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About Us

Offering waterfront cruises, harbor tours & 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 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 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 and Whisper is 2017.

Both 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.