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Wild Florida airboat captains: Meet John!

A trip to Wild Florida is incomplete without an airboat ride. (It’s bucket-list worthy, folks!) We’ve got a fine fleet here at beautiful Lake Cypress in the Middle of Nowhere, FL. But it’s our airboat captains who really make a ride the adventure of a lifetime!

airboat captains at Wild FloridaThey’re all licensed Master Captains through the U.S. Coast Guard. It’s the most stringent and comprehensive licensing process for inland tour boat operators in the country. It also means that all our airboats themselves are regularly inspected by the Coast Guard. Fun is our mission, but safety is our priority.

Our airboat captains have been trolling these waters for years, even before joining the Wild Florida family. They’re airboat experts and the best ambassadors for the swamp that you’ll find in Florida. They know where to find the gators and how to whiz across the lake and through the reeds like the birds.

Lake Cypress is an integral part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, which form the headwaters of the Everglades right here in Central Florida. This ecosystem is a combination of swamps, rivers, freshwater lakes, and man-made canals that our captains know like the back of their hands.

There’s no better way to see the Everglades than by taking an airboat ride in Orlando, and no better qualified captains than our crew here at Wild Florida. They’re knowledgeable, friendly, and ready to whisk you away on a wild ride, day or night! Today, meet John Niedenthal. He’s a local with a lot of knowledge and one of our most popular captains. John is a man of few words, but when he’s got something to say it’s a doozy. He’s shy and funny and you’re sure to have a good time when you’re out on the water with him.


John the airboat captainJohn Niedenthal


Hometown: St. Cloud, FL

Years at Wild Florida: 2

Years airboating: 7

Favorite animal to see out on the water: Spotting alligators on the water never gets old! 

Thoughts on eco-tourism: “Central Florida is more than theme parks and outlet malls. I can prove it!"

Favorite part about being an airboat captain: “Just being on the water.”

John is one of nine airboat captains here at Wild Florida. Each has their own style, stories, and secrets of the swamp to share. But no matter who you call captain, you’re sure to enjoy the ride, the scenery, and the expert navigation that our airboat crew provides. So book your airboat ride today and get to know a captain for yourself!

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