Tours and Tickets
Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West

Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West

By Dry Tortugas National Park
Recommended by 93% of travelers
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
From tropical beaches and plentiful sea life, to historic Fort Jefferson, it's no surprise that Dry Tortugas National Park is a top destination in Key West. Enjoy this singular attraction with this full-day, activity-packed excursion, where you're whisked from Key West by catamaran to enjoy the tropical sights. Beyond the fantastic waterfront views, you can swim and snorkel, visit the fort, and two enjoy meals on the boat—all included.
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Ages 0-99, max of 300 per group
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Ticket type:

  • Cruise from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park for a day of sightseeing
  • Enjoy waterfront sights, including Boca Grande Key, and the Marquesas Keys
  • Tour Fort Jefferson, stroll on the beach, and snorkel along the coral reef
  • Get great inclusions—snorkeling gear, breakfast and lunch, and a ferry ride

  • Round-trip ferry service on the Yankee Freedom III
  • Narrated tour of Fort Jefferson available
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • National Park Service Fee (USD15.00)
What's not included
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure details
  • 100 Grinnell St, Key West, FL 33040, USA Ferry departs from the terminal.
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 17325KEYYAN

  • We suggest you bring the following: bathing suit, comfortable shoes, towels, sun protection (sunglasses, a hat, sun screen) and camera
  • Reservations are required, you MUST call the local operator to schedule your day trip. Your reservation is NOT confirmed until then
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 300 travelers

  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

What you can expect during your visit
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 17325KEYYAN

About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

This is one of the best day trips and tours anywhere in Key West. It is well worth the money and time to see this a
The Plane Ride There Was Awesome!
First I Have To Say That The Plane Ride And Pilot That Took Us To Dry Tortugas Were Phenomenal. The Site Itself Wa
Amazing place with amazing history
So glad we finally got to see Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson…such a beautiful place, third largest coral reef in t
Looking for the fountain of youth!!!!
This was WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!! The website for the park and for the Yankee Freedom Ferry details exactly the iti
the park
We went a few years ago and took the ferry boat. Was an OK day but really nothing like the picture at the ticket bo
Allison G
Allison G
Cool history
We loved the history behind the fort. We unfortunately had bad weather the day we went so the snorkeling wasn't go
island camping.
Camping on the Dry Tortugas. If you decide to camp you need to get reservations months in advance, even if you are
Not what i expected
We took the Yankee Freedom. Maybe my expectations were too high. We went mainly for the snorkeling. We got to t
Highly recommend national Park
Our Teen boys really liked this and they aren’t usually museum or history buffs. I wasn’t expecting much, but Wow
Must do
Great half day trip. Took the sea plane to the key. (About a 40 minute flight) and spent about 2 hours touring fo
Love the history
Came over on the Yankee Freedom and just loved the history and exploring the fort. I will mention that some articl
Great National Park Visit
Dry Tortugas is really different. You have to spend a bundle taking a ferry boat over to the island, but the ferry
Thomas T
Thomas T
Amazing what they built and the historical strategic importance of Dry Tortugas!
Very interesting to visit Dry Tortugas, whether a half day or full day trip. I walked around all three levels of t
Took a half day sea plane charter with Key West Seaplane and was completely blown away. Have travelled all over t
Fun day trip
We took the Yankee Freedom boat to the island. It was a lovely ride. Snacks and lunch were provided. The Dry Tortug
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

