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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

NEW Boat Cruises & Tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates with Captiva Cruises

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 29th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Captiva Cruises will be offering Estates Boat Cruises & Tours from Captiva Island beginning Wednesday, December 15, 2010.  The Boat Cruise & Tour will be offered every Wednesday during season.  The NEW cruise tour will provide a unique look at the Caloosahatchee River and its importance ecologically and culturally, a great view of the Estates from the water, lunch at the private Royal Palm Yacht Club and a tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

Schedule of the tour includes:
• 10 AM – depart from McCarthy’s Marina,11401 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva Island; hour and a half cruise from Roosevelt Channel, past Sanibel Island, and up the Caloosahatchee River to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates 
• 11:45 AM – lunch at the Royal Palm Yacht Club overlooking the Estates and River
• 1 PM – guided tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates
• 2:45 PM – depart from the dock of the Royal Palm Yacht Club
• 4:30 PM – arrive back to McCarthy’s Marina

Passengers will board the “Santiva,” a classic 45’ catamaran equipped with an on board restroom, refreshment bar, sundeck and canopy cover.  The narrated cruise tells the story of Florida’s earliest settlers from Spanish explorers, the booming cattle trade, fishing settlements and early pioneers, to Thomas Edison’s early explorations of Southwest Florida.  
 
“Cruising to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates from Captiva Island is an incredible opportunity to discover the ecology of the Back Bay Estuary and the cultural history of the area.  Pine Island Sound and the River have been vitally important to Southwest Florida for centuries,” says Paul McCarthy, president, Captiva Cruises.

After lunch at the Royal Palm Yacht Club, passengers will enjoy a guided tour of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, one of the top ten most visited historic sites in the nation.  Having just completed a $12 million restoration, the Estates recently received the top award for preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. 

“Visitors will enjoy the twenty acres of gardens, historic homes, Edison Botanic Research Lab and Estates Museum, as they glimpse into the lives of two of the nation’s most innovative inventors of our time.   Edison arrived at Punta Rassa in 1885 and cruised up the River to Fort Myers by boat, where he purchased land along the Caloosahatchee and built his home, known as ‘Seminole Lodge.’  The Edison and Ford families enjoyed the beautiful waterways of Southwest Florida, often fishing, shelling, boating and exploring our beaches,” says Chris Pendleton, Estates president & CEO.  “Guests will step back in time to experience ‘old Florida’ just as the Edison and Ford families did over 100 years ago.”

Ticket cost is $70 adults, $60 children (ages 12 and under) plus tax and includes cruise, Estates admission and lunch.  Seating is limited and reservations are suggested by calling 239-472-5300.  Private tours and charters can be scheduled for groups, clubs, and corporate events any day of the week.  On these private expeditions, special arrangements may be made for the group’s luncheon at the Royal Palm Yacht Club.   The time, as well as the location of the “cruise departure,” may also be customized to meet the client’s needs.  Other docking and marina facilities in Lee County (in addition to Captiva) may serve as the group’s boarding location.  Inquiries can be made with Captiva Cruises charter coordinator. 

The Boat Cruise and Tour is a fully guided adventure for nature, history and outdoor lovers but also leisurely enough for all ages and interests.  Flat shoes are suggested for walking and wheel chairs are available at the Estates.  Jackets, hats, cameras, binoculars, sunglasses are suggested. 

The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Estates is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.efwefla.org.

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