Senior Communications Manager
PALMETTO, Fla. – One of the Tampa Bay area’s favorite free attractions – Port Manatee’s award-winning public tram tour – is slated to resume Oct. 17, following a summer hiatus.
The free tours, for which advance reservations are required, offer local residents and visitors alike an eye-opening, up-close view of Port Manatee and Tampa Bay, from shipping activity to wildlife, as guests learn about the port’s role in commerce and environmental protection.
The port’s open-air tram is scheduled to depart for the one-hour tour at 10 a.m. each Monday and Wednesday through May 10, with guests asked to arrive at the port’s north entrance with government-issued photo identification by 9:30 a.m.
Security protocols require reservations at least one week in advance, but, because tours tend to fill up quickly, earlier reservations are highly recommended.
Groups are limited to 75, with all reservations accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. An online reservation system – at www.portmanatee.com/Community/Public-Tours – facilitates easy booking of tours. Name and contact information is required for each tour guest.
Also, those wishing to reach tram tour guests with advertising messages may contact 941-722-6621 for additional information.
The tram tour program, which has hosted more than 56,000 guests since initiated in 1998, has been honored with multiple awards from the American Association of Port Authorities.
“We are pleased to again offer this opportunity for residents as well as visitors to see Port Manatee for themselves and gain a first-hand appreciation for the well-paying jobs and other positive economic impacts produced by our dynamic and diverse port,” said Betsy Benac, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal and Cuba’s Port of Mariel, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.
|Port Manatee’s open-air tram takes preregistered guests on a tour of Manatee County’s seaport.|