252 reviews
Very good

Orlando, FL5 contributions
Our ride out to Dry Tortuga and back was beautiful and comfortable. It was fun to watch for sea life, as we spotted a couple turtles on the way. The onboard staff was friendly and accommodating, and the cash bar was very reasonably priced.
The park and fort were absolutely remarkable. That something of this scale could be built so far from the mainland back in the day was just mind bending. The history was well told, and we enjoyed exploring every corner of the island. When we hit the water, the snorkeling was some of the best we have ever experienced. The water was clear and clean, and the sea life was abundant.
It was an adventure we’ll never forget, and we’re already thinking about another trip. Maybe even one of the overnight options!
Written April 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cyndi B
Arvada, CO31 contributions
We took the Yankee Freedom to Dry Tortugas on a very windy day in April. It was so windy, they called it an “option day” and offered people their money back if they decided they didn’t want to go. Many people opted out so we had a smaller group than usual. We took our Dramamine and opted to go anyway. (they were selling it for a dollar or two for those who didn’t have any) It was a bumpy ride but I’m glad we went. We went on the full tour with Hollywood, who is passionate about this island and fort. He was amazing to listen to and learn from. We didn’t get to snorkel but it was worth the trip anyway. We enjoyed watching the birds and the hermit crabs.
As other reviews said, there was brown bag breakfast and lunch provided. They also have a snack bar on board to buy additional food and drinks. The whole crew is terrific and very helpful.
Buy your tickets early.
Bring your National Parks Pass with you on the day of the trip if you have one. You will get a bit of a refund (I got $30 back for 2 people) I didn’t remember reading that on the website anywhere but brought my pass just in case.
Go early to the dock the day you are going. You will board in the order you arrive. On a day when there are more people onboard, I imagine it would be harder to get a seat in the area you want (inside, outside, upper, lower deck) if you are later in line.
Know that the ferry ride is long and bring a book or something to do along the way. (they do play music and tell you a few things about the area on your way there)
Written May 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Houston, TX1,075 contributions
For me, dry tortugas was a bucket list item I was finally able to complete. Getting there is the challenge. Reservations need to be made way in advance, especially with Covid capacity restrictions in place. Boat can handle 250 but is currently limited to 175. If you feel lucky, get on the wait list the day of your trip. If doing this, get there by 6 am. A couple on my boat got there at 5 am and they got on the boat.
It’s a 2.5 hour boat ride and sea conditions can be rough, but fortunately they were very calm for my trip. Breakfast and lunch are provided as part of the boat package. But you can certainly bring your own food on board.
Once you arrive, do the half hour fort tour. It’s free. Hopefully you get “Hollywood” as your guide. He is very passionate and knowledgeable about his subject. You can continue listening to him after the half hour is up… or just start wandering around.
Make sure you make time to do some snorkeling while there. Lots of people do this after lunch. Water is pristine and plenty of marine life on display. They supply snorkels if you don’t have them.
One thing to keep in mind about this trip is little to no shade. Cover up! It’s hot out there. I would recommend a winter month visit as it’s cooler.
It’s definitely worth doing once.
One and done for me…
Written January 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Big Pine Key, FL42 contributions
Nonrefundable policy scam. After years of going to the Dry Tortugas on the Yankee Freedom, as locals, I was stunned when I tried to cancel our reservation nearly a month in advance (for three people) due to Covid raging and was told the tickets were nonrefundable. For years there has been a 24-hour cancellation policy. The trip I cancelled was already sold out and the seats would certainly be refilled instantly. So basically the company is making double profits now. This is a horrendous new policy as Historic Tours of America is well aware the seats in Key West will be re-sold immediately. Greed at its finest! I don’t have $500 to throw away, Historic Tours of America. Lousy company that bought this venue.
Written January 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Matthew G
Indianapolis, IN401 contributions
After several trips to Key West, we finally sprung for the all day trip to and from the Dry Tortugas National Park. To be safe, we took the crew's advice and bought dramamine from them for the trip to and from the park. Once we hit "open water" the chop did pick up and many guests, especially children, were in the upchuck. Once we got to the Fort, we had several hours to explore the island and enjoyed a picnic lunch onboard the Catamaran. We traveled in November and although we brought our snorkeling equipment, the water was too cold for us (but not for everyone). On our way back, the Captain warned us the waves were a bit "sporty" so we opted to sit outside and in the back of the top deck and really enjoyed the ride back. The waves were pretty large, so we got sprayed for most of the ride back to Key West. The rides to and from are about 2 hours and we spent 5 or 6 hours on the island, which is plenty. Some people opt to camp on the lisland, too. It's a once in a lifetime trip!
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Belmont, NC13 contributions
It was a rough day sea wise for us, but the staff made up for it ten fold. Carrie was our main guide and was wonderful. Would recommend Dramamine (better safe than sorry) as most of the people on the ferry got sick on the ride back. We knew how bad it was going to be in advance, so took a dose before bed the night before, one an hour before boarding, and another 30 min before heading back and we were fine. Fort Jefferson was incredibly interesting and once you are on the island there are no crowds. It was windy, so no bugs and no sweating. However the snorkeling was less than ideal due to visibility. We were able to get seats by checking the website regularly to see if there were cancellations and lucked out. In the future would book at least 6 months out. Also, the sea planes were not able to get to the island due to winds that day. Highly recommend this excursion!
Written April 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Buda, TX7 contributions
We thoroughly enjoyed the ride out and the history of the fort. It is absolutely stunning and it’s amazing to think of the challenges faced when building a fort of that size in the middle of the Gulf. Unfortunately, with the rain on the way out and while we were there it was too murky too see much while snorkeling, but the views from the top of Fort Jefferson were breath taking.

