You have to go there to come back. At least that’s the way things are for anybody looking to drive to Key West. The long, thin line of islands that make up the Florida Keys – which rarely top a few dozen meters above sea level – terminate at Key West. This makes for a great road trip in and of itself, but the real joy of reaching Key West is in getting out onto the open water on a boat tour. After all, every which way you look, you’ll usually see the sea. The only direction that you won’t find endless blue is back the way you came in.
There are many different types of boat tour from Key West, varying wildly in duration, activities and price. As such, it’s difficult to work out which one is the best for you. Broadly speaking, the main types are divided into the following categories: scenic, romantic cruises, activity boat tours from Key West, and the partying spirit cruises. For those on a day trip, eco tours are the best option, while anybody overnighting in Key West can make the most of the sunset from the ocean. Here are three of the best Key West boat tours currently available, taking into account factors like itinerary, safety measures and value for money.
FROM: $46/per person
Both above and below the waves, Key West is beautiful to behold. Board a 69-foot catamaran and head to snorkeling sites off the coast of Key West, where it’s safe to swim and where a coral barrier reef offers one of the most spectacular visions beneath the waves. Snorkeling equipment is included in the price of your ticket and allows you a window to more than 600 species of fish and other sea life. The boat tour itself is part of the fun too, with the chance to spot dolphins and views back towards Key West and complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks served on board. This tour lasts around three hours.
From $104/ per person
The America 2.0 is a beautiful 105-foot schooner, with elegant masts meaning that you can literally set sail, into the sunset on this boat trip from Key West. Head for the horizon, letting the crew do all the hard work, of course, while you munch hors d’oeuvres and sip an ice-cold drink. Keep an eye out for dolphins, sea turtles and the fascinating bird life, like pelicans. Then at sunset, you may even get the chance to witness the fabled Key West ‘green flash’ an unusual phenomenon that takes place just as the sun dips below the horizon.
From $129/ per person
For a longer, more immersive island adventure from Key West, try out this indulgent boat trip. Take the catamaran out to remote sand bars and coral outcrops. Enter the warm water to snorkel and swim, then lie back and relax on the sand with a buffet lunch and a cold drink, all included in the fee. Then, depending on whether you select the daytime or sunset tour option, you will either get a guided kayak tour, offering fresh perspective of the Keys and a chance to spot remarkable marine life, or head to the best, most serene spot to watch the sun setting over the ocean with a glass of champagne.