers in encountering Southwest Florida and providing educational insights on the region’s unique ecosystems and native wildlife.
“We’re excited to share our love of Sanibel and Captiva Islands with the community once again and look forward to reopening to the greater community once able,” said Brad Junghans, who co-owns Captiva Cruises with his wife Leslie Junghans and partners Bob and Jenny Rando. “We have been inspired by the resiliency of our island community and encouraged by the progress that has been made, yet we know there is still a long way to go. As we reopen, we remain committed to leading guests in enjoying some much-needed fun while respecting the important work being done to help our islands and waterways recover.”
In the months following the storm, Captiva Cruises focused on helping staff clear debris from their homes and served as a ferry service to support island recovery. The company has been transporting food and supplies to the island in addition to relief workers and employees who are helping hotels and businesses reopen.
“We moved to Southwest Florida in the early 90s and have worked on Sanibel and Captiva for the entirety of our adult lives,” said Co-owner Bob Rando. “We were employees at Captiva Cruises and learned from the best, founder Paul McCarthy, who guided us through Hurricane Charley in 2004 and continued to pay us as employees, even when we couldn’t operate. He did it for us, and we have been proud to carry on his legacy of caring for our staff during this challenging time while supporting our island community in moving toward recovery.”
Captiva Cruises is currently running cruises from its popular 45-foot catamarans, Playtime and Santiva, which offer cruising speeds of 24 knots and a maximum capacity of 49 passengers. The company’s 65-foot flagship boat, Lady Chadwick, was damaged during the hurricane and will undergo repairs.
For more information on available cruises and ongoing schedule updates, visit CaptivaCruises.com or call 239-472-5300.
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