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New dining cruise attraction plans multimillion-dollar investment

Craft will begin taking reservations this fall.
Craft will begin taking reservations this fall.
Courtesy photo
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Tampa-based Yacht Starship Dining Cruises says it will launch Craft, Tampa's first dining river cruiser, designed specifically for Tampa.

Craft is a multimillion-dollar investment, creating 80 jobs in Tampa and a new dining experience for residents and visitors, Yacht Starship says.

Yacht Starship says it has Florida’s largest fleet of dining yachts. Based in Tampa since 2001, the company offers regularly scheduled dining cruises in Tampa and Clearwater and can also be privately chartered.

Craft can pass beneath the five low bridges on the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa, "offering a truly unique and one-of-a-kind experience."

"Craft has been a dream of ours since the first cruise in Tampa over 22-years ago," says Troy Manthey, Yacht Starship CEO and president. "It's a purpose-built vessel, creating a new era of cruising in Tampa, which is sure to exceed guest expectations. Tampa was recently ranked first in boat tours by Wallet Hub and as the operator of Florida’s most diverse fleet of passenger vessels we are proud of this distinction."

Yacht Starship says Craft will be the largest vessel cruising the Hillsborough River at 130 feet in length and a dining capacity of 150 passengers.

The vessel resembles a European river cruise ship, Yacht Starship officials say. Craft is designed with an open kitchen concept with a gas grill and stove; a boat on a boat featuring a 1914 vintage wooden cruiser as the bar; three dining options including indoor, outdoor or bar seating; and diesel outboard propulsion.

The seasonal menu was created by Executive Chef Allison Beasman, formerly the executive chef at Edison Food and Drink Lab. The open kitchen concept will allow guests to view the meal preparation from start to finish while enjoying a craft cocktail from the bar, Yacht Starship says.

Reservations open soon and cruises begin in the fall of 2023. More information can be found on Craft's website or on Facebook and Instagram.

Yacht Starship’s fleet also consists of Pirate Water Taxi, launched in 2016;Lost Pearl pirate adventure cruise, launched in 2020; Bay Rocket speed boat thrill ride, launched in 2022; Tampa Riverwalk Rentals, founded in 2023; and now also Craft.



Jim Stinson

Jim Stinson is the Business Observer's Tampa Bay business reporter and editor, having previously written about business and policy in Washington, D.C.; Rochester, New York; Gary, Indiana; and Daytona Beach. He attended Boston University for business and Indiana University for journalism.


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