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Father’s Day doesn’t have to be a day to give dad another tie. It doesn’t have to be another fancy dinner at a restaurant.

Instead, it can be a special day to go by boat.

Several local boat excursion companies are offering specials to get dads and their families out on the water.

For just $16, a father and child can celebrate Father’s Day on one of Pure Florida’s special cruises. That’s cheaper than going to the movies.

“It’s a great value and a really good experience,” said Merry Coffman, director of outside sales and educational programming.

The special allows fathers to cruise for free with a paid adult or child.

The Father’s Day weekend cruises will set sail from Pure Florida’s Naples and Fort Myers locations five times during those days. There will be narration on board about local history, wildlife and ecology from Coast Guard-certified captains and master naturalists.

Gordon River, Caloosahatchee

The Naples cruise aboard the M/V Double Sunshine begins at Tin City and heads down the Gordon River past all the mansions of Naples and then into the Gulf of Mexico.

“You hear the fun interesting stories and you hear the ecology of the river,” Coffman said. “On the way back we enjoy some music on the water - some good fun boating music. It is a good fun family experience. Down in Naples we have been seeing a lot of dolphins. It is a spectacular time of year to cruise down in Naples.”

Guests on the Fort Myers vessel cruise along the Caloosahatchee River on the M/V Edison Explorer.

“In Fort Myers we go north on the river about 5.5 miles and we pass bird rookeries and mangrove areas. We go past the rail bridge. And we talk about the history of the river,” Coffman explained. “We tell stories about early settlers and how Lee County has developed into what it is today. It is vacationing in your own backyard.”

The Naples Princess is holding a special dinner cruise for dad’s on Father’s Day.

“We serve men’s favorite food: prime rib and chicken,” said president Jenny Foegen.

The boat will go through Port Royal and the canals of Naples Bay and if the Gulf is smooth it will go into the Gulf for sunset.

Fishing

All Water Excursions is offering “Take your Dad Fishing” trips.

This year they are offering these boating adventures from their new location at 12345 Tamiami Trail and from Lover’s Key State Park. The boat from Tamiami Trail in North Naples heads down the Cocohatchee River to the Gulf of Mexico and then to a reef three miles offshore.

The boat leaving from Lovers Key heads to Estero Bay for back-bay fishing.

“It includes all licenses, bait and tackle,” said owner Trudy Stemen. “All they need to bring is the food and beverage of their choice. It’s take your dad fishing.”

Everglades

CLOSE

A visit to Wooten's Everglades Airboat Tours in Ochopee, FL.

Dads ride free Father’s Day weekend at Captain Jack’s and Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours.

Dads can take a free grassland or mangrove airboat tour, swamp buggy ride or combo tour ticket with the purchase of a regular-priced adult tour ticket of equal or greater value.

The special also includes free admission to Wooten’s animal sanctuary and gator show.

The grassland airboat glides across acres of private, vast Everglades’ grasslands

The mangrove tour zips through twisting mangrove tunnels.

Guests see Everglades plants and animals and listen to stories, folklore and fun animal facts.

If you go

Pure Naples Father’s Day Special

Where: Naples — Tin City, 1200 Fifth Ave. S.. Fort Myers — The Marina at Edison Ford, 2360 W. First St.

When: June 18-19 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and sunset cruises departing one hour before sunset.

Cost: Free for dads when accompanied by a paid adult or child. $35 day cruise, $37.50 sunset cruise in Naples. $32 for Fort Myers cruise. $16 for children on any cruise.

Info: 239-263-4949 (Naples ), 239-919-2965 (Fort Myers), PureFL.com.

Naples Princess Father’s Day Special

Where: Port of Call Marina

When: 7-9 p.m. June 19

Cost: $61.50 per person, children are $30.75 (12 and under)

Info: 239-649-2275, naplesprincesscruises.com

All Water Excursions Father’s Day Special

Where: All Water Excursions, 12345 Tamiami Trail N. Naples, also leaving from Lovers Key State Park.

When: 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. June 19

Cost: $70 adults, $50 for kids

Info: 239-431-8371, allwaterexcursions.com

Father’s Day Special at Captain Jack’s and Wooten’s Everglades Airboat Tours

Where: Captain Jack’s is located at 200 Collier Ave. in Everglades City. Wooten’s is located at 32330 Tamiami Trail E. in Ochopee.

When: June 17-19 Grassland airboat tours leave every 20-30 minutes, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mangrove airboat tours run 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tours last about an hour. Call ahead to reserve a time.

Cost: Dad’s ride free when accompanied by another paid adult. Wootens airboat — $28 for adults, kids 3-12 are $20. Swamp buggy — $24, kids $20. Captain Jacks airboat tour — adults $38.65, kids $24. Combo ticket for airboat, swamp buggy and gator show — adults are $66.65, Kids 4-12 are $42.50.

Info: CaptainJacksAirboatTours .com, WootensEverglades.com, 844-326-2628

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