AARP MEMBER DISCOUNTS SEE MORE

Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center has daily four-hour cruises to unspoiled Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Hubbard's Marina also operates a ferry to Egmont Key on most days. Climb aboard the glass-bottom boats of St. Nicholas Boat Line to take a sightseeing cruise of Tarpon Springs' historic sponge docks and see a diver at work.

On Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise, crew members dressed as pirates take you on sightseeing and sunset cruises in a replica of a 19th-century sailing ship. Starlite Cruises operates two very different ships for lunch, sightseeing, and dinner cruises: the Starlite Majesty, a sleek, yacht-style vessel; and Starlite Princess, an old-fashioned paddle wheeler that sails out of St. Pete Beach.

Tour Operators

Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise. This fun, very kid-oriented cruise lets families scope out the coast—but not without a dose of make-believe. Clearwater Beach Marina, 25 Causeway Blvd., at the end of Rte. 60, Clearwater Beach, FL, 33767. 727/446–2587. www.captainmemo.com.

Hubbard's Marina. Nestled in popular tourist shopping and dining hub John's Pass, this company offers sunset, pirate, snorkeling, fishing and dolphin-watching cruises throughout the day. 170 John's Pass, Madeira Beach, FL, 33708. 727/393–1947. www.hubbardsmarina.com.

St. Nicholas Boat Line. Learn about Tarpon Springs' rich sponge-diving history while watching a sponge diver—in historic regalia—do his thing. 693 Dodecanese Blvd., Tarpon Springs, FL, 34689. 727/942–6425.

Starlite Cruises. Operating out of both Clearwater and the St. Petersburg area, this cruise line offers speedboat, dinner, and wildlife cruises throughout the day that explore the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Clearwater Beach Marina, 25 Causeway Blvd., at the end of Rte. 60, Clearwater Beach, FL, 33767. 727/462–2628. www.starlitecruises.com.