Early departure from the hotel for a short walk to the dock to board the Dry Tortugas National Park Ferry, a large 150 passenger catamaran with an air conditioned lower deck and an open air top deck; restrooms on board. Getting on/off the boat; the ride is about 2.5 hours. Walking about 2 miles, about 1 hour, throughout the day on group activities with some periods of standing; some uneven terrain and boardwalks.
Aboard the ferry, we’ll have a breakfast buffet featuring choices including bagels, cereal, yogurt, fruit, juices, coffee and water.
En route to Dry Tortugas National Park, our onboard naturalist will provide an orientation about the area and the national park's surroundings. During our voyage, we will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Marquesa Islands, Boca Grande, have an opportunity to see turtles and dolphins, and listen to pirate legends. Upon our arrival to the Park, we’ll enjoy a walking field trip through Ft. Jefferson led by a Park Ranger while learning about its role in U.S. history.
Aboard the ferry, we’ll have a buffet lunch.
We’ll then enjoy some free time on the island. You may wish to go on a walk around Ft. Jefferson’s moat with a naturalist, snorkeling, bird watching, or just relax on the sandy beach. Birders, be aware that beginning in late February the adjoining Bush Key is closed to visitors to enable the sooty terns and other unique birds to nest undisturbed. However, activity can often be viewed through volunteer rangers’ spotting scopes. We’ll then board the boat and, after returning to hotel, take some time to freshen up before dinner.
We will walk to a local restaurant, soft drinks, coffee and water included.
We’ll have a group session at the hotel during which our Group Leader will provide ideas, recommendations and brochures for things to do on the free day in Key West tomorrow. The remainder of the evening is at leisure for you to do what you wish.