Fun Beach Excursion
River Boat Tour Tarpon Springs
Island Adventure Tarpon Springs
Fun Beach Excursion
We are located in the heart of the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.
Your family will have a breath taking experience touring the beautiful waters of the Anclote River and the Gulf of Mexico.
You will be looking for dolphins, manatees, birds, the Anclote lighthouse and other historical sites. Our Beach Excursion Cruise lets you disembark and look for shells on the island.
Island Adventure Dolphin Cruiselines is the ONLY Tarpon Springs cruise that allows you to park your car, take a relaxing sightseeing cruise, enjoy two free attractions (our sponge diving movie and museum), and shop until the end of your night... all at the very same location!
Tickets are available at Sponge-O-Rama Sponge Factory.
Space is VERY limited, each cruise only boards 49 passengers.
Book Online – We Sell Out Often!
We have a BRAND NEW beach ramp! Safe & Easy!
Our new ramp to the front of the cruise makes it easy and safe to get on and off the beach. Just take a few steps down the ramp right onto the island!
We have the largest and safest sightseeing boat at the Sponge docks. Our large 45′ fiberglass catamaran rides high in the water providing the most comfortable ride and you won’t get all wet! Come have fun at Spongeorama - Dolphin Cruises in Tarpon Springs, Boat Tours in Tarpon Springs - River Cruises in Tarpon Springs - Florida
BOOK A CRUISE TODAY!
Come have fun at Spongeorama - Dolphin Cruises in Tarpon Springs
Boat Tours in Tarpon Springs - River Cruises in Tarpon Springs - Florida
PLACES TO VISIT
SPONGE-O-RAMA SPONGE FACTORY
Visit the world famous Sponge-O-Rama Sponge Factory.
The worlds largest selection of natural sponges, souvenirs, bath & beauty products, jewelry, and more!
Don't miss out on the two free attractions and discount coupons!
YIANNI'S GREEK CUISINE
Traditional Greek food with a modern flare. Yianni's is the newest and hottest restaurant on the sponge docks. Yianni's features authentic Greek cooking with old family recipes coming from the Greek Islands. Located in the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, Yianni's is your best pick for a quick trip to Greece!
Sunset Cruises & Special Events
Our Sunset Cruises are perfect for that romantic getaway. Make your next special event even more memorable
by booking a private cruise for private parties, family reunions, weddings and corporate events.
Turn any day or evening into a special occasion on our cruise line. Enjoy viewing the famous Anclote Lighthouse,
and Tarpon Springs historical sites, as well as some of the best that nature has to offer.
Our cruise line is handicapped accessible and offers a snack bar, full bar, music, viewing areas, and restrooms.
Come have fun at Spongeorama - Dolphin Cruises in Tarpon Springs, Boat Tours in Tarpon Springs
- River Cruises in Tarpon Springs - Florida
Birthday Parties on the Beach
Throw the Best Birthday Party Ever! Everyone will be talking about this birthday party for a long time. Bring your
friends for an all out blast on our Island Beach Birthday Party Cruise. Cruise down the Anclote river out to the
Gulf of Mexico while listening to music, watching the sites, and enjoying your favorite beverages.
We’ll beach the boat and let you and your friends off to party, swim, look for shells, and stroll the beach.
Our boat has enough room to bring your cake, presents, and food. This Party Cruise is perfect for ALL ages.
Bring 30 of your closest friends for a great time.
Party Cruises need to be booked well in advance and there is a limited schedule for charters.
You will need at least 30 people but not more the 49. For children’s parties you will need enough adults
to properly supervise the children as Spongeorama Cruise Lines does not provide supervision.
We provide the FUN!
Ash Scatterings at Sea
Sensitive committing of a loved one’s ashes to the sea
About Tarpon Springs
The first settlers in the area now known as Tarpon Springs were A.W. Ormond and his daughter, Mary. They arrived in 1876. They built a cabin near Spring Bayou. J.C. Boyer, an adventurer from Nassau, sailed into the Bayou. He and Mary Ormond were soon married.
One year after the arrival of the Ormonds, George Inness, an American landscape artist, discovered the beauty in the Bayou. He and his son, George, Jr., painted the scenes found in the area.
Mary was very pleased with her home. She especially liked the great fish that inhabited the Bayou. They would leap into the air and spray water. In 1879, she named the small settlement Tarpon Springs. (Actually the fish were mullet, not tarpon!)
In 1880, Hamilton Disston, a wealthy saw manufacture, bought four million acres of the central west coast of Florida from the Governor for 25 cents an acre. This saved the state from bankruptcy. Included in the purchase was Tarpon Springs.
In 1884, a post office was established in Tarpon Springs. Soon the railroad arrived and a depot was built to accommodate passengers and freight. Through the efforts and investments of Disston, Tarpon Springs was fashioned into an exclusive winter resort for wealthy Northerners.
The early sponge divers created a need at the docks for eating places for the boat crews. Then as news of the industry grew, people began coming to the docks to see the sponges. Shops opened so people could buy the sponges and other souvenirs.
Sponge buyers created the Sponge Exchange in 1907. A building with a courtyard was erected in which each sponger could store his catch while awaiting the auctions that took place twice a week.
