CREATING MEMORIES SINCE 1935
The area's history dates back more than 4,000 years to the arrival of the aboriginal natives and later the Tequesta Indians who inhabited the land for over 1,000 years. Fort Lauderdale became known as the "New River Settlement" when pioneer families began arriving in the area in the mid to late 1890s. Organized development began when Henry Flagler built the Florida East Coast railroad through the area in 1896. By 1911, the little town was incorporated and, in 1915, Fort Lauderdale was designated the county seat of the newly formed Broward County.
Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises was started in 1935 by Al Starts and consisted of a few small sightseeing boats that gave sightseeing tours through the "Venice of America," Fort Lauderdale's New River during the thirties. After World War II the Jungle Queens traveled the waterways and waterfront homes to the delight of their passengers. Soon there was a dinner cruise that ran the same type of cruise at night but with dinner and a show at a tropical isle on the New River.
Earl Faber, a former vaudevillian, took over in 1958 and created/added a vaudeville show and it developed and stayed popular, and colorful, from the old vaudevillian, for many years with its unique format. Earl passed away in 1963 and the family continued the business. In 1963 Jerry Faber, Earl's son took over and expanded promotions, increased the staff, added alcoholic beverages, and built the new "old fashioned sternwheeler," a 500 passenger vessel. That created more demand and increased business and passenger counts into the hundreds of thousands every year. It truly is "World Famous Jungle Queen" and has remained a laid back casual, relaxed cruise for everyone. In 2014, after running the business for 51 years, Jerry Faber passed away. He left behind a legacy and became an icon in the tourism industry. Now moving on to the third generation, his family continues to run the business and strives to keep smiles on thousands or tourists' faces each year. A true "Must in Fort Lauderdale." A way to see the Venice of America and relax, eat, and be merry, on a unique cruise you'll always remember.
On March 30th, 2016 we welcomed our newest member of the fleet, the River Queen. The River Queen is a 125-passenger paddle wheel riverboat that will feature daily, 90-minute Sightseeing cruises and is available for charters.