Buccaneer Pirate Cruise

Set Sail on a Pirate Adventure on the Buccaneer Pirate Cruise
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Gather up ye mateys and come aboard a Destin Buccaneer Pirate Cruise for a swashbuckling good time with a rousing band of scallywags! Just be sure your mateys are relatively young.  Tweens and teens will probably roll their eyes at the thought of swabbing the deck and going on a treasure hunt.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Sailing the high seas aboard a Destin Buccaneer Pirate Cruise is the best part of many families vacations to the Emerald Coast. Of course, you won’t really be sailing off into the great unknown; you’ll just spend two hours skirting the coast while the ship’s crew keeps your kids entertained and you enjoy a cocktail or two from the snack bar. 

Indeed, if you’re a six-year-old boy (or girl, for that matter), this attraction is the stuff dreams are made of. Kids (and adults who so choose) get to become part of the pirate crew. Swab the decks. Battle it out with water guns and plastic swords. Search for sunken treasure. Dance. Sing. Get your face painted. It’s all included and loads of fun for elementary-aged kiddos. 

The crew stays in character during the voyage, giving kids the feeling that they’re sailing with a merry band of pirates. Since the boat doesn’t sail far from shore and stays on the calmer waters of Choctawhatchee Bay, the East Pass and Destin Harbor, there’s no need to be concerned about getting seasick. However, if you get queasy, the crew is ready with Motioneaze (for purchase).

While the kids are playing, mom and dad can stop by the snack bar and purchase a hot dog, chips or adult beverage. The prices are reasonable for snacks as well as souvenirs. However, given that there’s not a lot for adults to do onboard, the $36 ticket for adults seems rather high.

And while you may encounter dolphins and other sea life in the water during your two-hour cruise, don’t expect the crew to point them out. They’re participating in the show and won’t break character. Plus, the company sells a separate dolphin tour package, which is geared to facilitating wildlife encounters. 

Pirate cruise availability depends largely on the season. In peak months, there are usually two cruises per day, usually in the afternoons. When tourist season starts to slow, there is usually one cruise per weekday and two on weekends. In winter, cruises may be limited to only Saturday, if they’re offered at all. Check the attraction’s website for the schedule and booking. 

Insider Tips:
– Cruises can only be booked two weeks in advance, and a credit card is required to reserve your spot if booking by phone. 
– Refunds are not given if weather forces the crew to cut a cruise short. Instead, you’ll receive a rain check.
– Buccaneer Pirate Cruise launches from Harborwalk where parking is $10 per vehicle. 
– Arrive at least an hour before your scheduled departure to ensure you’ve got time to get through traffic, park, and check-in. Boarding begins 30 minutes before launch.