With the perfection of deep-sea diving equipment, the dollar amount of sponge harvests continued to increase. Divers were able to go deeper into the sea for longer lengths of time. For 30 years, the sponge industry was the largest industry in Florida—larger than citrus or tourism. Tarpon Springs was known as the “Sponge Capital of the World.”
In the 1940s, blight reduced the growth of sponges. By the 1950s, sponging as a profitable industry was nearly wiped out. However in the 1980s, new sponge beds were found. Now, Tarpon Springs is back to being a leader in the world’s natural sponge market. All aspects of the sponge industry are available to view in Tarpon Springs, from the harvesting of the sponges, all the way to the auctions that are now held weekly at the Sponge Docks.
In addition to seeing the history of sponge harvesting, visitors can experience the Greek influence. Greek restaurants and shops are scattered throughout the area. Seafood, Greek salads, and pastries are particularly popular. Many visitors attend Greek Festivals. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral was modeled after the great Byzantine cathedrals such as St. Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople and is open daily to visitors.
Today, Spring Bayou, site of the first settlement, is still a delightful place. Visitors can stroll along the winding streets and see houses that reflect the grandeur of the wealthy who came to Tarpon Springs each year to escape the harsh Northern winters. Tarpon Springs still has a peacefulness and quaint charm. Come have fun at Spongeorama - Dolphin Cruises in Tarpon Springs Boat Tours in Tarpon Springs - River Cruises in Tarpon Springs - Florida
In 1887, Tarpon Springs was incorporated. It had a population of 52 residents. John Cheney, a promoter associated with Disston, discovered money could be made by harvesting the sponges growing in the waters of the Gulf. Although Tarpon Springs was successful as a resort, it wasn’t long before the sponge industry became the community’s most important industry.
By 1890, the sponge industry was firmly established in Tarpon Springs. The Cheney Sponge Company sold almost a million dollars worth of sponges that year.
In the next few years, experienced divers from Greece were brought to Tarpon Springs. By using rubberized diving suits and helmets, they increased harvests. By 1905, over 500 Greek sponge divers were at work using 50 boats.
About the Anclote River
Anclote, an island on the southwest coast of Florida; also, a river flowing into the gulf at that locality dates back to early Spanish times. The Spaniards called these islands Cabo de Anclote because ships had to use a kedge to winch their way through the shallow water or the winding channels. And early French sailors called the islands Cap d’Anclote, which, of course, has the same meaning as Cabo de Anclote.
After the close of the Civil War, Frederic Meyer in 1867 settled at Anclote about one and one half miles north of the river, about 100 yards west of the Anclote cemetery. He was later followed a few months later by his brother, Franklin B. Meyer.
At the Anclote river mouth, a historian has it that there exist a clear sparkling spring only 25 feet from the beach where early buccaneers watered their ships and it’s called the “Spanish Well”. The “Spanish Well” was discovered by Vasco da Gama and Pinida early in the 16th century.
In 1528, Since the Spaniards had treated the Indians with great disgust, the Indians fought back with ever weapon they could when Pantilo Narvez attempted to water his ships at the “Spanish Well.”. Narvez tried to show the Indians his peaceful gesture but was not accepted by the Indians which gave him no other option than to give up and sail away.
Tarpon Spring did not exist until about 1875, so Tampa was the closest town that was only accessible through the forest. But Tarpon Springs became a city when the railroad was built through it and ended the dream of Anclote continuing to grow as the main community.
Today, Anclote is a center for vacationer with it’s quiet shady streets and it’s people are satisfied with picnics, fishing and sailing their boats in the gulf and fishing down the river.
The river is endowed with saw grass marshes, sea oats, and mangroves and is one of few unspoiled lands in our coastal area.
On the gulf side of the island is a beautiful, unspoiled white sand beach stretching from the northern end all the way to the southern tip. On both the northern and southern extreme ends of the island are shallow areas that are constantly shifting due to currents and hurricanes.
The natural flora and fauna of Anclote is unique. There are ponds in the woods that have phosphorescent algae that literally glows in the dark. As you traverse across the Anclote River numerous
trees like oak, bay, magnolia, palmetto, and palm are adorned by yellow Jasmin, Spanish moss, and air plants. This natural work of art gets reflected on the clear waters of the river, along the shores, to make for a truly captivating sight.
As you pass across the clear waters you might see alligators sunbathing on the sandy banks or on dry logs, sometimes rapidly moving into the waters. You will see animals such as turtles, an eclectic array of large fishes in their underwater habitat, and different kinds of birds such as cranes, herons and other colorful birds, singing and playing, both above you and wading in crystal waters of this peaceful sanctuary.
The Anclote River is of great historical and natural importance. It has been on the maps since the mid-1500s. The river passes through the northern boundaries of Tarpon Springs, Florida, and eventually flows into the Gulf of Mexico. It makes its way from deep remote sources and across miles of elevated banks that are lush with tropical foliage. Come have fun at Spongeorama - Dolphin Cruises in Tarpon Springs Boat Tours in Tarpon Springs - River Cruises in Tarpon Springs - Florida