1. Archive

Pirates to soon join pelicans at The Pier

City approval of its lease means Buccaneer Adventure Cruises will offer daily outings.

Pirates are about to take over downtown.

Soon, a custom-made, 47-foot pirate ship will offer cruises from The Pier downtown.

Royal Conquest will begin sailing as soon as it secures its final inspections, owner Dean Iverson said. He hopes that will be by the end of August.

"We'd like to add to St. Petersburg's attractions," said Iverson, a Clearwater resident who runs the company with his wife.

Without discussion, the City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a lease with Buccaneer Adventure Cruises L.L.C. to operate from The Pier's south marina for one year. The company will pay a base rent of $6,000, plus 6.5 percent of gross monthly sales over $7,692.

Royal Conquest resembles a 17th century pirate ship with two decks. On board, passengers will be able to buy sodas, wine, beer, champagne and other items.

The ship will sail three times a day, seven days a week, for morning, afternoon and evening cruises. Buccaneer Adventure Cruises also will offer private charters and special late-night dance cruises on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The daily themed cruises are similar to the Captain Nemo cruises in Clearwater. Company employees will dress in pirate gear and tell stories about pirates and local lore as the ship sails in local waters for two hours, Iverson said.

The cost will be $20 for adults, $15 for children and $17 for seniors over 65 and young people ages 13 to 17. Discounts will be available for large groups.

"We're going to put together a little pirate show," Iverson said.