What is an Everglades Airboat Ride and How Does it Work?

Before getting on our world-famous Everglades airboat tours, how it works is very simple. Airboat tours have quickly become the most popular way for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers to cruise around the River of Grass and explore the ecosystems of the Everglades.

What are Airboats?

Airboats, a unique Florida wildlife transportation, are flat-bottomed vessels propelled by an airplane-type propeller and are typically powered by an automobile or aircraft motor. They’re indispensable for airboat adventure, especially for exploring swamps because of their design, allowing them to traverse marshy, shallow waters.

What is the purpose of an airboat?

Airboats are used for navigating challenging terrains like swamps and shallow waters. With a flat-bottomed design and a rudder for steering, they’re ideal for eco-tours and exploration. For a unique adventure, take an airboat tour to understand how airboats are used to access hard-to-reach ecosystems, showcasing their unparalleled utility.

 Airboat vs. Swamp Boat

While airboats are crafted to skim across water surfaces with speed and agility, traditional swamp boats often rely on a submerged propeller. Swamp boats are often restricted to deeper waterways, but airboats offer greater entry to vegetated and shallow places.

A Brief History of Airboats: From Invention to Everglades Exploration

A creative and dynamic narrative, the history of airboats is like a thrilling journey. Looking back to the early 1900s, you’ll discover that these intriguing watercraft were initially imagined for risky ice and water rescues. Consider historical individuals like Alexander Graham Bell fiddling away, creating the early prototypes that would eventually lead to the cutting-edge airboats of today.

Imagine these airboats developing and gradually becoming the preferred mode of transportation for exploring enigmatic marshes. Their capacity to skim over the shallow marshlands by the 1950s was ideal for the Everglades. Airboats began revealing buried areas of the marshes because of advancements in factors, including engine power, boat shape, and steering techniques. These upgrades not only made for exciting rides, but they also made it possible to conduct crucial environmental studies.

In the 1980s, George Bridges designed a sunshade that went over the top of our airboats. This new design creates a more comfortable ride while still giving every passenger a front-row experience to the Everglades. Today, the family continues to operate this superior airboat design on our tours.


Airboats are flat-bottomed vessels that are propelled by giant fans that are powered by motors. When the propeller is working, it forces air behind the boat, which pushes the boat forward. There are no operating parts beneath the waterline, which is what sets the airboat apart from other boats. Due to the lack of a motor, the boat can quickly glide across the surface of the water, something that no other boat can do. Everglades swamp boats are perfect for low water and swamplands. They are the fastest, most efficient way to get around the 1.5 million acres of various terrains in the Florida Everglades.

How Do Everglades Airboats Work?

When you understand our Everglades airboat tours, how it works makes complete sense. Most people get an adrenaline rush when our airboats go at top speeds through the speed trails. Each tour encounters several speed trails, so there will be plenty of excitement on our airboat rides! Remember, there’s only one Everglades and only one way to see it!

When you take Everglades tours with Everglades Holiday Park, you will fly across the surface of the water to quickly explore different habitats within the subtropical wilderness. Journey deep into the Everglades on a narrated airboat tour that departs every 20 minutes or less and lasts for *60 minutes. These airboat tours are safe and exciting for people of all ages, including young children. You will travel through tunnels of mangroves and animal sanctuaries, and your captain will stop to show you endangered species and wildlife. You are likely to run into alligatorseagles, ducks, turkey vultures, and big fish. If you’re thinking of booking Miami airboat tours, consider the professionals at Everglades Holiday Park for a fun and exciting tour through the ‘Glades.

Fun Facts about Airboats

The first airboat, jokingly dubbed “The Ugly Duckling,” debuted in 1905, ushering in a new method of exploring waterways.

Today’s modern airboat can travel over the water at speeds of up to 35+ miles per hour, providing exhilarating trips that combine adventure with scenery.

Airboats can travel across waters as shallow as a few inches; navigators of shallow water! Due to their flat bottoms, they can enter areas where other boats cannot.

Ride an Airboat Tour at Everglades Holiday Park

Experience the exclusive thrill of Everglades Holiday Park airboat tours. Navigate through mysterious mangrove tunnels, spot endangered species, and hold onto your hats during adrenaline-pumping speed trails. A trip to Everglades Holiday Park guarantees an unmatchable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Safety and Excitement: Ensuring a Memorable Experience for All Ages

We have been providing airboat tours since 1982

  • Our airboats are state-of-the-art and operated by highly trained and experienced airboat captains.
  • Our airboats are maintained and checked daily to ensure optimal riding performance.
  • Everglades Holiday Park airboat tours operate in rain or shine but will return to the docks if the conditions are unsafe (we recommend checking the weather before heading to the park).
  • Each airboat contains a first aid kit.
  • All of our airboats have one life jacket for each person on board.
  • Ear protection is available upon request.

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