Key West conjures up images of Caribbean culture, steamy Gulf of Mexico weather, elegant colonial architecture and Ernest Hemingway fishing with a cold beer in hand. Located at the tip of the Florida Keys, 165 miles from Miami, this remarkable little town is very much the highlight of the archipelago. You’ll see boats wherever you go in these parts, so there’s plenty of opportunity and little enticement needed to get out onto the open sea, especially during a romantic sunset, to look back on Key West across the water with a glass of champagne.
Understandably, a huge number of sunset cruises and boat tours depart from Key West on a daily basis. A sunset dinner cruise can be one of the finest experiences you can have in the Keys, with food, wilderness and a little culture all thrown in together. Other options include sailing into the sunset on an elegant yacht, or dancing on deck to live music. We have navigated our way through the huge selection of Key West sunset cruises available to present you with the best five. The itinerary, value for money, uniqueness of experience and the reviews of previous guests were all taken into account.
FROM: $43/per person
Champagne and sailing might not be the best mix if you’re in charge of navigating, but when on a tour, let somebody else take care of that so that you can focus on relaxation. Departing an hour before sunset from Key West, this cruise passes by the island, giving the perfect view over the land. Wine, beer and sangria are also provided as part of the price and cocktails can be bought for a little extra. The 69-foot (21-metre) catamaran keeps you close to the water so that if you’re lucky enough to spot marine life as the sun sets, you’ll feel extra close to it. After the sunset, the cruise returns to the same departure point on Elizabeth Street.
From $65/ per person
For a more upbeat version of a sunset cruise, there’s a catamaran fitted with a dancing space, which is brought to life by live musicians. Heading out onto the open water as the skies warm up between the blue and black of day and night, make the most of the complimentary drinks, including beer and margaritas, to get those feet moving. If you want to take a break and catch your breath, there’s the sunset or Key West views to take in, and a snack table with vegetable and cheese platters, and conch fritters on which to refuel before getting back onto the dance floor. This sunset cruise lasts around two hours.
From $50/ per person
If heading out in a sailboat is not for you, then an alternative motor catamaran also plies the waves around Key West at sunset. This cruise departs from the dock near Key West Bight, making it a central departure location. Watch the sunset, then raise a toast with a glass of champagne, wine, a cold beer or a soda. This sunset cruise is more laid-back than some of the others, perfect for drinking in the pleasant atmosphere and feeling closer to the sea. There’s even a chance you may see dolphins from the deck during the one-and-a-half-hour tour.
From $79/ per person
Although not a full sunset dinner cruise, this option is a great way to enjoy plenty of food and alcoholic beverages while sailing out on the Caribbean. This daily cruise uses a modern catamaran and limits the number of passengers so that the experience feels more exclusive and less like a tour. Once you’ve had a drink or two, try the tuna poke or shrimp cocktail tapas, which are designed to pair perfectly with the wines and champagne on board. In the right conditions, once out on the open sea, the sails are unfurled to create the most romantic sunset experience possible.
From $39/ per person
Proving to be one of the more unique sunset cruises, this tour aboard a beautiful schooner is excellent value for money and extremely popular. The two-hour voyage includes raised sails, in the right conditions, as the sun sinks below the horizon. You can even take your turn at the wheel. Then grab a cocktail or beer, included in the ticket price, and take in the Florida Keys coastline. Hors d’oeuvres and a cheese platter are also provided. Despite being one of the more unique cruises from Key West, this schooner sunset experience is only available from late November until late May (daily departures).