While Miami is easy to explore by foot, bike, or car, you haven’t truly experienced the city until you’ve made it out onto the water aboard a 34’ Beneteau Sport Cruiser or a 46’ Sea Ray.
“Miami is an amazing city, completely surrounded by water,” says Captain Matt Blodgett of The Charter Agency, who has been leading yachting excursions in South Florida for almost 15 years. “We are able to take people from all over the world and show them the local side of Miami, to see the sandbars, local wildlife, some of the smaller islands – places that people wouldn’t normally see from land.”
When it comes to discovering the most coveted places to anchor or even to get the best view of the city skyline, few guides can match the expertise of Captain Matt. Having spent time fishing in the Keys in his youth, he was always drawn to South Florida, and after relocating to Miami to pursue yachting, he now spends his free time cruising the city’s waters by boat, fishing, and paddleboarding. (He jokes, “I came to Florida on vacation and never left.”)
South Florida’s premier yacht operator, The Charter Agency welcomes residents and visitors to hit the water on yachts up to 140 feet. And through a new partnership with Acqualina Resort & Spa, resort guests can enjoy an exclusive, three-hour yachting excursion with Captain Matt.
Where you go on your trip is up to you.
“It all depends on what the clients are looking for,” says Captain Matt. “I’ve got a couple of islands that we anchor out behind that are really quiet. There are a couple of secluded bays that dolphins tend to hang out in.”
For those that prefer a more social outing, Haulover Sandbar is a local hotspot in North Miami Beach that plays host to lively boat parties on the weekends, complete with music and a boat similar to a food truck selling light bites. The water is often knee-deep, perfect for wading, but during low tide the sand shoal surfaces to create a small island oasis in the middle of the bay.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the peaceful Maule Lake brims with manatees, sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine life, with part of the lake designated as a conservation area. The 174-acre body of water east of Biscayne Boulevard was once known for boat racing in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but it later had speed limits enacted to protect the manatees. While enjoying the sweeping scenery, take time to cast a fishing line in the hopes of hooking a snook or tarpon.
Along the beautiful Miami River, acclaimed waterfront restaurants abound. Says Captain Matt, “We’re getting more and more people that are arriving to their dinner reservations by yacht and doing a cruise after.”
Once an industrial hub, the Miami River has been restored over the last 20 years to offer cleaner waters – flowing from the Everglades to Biscayne Bay – and picturesque, high-end restaurants and luxury condos on its banks. Stop in to Seaspice during your excursion for signature wood-fired casseroles and specialty crafted cocktails set to the backdrop of a warehouse and outdoor garden bar. Or, dock at Kiki on the River to indulge in contemporary Greek cuisine and raw bar favorites like oysters and Hamachi sashimi.
Captain Matt can also take you and your group to see some of Miami’s most beautiful homes, to explore the city’s canals, and even to see Acqualina from the water when the ocean is calm.
For him, each charter brings something new.
“Saltwater is good for the soul,” he says, speaking about his passion for boating. “Every day it’s something different. It’s the unknown of what we’re going to do, what we’re going to see. The fixed structures stay the same, but the water is constantly changing.”
Learn more about Yacht Charters with Captain Matt and other Acqua Experiences here.