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Times of the Islands Magazine

Adventures in Paradise - A Family Business offering Cruises, Tours and Retail located on Sanibel Island

Oct 21, 2021 03:10PM ● By Jessica Wagner

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Stewart

Adventures in Paradise calls Sanibel Island home and provides many amazing experiences to both locals and tourists. In addition to the cruises and tours they offer, there are also two outfitters locations where you can stock up on all the gear you need for your next adventure.

Adventures in Paradise is a family business that began in 1986 by Craig and Evelyn Stewart. After honeymooning in Tahiti and Moorea, the couple dreamed of calling an island home one day. After much planning, “Adventures in Paradise was born in the back shipping room of the Stewart’s import/export business in Annapolis, Maryland,” recalls Evelyn Stewart.

Once the idea was put forth, the Stewarts decided to call Florida home, specifically Sanibel Island, after visiting a friend and stumbling upon the amazing location.

“We endeavor to provide the very best in cruises and tours giving our guests happy times, happy memories. We have a strong work ethic which we try to convey to all our staff. One of the most rewarding aspects of the business is having the opportunity to instill in our staff, (many young FGCU Marine Biologists and Environmentalists) the ethics of hard work, integrity in their work, and how to impart knowledge in a fun, creative, but accurate manner,” states Evelyn.

Compliments don’t run short for Adventures in Paradise. One of the biggest compliments that Evelyn recalls is when staff members have gone on to other places and have come back to tell the Stewarts that AIP was the best influence.

A few fun facts that not many know about Adventures in Paradise include that they were “the first company in the area to bring a powered catamaran to these waters, all custom built by Corinthian Yachts,” states Evelyn. Plus, AIP now has the largest fleet of 45-foot powered catamarans and they were the first company to offer educational “eco” cruises. These cruises, such as “The Sealife Encounter Excursion, [are] designed around children where we take guests out to a deserted island with our marine biologist, do nettings, put species in touch tanks and aquariums and study, then demonstrate how to return species to their home waters gently to continue to thrive,” explains Evelyn.

The Stewart family not only prides themselves on great staffing and experiences for their guests, but they feel supporting the community is important, as well. Some of the organizations they support include The Bailey Matthews Shell Museum, where they served on the board for 6 years, The Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce, where they currently serve on the Board of Directors, The Sanibel School,  The Children’s Center of the Islands, Big Arts and many more.

In addition to the outstanding experiences they provide, Adventures in Paradise also offers two outfitters locations. The location at Tahitian Gardens Shopping Center “specializes in upscale, quality clothing, shoes, gifts, hats, bags, for the outdoor enthusiasts,” states Evelyn. The store is open 7 days per week, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Evelyn’s youngest son, Josh, “can be seen daily in the store, or live on Youtube’s, “Drinks with Josh” featuring not only AIP Outfitters but visiting other Sanibel and Captiva stores and restaurants promoting our islands to all who cannot be here all the time!”

For more information on the cruises, tours, and outfitters' locations, visit their website today!