Fort Lauderdale has been dubbed the Yachting Capital of the World. With more than 100,000 visitors from more than 50 countries flocking to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) last year, it has certainly earned its reputation. This year’s festival takes place from Oct. 25 to 29 at seven different venues. While the show is going on its 64th year, it stays fresh with new experiences while staying true to bringing together every yachty under the sun.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center has long been the host site of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and with a recent $1 billion renovation, it has even more to offer. During the five-day show, visitors will be able to wander through an extra 350,000 square feet of exhibition space, boasting technological upgrades, unparalleled waterfront views, and modernized decor fit for one of the biggest events of the year in Greater Fort Lauderdale. One of the biggest draws to the convention center will be the Nautical Ventures' AquaZone, an engaging exhibition showcasing water sports and marine products — perfect for yacht owners wanting to add more fun to their time on the water. The experience will run an hour after the show opens and an hour before the show closes for the day.
Another exciting addition to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the use of the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina’s brand-new southern property for the Superyacht Village. The storied hotel has long been the heartbeat of the yachting community, and under new ownership, the property is expanding and is ready to host some of the world’s top yachts. Consider the village to be the best of the best, where yacht builders are ready in person to greet boaters ready to map out the blueprints to their next vessel or find their next favorite exotic brand. Guests can also indulge in a drink at the SYV bar, taking in the marina views.
These two venues, however, are just two of seven locations where the boat show will be spread to provide the optimum experience. There will also be events and activations at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall Of Fame Marina, Las Olas Marina, 17th Street Yacht Basin, and the Pier 66 Marina.
Over six decades old, the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show has been anything but stale. Boat owners and enthusiasts attend the show to see the greatest in boating technology. One thousand brands participate in exhibitions, putting front and center the hottest technology and cutting-edge design on the market today. That includes everything from new-age water toys to superyachts filled with the latest gadgets.
Attendees are also able to learn about what’s new on the horizon through a number of seminars. This year, FLIBS is partnering with industry pros like the Marine Research Hubs, FWC Officers, and the Ocean Rescue Alliance to share their insights on coral reef restoration, tricks of the trade in lobster hunting, mental health for superyacht staff, and kids’ fishing clinics. The seminars all align with FLIBS’ mission to be a zero-waste and net-zero carbon event by 2030.
Top-tier ticket holders are given early entry to the boat show, free shuttle and Water Taxi service, and entry to the VIP Classic Cars Evening. Need to kick your feet up? VIP also includes access to the Windward VIP Club, with a premium open bar, chef-curated dishes, luxury activations, and private bathrooms.
But not only Windward VIP will have a luxe experience at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. The five-day schedule features well-heeled events such as the Fort Lauderdale Concours. The soiree brings together marine and roadster enthusiasts with an array of classic and iconic cars, fine art, fashion, live music, and passed bites as the sun lowers into the Intracoastal.
No show attendees will go hungry, either. Corporate Executive Chef Vagn Nielson is heading Proof of the Pudding to serve up international dishes for every taste bud, from woodfired picanha and hamburgers to fresh stone crabs, calamari, and oysters. For a drink with some kick, order a cocktail or brew from the Goslings’ Dark ‘N Stormy Island Bar, the Anheuser-Busch Island Beer Garden, and Stella Artois Barge.
Ease of Travel
With so many experiences and events to partake in, five days might not seem like enough. Luckily, getting around all seven locations of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is a breeze. More than 3,000 parking spots will be available at the Broward County Convention Center, serving as the event’s transportation hub.
Free shuttle service will be available for guests, with routes to and from the convention center to Bahia Mar, the Superyacht Village to Bahia Mar, and Fort Lauderdale Brightline station to the Riverside Hotel.
Attendees can also hop from one marina to the next aboard the Water Taxi, with three routes traveling to and from the Riverside Hotel to Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach a DoubleTree by Hilton, to and from Broward County Convention Center to SuperYacht Village to Bahia Mar, and to and from the Gallery ONEDoubleTree Hotel to Las Olas Marina to Bahia Mar.