Yankee Freedom III – Dry Tortugas National Park Ferry – Almost 70 miles, (112.9 km) west of Key West, Florida nestled among spectacular coral reefs, fascinating shipwrecks, and sandy beaches, lie seven undeveloped coral and sand islands called the Dry Tortugas. These islands, along with surrounding coral reefs and waters, make up the Dry Tortugas National Park. Snorkeling, kayaking, camping, legends of pirates and sunken gold have drawn visitors to this national park from all over the world. On Garden Key, the centerpiece of these pristine islands, stands Fort Jefferson – America’s largest and most spectacular 19th-century coastal fort. Fort Jefferson itself is a six-sided building constructed of 16 million handmade red bricks. In 1825 a lighthouse was built on Garden Key to provide warning to sailors about the dangers of reefs and shoals surrounding the Dry Tortugas. The Yankee Freedom III, Key West’s premier ferry to the Dry Tortugas, departs daily at 8am. Upon boarding at 7:30 at the Key West Ferry Terminal, you will enjoy a continental breakfast of fresh fruit, freshly baked bagels, doughnuts, cereal, orange juice, and coffee. En route to Dry Tortugas National Park our on board naturalist will give you an orientation about the area and the national park’s surroundings. You can travel inside the main cabin in air-conditioned comfort or outside on one of the observation decks watching for sea turtles and dolphins. Upon arriving at Dry Tortugas National Park, passengers will disembark at Fort Jefferson and have the option of joining a 45-minute guided tour. Following the tour, you will enjoy a complimentary buffet of fresh deli meats and cheeses, potato and pasta salad, chips, soft drinks, and water included. The Yankee Freedom III will take you to Dry Tortugas National Park and back again at a speed of up to 30 m.p.h. with safety and comfort like no other ferry operating out of Key West today.
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