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Playing until the sun goes down: Sunset Serenade Cruise

By Staff | Jul 14, 2011

By CAROL ORR HARTMAN Island icon and musician Danny Morgan stands aboard the Lady Chadwick with Captains Kevin Smith and Andy Scott in the South Seas Marina. Morgan performs his legendary island music upon the 65-foot Skipper Liner during Captiva Cruises’ Sunset Serenade.

Ever dream of experiencing a breathtaking Southwest Florida sunset on the water while being serenaded by sensual island music?

Your dream can come true with Captiva Cruises’ Sunset Serenade upon a 65-foot Skipper Liner and live entertainment by legendary singer/songwriter Danny Morgan. Passengers aboard the Lady Chadwick can delight in a cocktail from the full-service cash bar while watching the sun slip into the Gulf of Mexico between two beautiful islands. It’s a romantic (but kid friendly) way to wrap up a day on Captiva Island.

Danny Morgan, who plays most nights on the cruise, is a longtime Captiva resident and often compared to Jimmy Buffett. Music captured his imagination as a child and he began performing as a teenager in the Cincinnati and Kentucky area. He arrived in Southwest Florida in the mid-1970s and has since carved a niche for himself that is uniquely his own.

“I enjoy meeting all the fun people and watching beautiful sunsets,” he said of performing on the one-hour cruise. “The staff is terrific.”

In honor of the spectacular Florida sunsets, Danny composed a special song that he performs while the sun dips below the horizon – properly titled “Sunset Song” on his “It’s Always Summer” album. His music evokes images of sunny beaches, waves crashing onto the shore and beautiful, fun evenings making it perfect island music. He welcomes requests from passengers, some who have made watching the sunset from the Lady Chadwick a tradition.

By CHRIS KOERNER The sun begins to disappear into the Gulf of Mexico as Danny Morgan serenades passengers aboard the Lady Chadwick. Known for its romantic atmosphere, passengers on the Sunset Serenade Cruise can delight in a cocktail from the full-service cash bar and dance along to Morgan’s island-made music.

“I feel honored to watch the kids grow up,” he said of the 25 years he’s been playing on the Sunset Serenade cruise. “I’m playing at their weddings now.”

The double-decker boat offers an enclosed, temperature-controlled lower level, an open-air upper deck, which is partially covered, and full restroom facilities. The Lady Chadwick utilizes two Captiva marinas – McCarthy’s Marina and South Seas Marina – depending on the season. This year-round cruise has been popular with islanders and island visitors alike.

Captiva Cruises, founded in 1986, is an excursion boat company, which operates a fleet of vessels and an exciting program of tours and cruises. The culture of Captiva Cruises, a recognized leader in the Florida ecotourism industry, is one committed to a course of action, which honors the islands’ history of conservation and legacy of environmental education.

To advocate its environmental commitment, Captiva Cruises offers a Science at Sea Eco-Tour where you can become a marine biologist for an hour and a half. Haul crab-traps and plankton nets. Passengers can take part in actual scientific research that will be utilized by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Marine Lab.

Captiva Cruises also offers a Night Sky Astronomy Cruise, in which planets, stars and constellations will be identified along the way and mythology and mysteries of the universe will be appreciated under the magic of the night sky. During the Shoreline Discovery Cruise, passengers travel to a secluded beach for a guided shoreline walk to discuss coastal sea life and beach dynamics, explore mudflats and use nets for an up-close look at some of the amazing inhabitants of the Back Bay Estuary Ecosystem.

BY CHRIS KOERNER Legendary musician Danny Morgan performs during Captiva Cruises’ Sunset Serenade. Morgan composed a special song he performs as the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico properly titled “Sunset Song,” which can be found on his “It’s Always Summer” album.

Other sunset cruises available include the Sunset Sail, a two-hour ride upon a catamaran, and the one-and-a-half hour Sunset and Wildlife Cruise aboard a powered catamaran.

For a complete listing of the cruises offered through Captiva Cruises, call 239-472-5300 or visit www.captivacruises.com. To learn more about Danny Morgan or purchase one of his albums, visit his web site at dannymorgan.com.

BY CHRIS KOERNER This 65-foot Skipper Liner named Lady Chadwick takes its passengers to watch the exquisite Southwest Florida sunset while being serenaded with sensual island music by Danny Morgan.