Wilmington Water Tours at the Helm of New Water Taxi Service
Wilmington Water Tours has launched a new venture, its captain said. The local river tour and cruise company has begun offering water taxi service that links downtown Wilmington and the Battleship North Carolina, according to Wilmington Water Tours co-owner and Capt. Doug Springer. The new service, called Beeline, will start with one boat, he said.
Terry Bragg, executive director of the Battleship North Carolina, said Tuesday that his organization looks forward to working with Beeline.
The Bizzy Bee is a 31-foot passenger boat, purchased from a water taxi company in Buffalo, New York. As business grows, Beeline will add boats, each of which will have a bee-themed name, according to Springer.
Growth of the service is definitely on Springer’s agenda. He hopes to be able to add a stop on the northern Riverfront when the marina and other commercial development is complete there. He has also talked with other communities in the area about expanding the water taxi to serve them.
“The vision is that one day you will be able to fly into our airport and then be shuttled to board a water taxi. From the water you will have access to Wilmington, Navassa, Leland, Belville, Eagles Island, Carolina Beach, Southport and other river landings throughout the basin,” Springer said.
“The business model we are using is a consulting model that will allow us to set up others in business that may want a “bee” of their own or even a “hive” to serve a specific area,” he explained. “My desire is not to run 20 boats, but instead to see 20 boats serving our area.”
Meanwhile, Bragg said he is excited at the opportunities to showcase the Battleship’s growing assets to those who visit by water taxi. Once a permanent cofferdam is built around the ship to provide access to the hull for repairs, a universally accessible walkway and a larger dock will be constructed. A new nature trail is also in the works to allow Battleship visitors to explore an adjacent portion of Eagles Island.
Beeline is operating the taxi service from 9am to 8pm daily, Springer said.