PALMETTO, Fla. – A longtime favorite free attraction – Port Manatee’s award-winning public tram tour program – has opened its season today [Monday, Oct. 19].
The 2015-16 tour season, which runs through May 11, kicked off with the tram fully booked including many members of the East Manatee Republican Club.
Advance reservations are required for the free tours, which 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 11, 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. Groups of 10 or fewer may book tours via an online reservation system – at www.portmanatee.com/tours.aspx – while those making reservations for larger groups must do so by phoning 941-722-6621. Name and contact information is required for each tour guest.
Those wishing to reach tour guests with advertising messages may phone 941-722-6621 for additional information.
The tram tour program has hosted more than 53,000 guests since initiated in 1998 and been honored with multiple awards from the American Association of Port Authorities.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanding Panama Canal, 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 visitors including members of the East Manatee Republican Club on a tour of Manatee County’s seaport during the first tour of the 2015-16 season.