COVID-19 boat rentals crab island

Boats anchored at Crab Island during COVID-19

Fishing & Boating Still Allowed During COVID-19 Pandemic

The recent closure of Destin Florida beaches, parks, and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic has left locals and those who are sheltering here in their second homes with little to do. Thankfully, fishing and boating are still allowed here in Northwest Florida! These activities take place outside in the sunshine and fresh, open air and can be done in small, private groups while maintaining CDC standards for social distancing.

Crab Island Open to Boaters and Vendors

Crab Island remains open! You are welcome to anchor your boat (rented or personal) and enjoy the beautiful shallow water at this time. Crab Island vendors and excursion boats, however, have been suspended by Okaloosa County until May 8, 2020, but have been approved to operate again as early as May 9, 2020. (Update: although the County did vote to reopen Crab Island for vendors, the National Parks Service has denied vendor permits until Federal Phase 2, which is anticipated around the 16th or 17th of May. A federal permit is required to get a county license, so vendors will still not be able to operate until the federal restrictions have been lifted). Crab Island vendors are now OPEN and operating at Crab Island as of May 16, 2020.

Boat and jet ski rentals are still allowed for groups of 10 or less, provided each boat stays a minimum of 50 feet away from other boats while out on the open water. (Sorry, no rafting up with your friends until after Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan, which starts May 4, 2020.) These rules help to maintain social distancing practices.  The FWC and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office are policing our waterways to ensure safety and compliance.

How to Get Out on the Water

Destin Vacation Boat Rentals remains open by reservation at this time, for a limited number of boat rentals each day. Advance reservations are required. There is no need to worry about being exposed to strangers. Check-in times are being staggered and individual groups will be spaced out at least 6 feet from other groups while checking in for their boat rentals. If you are concerned about cleanliness, rest assured. All boats- as well as the entire check-in area- are being thoroughly bleached and sanitized before, after, and in between boat rentals.  Our guests are also being instructed on the best ways to practice social distancing in accordance with Florida’s social distancing laws.

If you’d like to get out of the house and out on the water for the day to visit Crab Island, or just to cruise the Choctawhatchee Bay, rental rates have been discounted by up to 25% through May 15, 2020. You can make a boat rental reservation online or over the phone by calling (850) 650-2628. We look forward to serving you and your family during this time.