Join the Rich at Art Basel in Miami Beach and Take UberBOAT to Beat Traffic

Car service is so passé in a city surrounded by water. Go by luxury yacht!

Obviously you want to Instagram your ride on UberBOAT. Photo: Sarah Cascone.
Obviously you want to Instagram your ride on UberBOAT. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

UberBOAT has officially arrived in Miami, allowing you to completely avoid the notoriously bad traffic on the causeways between Miami Beach and Wynwood, or the Design District.

artnet News snagged one of the first rides on the new service, which kicked off on Thursday. The first day Uber was forced to shut down early due to the torrential rains, but UberBOAT users were able to request boat rides on the app between 2:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

UberBOAT pulling into the dock. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

UberBOAT pulling into the dock.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Launched specially for Art Basel, UberBOAT costs $35 and allows you and up to five friends to travel in style across Biscayne Bay aboard a luxury yacht cum speedboat. Best of all, there’s no surge pricing.

On Friday night during Art Basel, visitors to the city can spend up to two hours stuck on the bridge, Uber’s Miami Marketing manager, Billy Bohan Chinique, warned artnet News. Clearly, UberBOAT is a much-needed alternative means of transport.

The crew on UberBOAT approach Miami. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

The crew on UberBOAT approach Miami.
Photo: Sarah Cascone.

It’s hard to say if traffic, which is always terrible during Miami Art Week, has gotten any worse this year, but the ongoing closure of the Venetian Causeway, one of only three passages between Miami Beach and Miami, definitely isn’t helping matters.

Our trip on the Uber boat began in an Uber Lux, which brought us from the Soho Beach House to the dock at Maurice Gibb Memorial Park. There, we were greeted by cheerful Uber team members, who handed us Chistmas-themed chalices from Stella Artois, which has sponsored the limited run of UberBOAT.

UberBOAT has a special fleet of cars. Photo: courtesy Uber.

UberBOAT has a special fleet of cars.
Photo: courtesy Uber.

After a brief wait, we were helped on board a 36-foot-long private yacht (one of six pressed into service for the UberBOAT launch) outfitted with comfortable Uber-branded pillows, and set off across the bay, the breeze blowing in our hair. Clearly, UberBOAT lets you travel in style.

At the other side, we disembarked at the Sea Isle Marina, and were shuttled into a second car, which took us to our final destination in Wynwood.

The UberBOAT pick-up zone. Photo: courtesy Uber.

The UberBOAT pick-up zone.
Photo: courtesy Uber.

All told, it still took nearly two hours in transit thanks to the horrendous street traffic on either end of our journey, but our 20 minute boat ride certainly beat being parked on the MacArthur or Julia Tuttle Causeway.

This is only Uber’s third attempt to introduce sea travel to its line of services, after similar pilots in Boston and Istanbul. While the service is only available through Saturday, expect UberBOAT to be back next year—possibly with additional service along the beach.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share