As for the crew on the Yankee Freedom III, Bryan, Tom, and Kelly were wonderful and kept everyone comfortable. While we weren’t sick, we watched as they retrieved waters and cold compresses for those that weren’t fairing as well. They made accommodations for my GF diet needs and offered to store the couple’s insulin that we shared a table with.

There are not enough positive things to say about Hollywood. His enthusiasm is infectious and we appreciated having such an energetic and knowledgeable guide.

Two downfalls: 1) many parts of the fort are closed for restoration so we’d like to return when it’s more open and 2) we were told to be there at 7am to checkin and board. At 8am, they were still admitting people to the ferry that were “late” after we were supposed to leave at 745am.

Be prepared to spend about 5 hours total on the ferry. It was about 4 hours at Fort Jefferson and playing in the water.
Written October 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Connecticut719 contributions
We booked this trip 3 month in advance just to make sure we can get tickets. Make sure to bring masks as you will need them. We arrived around 7 am. You need to check and you will be given your boarding passes with the number assigned to each. The boarding will be based on this number, so you will have more flexibility on picking your seat. We set outside on the second floor. It was nice but very bumpy and if you needed to use the bathroom or get a drink you had to go down which is a bit of a pain for young kids and seniors. On the way back we opted for indoor seating downstairs with easy access to outside deck which I recommend. Breakfast was pretty basic bagel w/cream cheese and yogurt. If you want something else pick up breakfast on the way. Lunch was very good from Jersey Mike’s ham or turkey sandwiches, chips, cookie and drinks. Beach was tiny but had some great snorkeling. The tour was very interesting and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and made it entertaining or the younger ones. Overall, all the staff worked very hard to make our experience one of a kind. This is a great day tip.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cleveland, OH349 contributions
This was a bucket list item for my husband! We were on our honeymoon and with COVID a little nervous but decided to mask up and go for it. I was very happy to see 50% capacity and seats marked off, although many of the other guests ignored this and that was annoying, but the crew tried their best to constantly remind people to keep their masks on which I appreciated. I also saw them periodically wiping down handrails and sanitizing door handles which made me feel better as well. As someone who is prone to motion-sickness the ferry ride was ROUGH. And even my husband who normally isn't bothered by this at all, struggled. Definitely take the Dramamine. We had 4-6 foot swells that day and 2.5 hours of trying not to gag lol Many people on the boat got sick, but it was all worth it when we finally made it to Fort Jefferson! The fort was so fun to explore and very interesting to hear about the history. Snorkeling was disappointing as it was very murky from storms the night before, and the Visitor Center was closed. But we had amazing weather and chose to walk the beaches and the moat wall. Lunch portion was huge and kept us full. They also have snacks and bar service available on the return trip, however the waves were so bad the day we went I couldn't take advantage of this unfortunately. Although I'm glad we did it, and the views were awesome I will likely not return again. The ferry trips made for a very long day and 4 hours at the fort was plenty. It is rather expensive too.
Written October 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

28 contributions
We enjoy visiting the national parks, and this was well worth the cost and effort to go. The Yankee Freedom ferry is the only public boat that takes people to the island. The boat staff was very friendly and helpful. The website is easy to navigate and make a reservation, but do not wait; the trip books up months in advance and there were 20+ people on standby who did not get to go that day. The ferry terminal is easy to find and it was very well organized and clean. My husband got sea sick on the ferry and the staff were very helpful (he was not the only sick passenger). The ferry provides a basic breakfast of bagel and yogurt and basic lunch sandwich and chips with soft drinks. The island is beautiful! You have four hours to walk completely around the island, swim, snorkel, sit, walk around the fort by yourself or go on a guided tour with historical commentary. This was a key fort in the Civil War and for many years afterwards due to its location in the shipping channels. You want to plan accordingly for the day trip with Dramamine, sunscreen, hat, camera, binoculars, swim suit or shorts and tee, swim shoes as beach is ground up shells so it is sharp, towels and your park passport to stamp. It was in the mid 80s and clear blue sky and we got sunburned. I would imagine it would easily hit 100 degrees in the summer. The ferry galley provides drinks and snacks to buy after lunch is served. There is no cell or internet service on the ferry so you might want to take a book or something to do for the ride over and back. It is well worth the day trip to go.
Written March 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Dry Tortugas National Park Day Trip by Catamaran from Key West | FL