It’s the boat show of all boat shows. It’s where boating enthusiasts and dreamers alike from around the world convene for a winter destination like none other. The Super Bowl of boat shows returns to Miami for the biggest display of luxury yachts, sport fishers, performance boats, family cruisers, and boating accessories. The 2016 Miami International Boat Show descends upon Miami February 11-15, 2016 for the 75th year much bigger and better and at its new home, the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin.
You don’t have to be among the rich and famous to enjoy this mega boating event. There’s something for everyone with more than 100,000 visitors from around the world expected to attend the show. The entire five-day event is meant to be an experience starting from the free water taxis that will cruise attendees along the Biscayne Bay to and from the show from various pick up and drop off points in Downtown, Brickell, and Coconut Grove including at the American Airlines Arena, Bayfront Park, and the Viceroy Hotel, among others. Leave your car parked at one of the park and ride drop off points or take the Metro Rail, hop in one of the many free shuttle buses or the Freebees six-seater golf carts to transport you to one of the seven free water taxi locations, and travel to the show like a boater. There are more than 12,000 available parking spaces at the park and ride points, and the full list is available at MiamiBoatShow.com/public-transportation.
Once you arrive at the show, it’s a boater’s shopping paradise with more than one million square feet of exhibitor space housed in large, state-of-the-art air-conditioned structures. Board and browse the more than 1,200 new boats that will be on display, including more than 400 boats in-water at a temporary marina. The show also features three iconic South Florida boats – Pilar, a replica of Ernest Hemingway’s famous boat; the original Miami Vice Scarab speedboat; and the Carol Suzanne, which is the Miami Marine Stadium’s most prominent racing boat.
There’s also plenty of on-water show experiences to get your feet wet. The Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training offers exclusive on-the-water power boating and sailing workshops. Love water sports? Check out the Try It Cove to try various activities such as kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. There will also be boat demonstrations and sea trials for serious shoppers looking for a test drive.
All of that fun will leave you hungry, which is why the show has your taste palette covered with a culinary experience featuring a variety of options. The upgraded food experience includes a roasted pig BBQ, a Beer Garden with classic pub fare, the Havana Club & Cigar Bar featuring Cuban cuisine and cigar lounge, a Kids Corner featuring kid-friendly cuisine, plenty of concession stands, and nearby waterfront dining options from Rusty Pelican and Whiskey Joe’s to pop-up versions of Waterside Cafe, Lignum Lounge, and Biscayne Bay Cafe.
It was a year-long battle with securing the approvals needed to move the show from its former landlocked location at the Miami Beach Convention Center to the island oasis at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. With 75 years in the game, the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show is definitely a mainstay, and these upgraded experiences are definitely worth all of the challenges that it took to get to the new location. To put it in perspective for how big of a deal the show is, estimates round out the annual economic impact at around $597 million in Florida and directly supporting about 6,500 jobs.
Tickets to the boat show are $35 for a Premier Day pass and $20 for general admission tickets for adults age 16 and older (kids 15 and younger are free). Two-day passes for Friday, February 12 – Monday, February 15 are $35, and five-day passes are $85. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit MiamiBoatShow.com.
More than one milion sq ft of air-conditioned exhibitor space
The show’s all new home at the iconic Marine Stadium
Miami Vice’s Don Johnson’s boat
Water taxi cruise to the Miami Boat Show