Meet Your Captain

My name is Ryan D. Holt.

I am originally from SW New Jersey (about 45 minutes due south of Philadelphia), but have been in SWFL since 1980; therefore, I am what you would call “a near-native Floridian.” I graduated from Barron Collier High School in 1989, then graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville (Go Gators!) in 1995 with my Undergraduate Degree, then earned an MA in English Literature from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 2003 (but I’m not a Seminole fan, sorry lol). I taught college English at FGCU and FSW for 25 years, hence my nickname: “The Professor.”

I am also a single father of a sweet, smart, and affable little girl (10) named Delia Rosemary, whom I share 50/50 custody with and who also occasionally accompanies me on my tours. She is a seasoned pro, having been on the waterways with me since she was 3 years old and is a tremendous help to me, especially if tour groups have younger children.

The last ten years of my teaching career, I double-dipped and worked on the waterways around Marco Island and earned my USCG Captain’s License (USA000585652-8471309) in 2020. Thus, I began working on the water more and more and teaching in the classroom less and less, which is why I ultimately decided to buy a boat and start my own business after putting my collection of classical works of literature and poetry (as well as hanging up my brown houndstooth sports coat with elbow patches) away in my keepsake closet for good. Now, I am a full-time boat captain/ tour guide who offers you a customized private “surf, sun, and fun” boat excursion around the waterways and mangroves islands and beaches that most of our northern visitors consider a savory and unsolicited slice of playful porpoise paradise. Welcome the Treasure Coast, the West (Best) Coast of the Sunshine State!

Nothing beats being your own boss and doing what you love to do to make an earnest living; however, at Paradise Tours with The Professor, you, the paying patron, are the real boss, so we do whatever it is you and your family or friends wants to do within the time constraints! Whether it’s a 3 hour or an 8 hour adventure that you booked and are paying for with your hard-earned money, I will customize your private tour, asking the same question before every excursion: “What would YOU like to do on your scheduled tour?” Then, just sit back, relax, breath, smile, enjoy and consider it done! Class with The Professor is in session.