Celebration Cruises of Santa Barbara
Owners of Azure Seas Cruises
Santa Barbara Water Taxi

Offering Waterfront Cruises, Harbor Tours
and Private Charters

Whether you want to experience a tour of Santa Barbara’s beautiful coast, have a romantic evening with a loved one, enjoy music out on the water with friends or plan your perfect party, Celebration Cruises has everything you need. Here you can learn all about our selection of Santa Barbara cruises on board our two boats: Azure Seas and Santa Barbara Water Taxi – known as Lil’ Toot.

Meet the Founders: Captain Fred And Kathy Hershman

fred-kathy-350With 40+ years experience in both pleasure and commercial vessels, Captain Fred Hershman has spent his entire life on or near boats – growing up with his father on a 51-foot Ketch sailboat and serving in the Coast Guard from 1968 to 1974. A decorated veteran from the Vietnam War, he holds a 100-ton, near coastal Masters license. Captain Fred’s wife Kathy is Azure Seas’ business manager, event planner and cruise director. Currently they live on one of the 113 live-aboard vessels in the Santa Barbara Harbor. Together, they make the perfect team for safety and service. The Hershman’s started Santa Barbara’s original water taxi service Santa Barbara Water Taxi (aka Lil’ Toot) in 2003. Lil’ Toot offers daily narrated boat rides between the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. They started Celebration Cruises in 2010 to offer the Santa Barbara community and visitors more cruise and private charter opportunities, acquiring Azure Seas in 2014.

captain-fred-350Both Fred and Kathy share a deep passion and commitment to Santa Barbara and the waterfront community. They are active members of Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, contribute to many local fund-raising events, and offer free tours to public schools as well as individuals on active military duty.

The Best View of Santa Barbara is from the Water”
– Captain Fred Hershman


Our Boats:
Santa Barbara Water Taxi “Lil’ Toot”
the Azure Seas Luxury Yacht &
Whisper All Electric Charter Boat

Experience Santa Barbara’s beautiful waterfront and spectacular sunsets aboard the Lil’ Toot, Santa Barbara’s original, authorized water taxi. The 15-minute boat ride aboard the Lil’ Toot takes you to many of Santa Barbara’s most popular restaurants and destinations. Lil’ Toot’s sister yacht, Azure Seas, offers Santa Barbara Sunset Cruises and also has private charters that can host up to 46 passengers.

About Lil’ Toot – Santa Barbara’s Original Water Taxi Service

Lil’ Toot was built in Osterville, Massachusetts in 1987, by the Crosby Tug Company. Made of fiberglass, our clean and comfortable boat seats 22 passengers. Lil’ Toot is Santa Barbara’s original water taxi service, shuttling locals and visitors alike between Stearns Wharf and Santa Barbara Harbor since 2003. Over the years, our water taxi business has evolved to offer premier cruises including sightseeing boat tours, sunset cruises, private charters, family-friendly activities, and more! Your safety is very important to us. Lil’ Toot is inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard once a year and is captained by licensed U.S. Coast Guard professionals with over 30-years experience each. We also meet Coast Guard standards of safety, carrying both child and adult life vests as well as firefighting equipment.
Santa Barbara Water Taxi is an official member of the Santa Barbara Tourism Partnership Program.

Fun Facts About Santa Barbara’s Lil’ Toot: Did you know?

  • Lil Toot only uses 4 gallons of fuel a day!
  • The Lil’ Toot was originally painted red. After unsuccessfully searching the west coast for the 26 Crosby tug, Fred Hershman turned to the east coast and found the boat that would become Lil’ Toot in New Hampshire!
  • Lil’ Toot is yellow with black accents, reminiscent of a New York taxicab, and is named after its distinctive whistle.
  • Every seat offers a good view and the boat has clear windows that roll down to keep out the cold and rain.
  • We offer free boat tours for public school and individuals on active military duty.
  • You can get married on the Lil’ Toot by an ordained captain.

About Azure Seas Luxury Yacht

Azure Seas is a 46-Passenger yacht with a 4 crew capacity in Santa Barbara California. Located at Stearns Wharf, Azure Seas has daily coastal cruises, whale watching cruises and sunset cruises. Azure Seas is also the perfect celebration venue for special events including birthday parties, weddings, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, memorials, holiday parties, corporate events, and more. The views are spectacular and the experience is unforgettable. Azure Seas offers all the amenities for a spectacular Santa Barbara cruise and celebration. Our large open air upper deck has movable seating options or can be used as a dance floor all with a great view. The pilot house has comfortable seating for 4 right behind the captain. In front of the pilot house, our Portuguese Bridge has intimate outdoor seating for 4 to 6 with unobstructed views. The main salon is the largest area of our Santa Barbara yacht with a full bar, three large tables with seating and a buffet area. There are windows all around for climate-controlled viewing. The large bow is the perfect place for weddings or group pictures and has padded seating for about 15 passengers. There’s not a bad seat in the house, so you can toast with friends or loved ones as you take in the best views of Santa Barbara from our sunset cruise or a private event aboard the Azure Seas. We invite you to join us for our daily coastal and sunset cruises or contact us to plan a private event on board Azure Seas.

About Whisper, the All Electric Charter Boat

Whisper is a 6 passenger fully electric charter boat, the only one like it on the water in Santa Barbara. With comfortable seating and 360 degree views, this boat is a uniquely perfect venue for any intimate event.

Our Santa Barbara sunset cruises and harbor tours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Check our calendar for daily cruise departure times. For more info or to reserve a private charter, Contact Us or call (805) 465-6676.