Yacht Charter Itinerary Ft. Lauderdale to Key West to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Join your yacht in Ft. Lauderdale at one of the many marinas in this town that was built around its canals. It boasts some of the finest marinas, shopping, beaches and nightclubs on the Gold Coast, as well as being home to most of the yachts that ply the waters of South Florida and the Bahamas. Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale south to the southern tip of Miami Beach, known locally as “South Beach” or “SoBe” to locals. The nearby “Art Deco” district is famous for its pastel, lovingly restored landmark hotels and architecture. Stroll down Ocean Drive and dine at a beachfront café. Or cruise on over to Lincoln Road outdoor pedestrian mall, where an eclectic mix of shops, art galleries, restaurants and live music reflects a truly international blend of Latin, Caribbean and European cultures. Miami Beach Marina is conveniently located in the heart of South Beach. Overnight.
After breakfast, head south of Miami Beach to Biscayne Bay for lunch. Dinner Key makes a great anchorage or tie up at one of several marinas. Coconut Grove, the most popular restaurant and shopping area in South Miami, is within walking distance. Some of the country’s most creative chefs have restaurants here with food styles ranging from Floribbean and Cuban to Southwestern and Japanese. Villa Vizcaya, a coral mansion built at the turn of the century, or the Planetarium is just a short taxi ride away and well worth the trip. Opposite Coconut Grove, the island of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne offer a visit to the Miami Sea Aquarium and Crandon Park. The
Southern tip of Key Biscayne is Cape Florida Park, a welcome stopping area complete with beautiful beaches, an interesting tower and lighthouse, and a view of Stiltsville – a group of stilt homes strung out along channels in the flats off Key Biscayne. Overnight.
After breakfast leave for Key Largo via Hawk Channel. Soak up the sun and enjoy some snorkeling or diving at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This 25-mile long preserve was established to protect the only living coral reef in the continental United States. This is the Diving Capital of the World, so be sure to explore some of the numerous dive sites including Carysfort Reef, The Elbow and Grecian Rocks with its’ 13’ bronze underwater statue “Christ of the Deep”, a beautiful and awesome sight. One of the worlds top ‘Swim with the Dolphin’ programs is offered at Dolphins Plus (arrange well in advance). Afterwards, dock at Port Largo Harbor. For those who prefer an anchorage, try the lee side of Rodriguez Key.
After a tropical breakfast and an early morning swim, head down to Islamorada and Duck Key – Take time to enjoy snorkeling along the way as there are several beautiful reefs for snorkeling, such as Conch, Davis, Pickles, Alligator and Molasses Reefs. Nearby is Theatre of the Sea which hosts Dolphin and Sea Lion exhibits and is always a hit with the kids! A good anchorage for lunch or in settled weather is found off Indian Key, one of the first settlements in the Keys with interesting hiking. If you have time, dinghy over to Lignumvitae Key to explore virgin hammocks, native species of vegetation, the coral rock house, cisterns and windmill. Hiking is superb, especially in the winter months. Stay overnight in either Duck Key or Marathon. Or away from the madding crowds, you can anchor in Boot Key Harbor.
Leave early for Key West and Little Palm Island near Newfound Harbor, which is a beautiful private resort. (Dinner reservations are highly recommended). Along the way, enjoy snorkeling at Looe Key National Park, one of the most colorful and vivid of all the reefs in the Keys, or explore beautiful Bahia Honda with lovely beaches and scenic trails. Enjoy the sunset and the scene at Key West’s Mallory Square, then dinner at any number of excellent restaurants. People watching, shopping and nightlife are just some of the activities you’ll enjoy. Visit Hemingway’s home and the older sections of town, museums, historical buildings, Victorian homes, sea aquariums, and the old turtle kraals. Dock at the Galleon Marina in the heart of the Duval district, or there are a number of other marinas to choose from.
Enjoy the morning walking around Key West before heading out to the Dry Tortugas. If you have time and like adventure, you can visit the Marquesas and Woman’s Key or even as far as Fort Jefferson and Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas. There is nothing more than excellent fishing, snorkeling and exploring. Shallow flats abound with rays, tarpon and dolphin. The surrounding crystal clear, emerald waters are home to lobster, coral and sea life. An underwater nature trail is a must for snorkelers. Fort Jefferson is a National Monument and park as well as a wildlife refuge. You can still tour the abandoned fort that once held President Lincoln’s assassin, by land or by snorkeling outside the fort’s moat! Overnight.
After breakfast, head back to Key West, to either disembark, or return to Ft Lauderdale.
Ft Lauderdale – Disembark