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 onboard our three boats: Azure Seas, Whisper, and Santa Barbara Water Taxi – known as Lil’ Toot.
Meet the Founders: Captain Fred And Kathy Hershman
With 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 United States Coast Guard from 1968 to 1974. A decorated veteran from the Vietnam War, he holds a 100-ton, near coastal Master’s license. Captain Fred’s wife, Kathy, is his counterpart and shares ownership of Celebration Cruises alongside him. Though she is the company’s co-owner, it does not stop her from also being the company’s business manager, event planner, and cruise director. Together, they make the perfect team for safety and service.
The Hershman’s started Santa Barbara’s first-ever water taxi service in 2003 after purchasing the most iconic boat in the Santa Barbara Harbor, Lil Toot. Lil’ Toot offers daily narrated boat rides between the Santa Barbara Harbor and Stearns Wharf. Just look for the bubbles and listen for the toot! They then started Celebration Cruises in 2010 to offer the Santa Barbara community and visitors a variety of cruise types and private charter opportunities. With business booming, they later acquired their 70′ multi-level luxury yacht, Azure Seas, in 2014 and the only fully electric vessel in the Santa Barbara Harbor, Whisper, in 2017.
Both Fred and Kathy share a deep passion and commitment to Santa Barbara and the waterfront community. They are active members of the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, contributing to many local fund-raising events, and offering free tours to public schools and individuals on active military duty.