MIASF Business Spotlight: Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises January 30, 2019
Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruises was started in 1935 by Captain 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 added a vaudeville show and it stayed popular 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 of tourists’ faces each year.