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What is a Water Taxi?

By KD Morgan
Updated: May 23, 2024

The water taxi industry has existed for thousands of years. Most cultures built their small villages near great bodies of water. The original versions were functions of the society to help transport their people and goods to neighboring villages.

In modern times, there are many forms of water taxi services. Most are similar to a taxicab in the city. They ferry people over the water between points and are available to the public for tourism and private parties.

The boats used for taxi services are mainly large powerboats with inboard motors. Most of these vessels are covered or enclosed and provide heat when necessary. They provide restrooms, galleys, open-air decks and some cocktail services. Smaller boats with outboard motors or catamarans with sails are mainly used for the tourist trade.

Most major cities of the world that are on a large body of water provide some form of water taxi service for its residences and tourists. For commuters, the water taxi is a great alternative form of transportation that is comfortable, safe and relaxing. In Venice, Italy, gondolas have been used to transport people for hundreds of years. Since civilization has occupied the region of the Nile River in Egypt, similar floating cruises have been popular.

In the United States, cities like Baltimore, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, most of Florida and Hawaii have some form of water taxi service. China has several water towns that have existed since ancient times and rely on water taxi services. Belize offers magnificent floating tours through the “River of Caves” that run underground on the Sibun River.

In most tropical regions, water taxi services also provide submarine tours. These are an excellent opportunity to view the undersea life of whales, dolphins, sea turtles, coral reefs, lava flows and a magnificent variety of tropical fish.

In the United States, licensed and insured captains operate all water taxi vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard also inspects them regularly. Comfort, cleanliness, reliability and safety are competing requirements that keep them in business.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Euroxati — On Jul 23, 2014

A few years ago, I went on a field trip, and my group and I went on a submarine tour. It was very mysterious, to say the least. What made it so intriguing is how different the ocean is from what we're used to. It's a completely different world, which is both fascinating and terrifying at the same time.

By Hazali — On Jul 22, 2014

Next summer, I will be going out of state, and I think this would be a great opportunity for me to try out some water taxi services. It's really breaks the norm for the average transportation. However, in my opinion, one thing that might hold people back from these services is fear of drowning, especially if you don't know how to swim. After all, if something were to go wrong, you could sink or drown. However, I'm sure that there are accommodations for this.

By Viranty — On Jul 22, 2014

I've never heard of water taxi services, but regardless, this is an interesting article. It really emphasizes that there are multiple ways of transportation around the earth, which includes more than just flying, driving, or walking. However, I'm assuming that water taxi services are a lot more popular with people who live around large bodies of water, which makes sense. After all, if you live in a rural area, why go to all the trouble just to get a submarine tour?

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