With Sponge Boat Tour & Shopping
1 Days | Year-Round
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
Tarpon Springs, FL is known as the “Sponge Capital of the World.” This coastal town is full of rich Greek culture and delicious food, plus plenty of gift shops and handmade goods. This day includes a Sponge Diving Boat Tour and free time for shopping and lunch on own.
YankeeTrailsGroups by US Tours Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tour Managers are available
Whatever you want, YankeeTrailsGroups by US Tours will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
Today, spend the day in Tarpon Springs, FL where you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to a coastal Greek village where the sound of bouzouki music spills out into the sidewalk along with the scent of enticing food. The coastal city was founded in the early 1900s by Greek sponge divers who were looking to harvest the natural sea sponges that thrive in the local waters of the Anclote River. Today, the city boasts the largest Greek community in the United States.
Head to the Sponge Docks where you board the St Nicolas Boat for a Sponge Diving Exhibition Cruise on the Anclote River. As you travel, your Captain relates the history of the area sponge diving industry, providing a hands-on display of the various types of sponges and their uses.
The highlight of the tour is watching a sponge diver in a traditional inflated sponge diving suit descends from the boat into the river. You can watch as he moves quickly across the river floor. He harvests a live sponge and returns with it to the boat.
Then enjoy some free time for lunch on own and shopping at the Sponge Docks and the Historic Downtown area. Walk along Dodecanese Boulevard to see docked sponge boats, shops selling seas sponges and restaurants serving up authentic Greek cuisine. The early sponge industry created a need for eating places at the Docks for the boat crews. Some of the original shops remain at the Docks today, owned by the same families that started them. Through the years more shops have opened, putting the number at well over 100 today. There are approximately fifteen restaurants in the Sponge Docks area, several of them internationally known.
The afternoon features a tour of the Heritage Museum, located at the heart of Tarpon Springs, in shady Craig Park overlooking Spring Bayou. This beautifully renovated facility, has 2 separate wings. The History Wing contains an exhibit about the Greek community of Tarpon Springs and the local sponge industry. The ecology wing features the large-scale murals of Tarpon Springs artist Christopher Still. Each of the murals contains many symbolic elements that introduce the people and events that shaped Florida’s history from 16th century European discovery to modern times.
Depart for home late afternoon.