Published: Feb 26, 2014 5:36 PM EST
Updated: Feb 26, 2014 6:06 PM EST

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Tourists are getting the chance to see southwest Florida from every angle, thanks to a new partnership between local businesses.

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Captiva Cruises and Pinchers Crab Shack have teamed up to offer local history, food and natural beauty all at once.

WINK News joined out-of-towners on the very first "Partners on the River" cruise, which left from Captiva Wednesday morning.

Capriva Cruises took passengers through the Pine Island Sound and up the Caloosahatchee River, along an historic postal route, to the Edison and Ford Estates.

"I like the education piece about what is here in Florida that is not what most people say they typically come to Florida for," said Anne Hogan, who was visiting with old friends from college.

"it's a real delight to see this cultural, historical, ecological preservation that's going on here," said Kat Beaulieu, one of Hogan's friends.

Jamie and Jan MaGirl, who portray Thomas Edison and his wife, Mina, at the Estates, were aboard Wednesday's cruise.

"We thoroughly enjoy it, because we both love history and it's (great) to be able to share history -- bring it to life," said Jan MaGirl.

While Thomas Edison is famous for his inventions, he also enjoyed fishing.  That's where the seafood comes in.

Pinchers Crab Shack will open its newest location next to the Estates in March, but Wednesday's visitors got an early taste before a private tour of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford's winter homes.

The Partners on the River will offer cruises every Wednesday.

The cruises will leave from McCarthy Marina on Captiva Island at 10 a.m., with tickets costing $65 for adults and $60 for children 12 years old or younger.

Cruises will also be offered out of The Marina at Edison Ford at noon and 1 p.m. on Wednesdays.  Tickets cost $45 for adults and $35 for children.

Lunch is not included in ticket prices.

The Partners hope to offer daily cruises this summer, when Captiva Cruises purchases a new boat.