The biggest boat show in the world was also fun & family-friendly.
The 64th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show wrapped up another fun week in late October.
It is quite a contrast from the Monaco Yacht Show which is more formal and fuller of pomp and circumstance. Fort Lauderdale offers a more down-to-earth, family-friendly show that is also far more affordable for attendees. A one-day general ticket was only $42 compared to Monaco where the daily entry cost was about $650 per ticket. Fort Lauderdale attracts visitors casually dressed in shorts, t-shirts and sneakers while in Monaco, the blue blazer set with pastel-colored pants and Gucci loafers are the ‘uniform’ of choice.
The Fort Lauderdale show, called FLIBS for short, is applauded for its easy accessibility. It is a seamless arrival and departure process to the show. It partnered with Brightline trains and offered van transportation from the train to the water taxis and vice-versa coming home. The water taxis are a super fun way to get to the boat show. The guest experience already starts there seeing fabulous waterfront homes fronted by magnificent yachts. And the water taxi drivers are often a bit comedic while playing tour guide pointing out the sites along the way to the show. And bottled booze and beer is even for sale to keep riders hydrated enroute. Various yacht brokers and builders also have their own branded tenders to shuttle VIP guests around to and from their displays and waterfront hospitality homes. The weather was picture perfect this year in Fort Lauderdale, nicknamed “The Venice of America,” since it has so many little waterways.
There were seven show sites spread across Fort Lauderdale. Again, the water taxis and land transportation made movement stress-free. From ultra-luxurious yachts to personal boating and recreational equipment, the show offered something for everyone. Besides the boats, several helicopters and submarines were on display and some sexy sports cars. On the other end of the spectrum, there were monster trucks and RVs for sale, a reminder that we were in America and not Monaco, where Bugattis and Bentleys are de rigueur. A vintage car concours was held however, one evening, at the Fort Lauderdale Show with historical beauties spread across the lawn of the Superyacht Village.
The Seakeepers Society celebrated its 25th anniversary with their Bal de la Mer gala at the brand new Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the renowned Jacques Cousteau was on hand to help host the festivities.
Kudos to the organizers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show for creating such a fun and accessible experience for all. Mark your calendars for the 65th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show scheduled for October 30 to November 3rd, 2024.