A high percentage of visitors to the Keys will indulge in a Florida Keys cruise of one sort or another. The types of cruises available throughout the islands are as varied as the many kind of events there are to celebrate. Many weddings are held throughout the Keys, and it is not unusual for a barefoot wedding ceremony on one of the lovely beaches to be followed by some celebratory time on the water. There are cruises on luxury yachts, catamarans, tall sailing ships, and other vessels that can cater to wedding parties of up to 250 people, including everything from food and beverage to bands for dancing.
You'll find that Key West cruises offer the greatest number of different options for the type of boats and ships. You can enjoy a romantic dinner cruise in Key West or sightseeing boat tours in glass-bottom boats over coral reefs full of colorful tropical fish. You can take these kinds of cruises in Long Key State Park, Hammond State Park in Marathon Key, and Bahia Honda State Park. There are even kayaking and canoeing cruises exploring untouched mangrove forests and secluded beaches. Because there is so much water—73 percent of Monroe County is composed of water—many of the things to do include spending time on it, and a Florida Keys cruise will incorporate a number of activities.
Florida Keys Cruise
You can take a Key West sunset cruise simply to savor a few hours of spectacular afternoon colors or set off on an Islamorada scuba diving or snorkeling expedition for the entire day. Key Largo cruises often revolve around fishing, as this is considered one of centers for sport fishing. Many of the companies that offer a Key West sunset cruise will also offer other types of cruises, including dolphin swims or to explore the beautiful outlying islands. You can even charter a bareboat yacht that can sleep up to ten people and where you are the crew.
Sometimes a Florida Keys cruise is also a method of getting from place to place. The ferry from the Fort Myers and Naples area on the western coast of the mainland to Key West gives you cruise lasting about four hours and plenty of time to enjoy the ocean. It also gets you to a vacation destination without your having to bother with car rentals and a long drive down the 129-mile length of the archipelago. These are Key West cruises that additionally get to a destination where virtually all the main attractions are within walking distance.
Key West Catamaran Cruises Image: Fifth World Art (flickr)
Another of the Key West cruises that doubles as public transportation is the ferry to Dry Tortugas National Park, which can only be reached by boat or chartered seaplane. If you don't want to take the ferry, there are companies that will book full-day cruises, which often include three meals and snorkeling, as well as stunning views of the sunset. This would be a Key West sunset cruise highlighting many of the things the Keys have to offer, including history at Fort Jefferson, bird-watching, and ocean vistas.