Set sail for the Dry Tortugas archipelago in the stunning Florida Keys

Surprisingly, the most isolated national park in the USA doesn’t have mountains, pine forests or bears. Think less tundra and more wide open waters, frigatebirds, dugongs and schools of colourful fish. Yep, we’re talking about the Dry Tortugas Islands, a constellation of islands just off Florida Keys in America’s south-eastern tip. Dive right into this special sailing adventure to one of America's least visited national parks – a place where you can feel marooned like Robinsion Crusoe in the Marquesas Islands, or step back to frontier times at the canon-loaded Fort Jefferson. Most importantly though, this is a cruise designed for relaxation – so pack a book, sun screen and get ready to bliss out Tortugas-style.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Key West, United States
Finish
Key West, United States
Country
United States
Style
Original
Theme
Sailing
Code
SSSF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 8

Why we love this trip

  • This brand-new trip ventures to one of the USA’s most remote and least-visited national park – a world away from the well-beaten tourist trails

  • Spot pelicans, boobies, terns and plenty more bird life off Garden Key

  • Pop on a snorkel and meet some of the Tortuga's colourful sea life, including the chance to spot sea turtles and dolphins

  • There’s flexibility and room for spontaneity. Join us in shaping this new and exciting adventure while it’s still in its experimental stages

Is this trip right for you?

  • As the majority of this trip takes place on a sailing boat, you’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the vessel, including the use of stairs. With that said, sea legs come naturally to some but not so much for others. Your friendly crew will be able to help with the effects of sea sickness if needed.

  • A zodiac is used to transport passengers from the boat to the islands, with landings taking place at piers (dry landings) as well as on beaches (wet landings). Zodiacs can sometimes be awkward to climb in and out of, but a sense of humour and can-do attitude is all you need.

  • This is an adventure on board a real yacht, which means living spaces, cabins, bathrooms and showers need to be shared with other passengers. Sleeping quarters can be quite compact, but you will be spending the majority of your time above board in the open air.

  • Time on the water also means time in the sun. Remember to pack sun protection, such as sun screen and a hat, and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. See ‘Essential Trip Information’ below for a full packing list.

  • Please note that smooth sailing is dependent on the weather, so itinerary changes may occur at the last minute if the weather becomes unfavourable. If any changes are made, you can trust in your knowledgeable skipper to choose an alternative route or activity.

  • Due to the size of the yachts, sound carries easily from one side to the other and can wake your fellow travellers. If you’re planning to have a late night, it’s a good idea to head into town and experience the local night life.

Itinerary

Welcome to Key West, the southernmost city in continental USA. Located in the Florida Keys – a coral cay archipelago extending from Florida’s south-eastern tip – Key West attracts an eclectic mix of residents and visitors: artists, writers, yatchies, retirees, holidaying families and partying students. More than 1700 islands make up the archipelago, the majority of which are part of National, State or Marine parks. 

After touching down at Key West airport, head to the marina at 4pm to meet your skipper and fellow travellers. You can meet your skipper by waiting in the Captain's Launch at the Stock Island Marina, which is found at the end of the main pier. Take some time to wander around town this afternoon and perhaps enjoy an early dinner near the marina. You can also choose to head out for a night on the town and sample some of the local nightlife.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Set sail this morning to the Marquesas Islands (approx. 18 nm). With cooperative winds and seas, the boat should arrive with plenty of time to head ashore and explore this afternoon. The white beaches are an excellent spot to lay down a towel and relax, while the shallow waters make for a refreshing dip when the day heats up. The Marquesas Islands are protected by a 300-foot no-motor zone, which was established by local authorities to help protect such creatures as nesting turtles and birds. Due to the no-motor zone, passengers will need to climb into and out of a dinghy to access the shore. Another option is to simply swim off the back of the boat and relax on deck.
Set sail on the morning of day 3 for the Dry Tortugas National Park. The boat will be travelling approximately 43 nautical miles.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
The Dry Tortugas National Park is vast, comprised of dozens of small islands, and for this reason we will spend two nights here to explore it thoroughly. You can choose to wander the ramparts of the Civil War-era Fort Jefferson National Monument and learn about its past as a fort and prison, or swim ashore at Loggerhead Key or Hospital Key to explore. Bush Key is also a great place for some bird watching, which can be done from the catamaran. Please note the variety of activities here will vary depending on the weather and availability, as well as the general wishes of the group to visit certain islands. The boat itself is a great place to laze around, read a book, or learn the basics of sailing from your knowledgeable skipper.

As the most isolated and least visited national park in the United States, the Dry Tortugas have very few services on land and your group will be completely self-sufficient during your time here.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
We say goodbye to the Dry Tortugas early this morning and return to Key West, (approx. 59 nm). Arrive at the harbour in the evening. Scrub up for a night at the town's bars and restaurants and enjoy a round of farewell drinks with your crew.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Farewell your fellow travellers today as this trip comes to an end back in Key West. There are no activities after breakfast, and you’ll be disembarking the yacht by 10 am.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Boat

Accommodation

Overnight boat (6 nights)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

PASSPORT DETAILS

Please provide full passport details at time of booking including exact name as per passport, date of birth, nationality, issue and expiry dates as these are essential for booking services on this trip. If not available at time of booking, we must have these details a minimum of 12 days prior to departure. The passport details that we are advised, MUST be the passport that you will be travelling on.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Dietary requirements are required at the time of booking so that any included meals can be properly catered for.

PARTICIPATION

You don't need to hold a recreational skippers ticket or any sailing experience at all to join this trip, however it is expected that you help keep the bathrooms, communal areas, the galley and your own room clean. You will also be asked to chip in at meal time, either helping out with food preparation, cooking, setting or clearing the table and washing up dishes. You are more than welcome to participate in the sailing as much as possible.

ITINERARY CHANGES

The beauty of sailing is that each day is unique and, while we have a destination to reach, if the weather changes or something takes the group’s fancy, we have the flexibility to adjust the day's itinerary.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Key West & Dry Tortugas Sailing Adventure trips score an average of 4.44 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Key West & Dry Tortugas Sailing Adventure, April 2017

Elise Kidd

Key West & Dry Tortugas Sailing Adventure, April 2017

David Scarratt