Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Key West Express Ferry

A seat with a view under the sun and above the water sounds about perfect.It was not a spaceship but a glimpse of the Fort Myers ferry.
I wondered when they started the service how long it would last and they seem to be doing fine. Originally the ferry service was supposed to run from downtown Fort Myers but the twenty mile trip up the Caloosahatchee River from the beach at idle speed made the trip excessively long. These days the ferry leaves from underneath the bridge that connects Fort Myers Beach to the mainland.The trip takes three hours and they have the usual food drink and television on board. It's for passengers only, no pets no vehicles and I don't know about bicycles. The basic fare is $146 for an adult round trip, less for seniors and even less for children. You can knock the adult fare down to a the kid's rate of $119 by booking in advance. You can get a cheaper trip by taking the ferry from Marco Island which is closer to Key West but that only runs through the Winter.The ferry leaves Fort Myers Beach daily at 8:30am and leaves Key West each evening at 6pm for Fort Myers Beach. The journey takes three and a half hours. It's time I tired the experience but that means leaving Cheyenne at home. Boo hiss. Clearly the ferry service across the southwest corner of the state makes sense as it has been going for quite a while and Ferry service to Miami has never been successful. I've concluded the Ferry's website link as well.

11 comments:

Chuck and the Pheebs said...

They take pets. Our daughter Emily uses the ferry all the time to get home from Sarasota, and she brings the Amazing Travel Cat with her.

It's a mite breezy on the top deck at 45 MPH, down below is better. While it's a big ship - she still gets knocked about when the north wind blows.

The cool way to get up to Ft. Meyers is Cape Air - 8 seat Cessnas flying at 7000'. No pressurization means big windows; in the summertime one flies around the cumulus towers, threading the needle. Glorious - and only a few dollars more than a ferry ride.

Rob said...

I second Cape Air. I fly Continental when I head home each Christmas and I try to arrange my last connector through them out of Fort Myers. I dig the "Conch cruiser" paint jobs they give their planes.

Conchscooter said...

Pets means proper pets like full sized digs. Hamsters in cages are dinner in Ecuador. Flying is for bats. Humans ride boats.

Chuck and the Pheebs said...

Full sized pets are allowed on both - although I'd be concerned that Cheyenne would clean out the galley in the first 45 minutes of the trip.

You'd enjoy flying through the Florida Mountains, IMHO.

Conchscooter said...

That's new according to my wife. Cheyenne is a pig in a fur coat..

Anonymous said...

The boat takes closer to 4 hours to get there - done it many times. Switched to Cape Air, but they have recently raised their prices. It can be as much as $159 one way! The boat also charges $7 a day to park a car now, whereas just a year ago it was free. Bikes and pets are $15 on the boat.

Singing to Jeffrey's Tune said...

The ferry has extra charges for "weekend travel", but is still a bargain in time and money when you consider gas. I have done it many times and enjoy it (and over due for another trip to the fabulous Florida Keys).

There was gambling on one of the boats after a certain mile mark from shore.

Conchscooter, if you are in FM and want to have lunch, I would be honored to share some Indian food.

Conchscooter said...

anon: thanks for the update.
jeffrey: I will let you knwo next time we hit southwest florida.

Anonymous said...

I got to ride co-pilot in one of the Cesnas one Christmas. I was shocked that in the post 9/11 era they would let a civilian sit in the co-pilot's seat with a joy stick and foot controls that were fully functional. It was a cool ride for sure.

Conchscooter said...

Very cool indeed!

Anonymous said...

That boat ride is great! It takes a little more than 3 1/2 hrs. Friendly crew and staff. You can find discounted fares if you pay in advance. They do charge for parking. FYI if you make a reservation online and pay for parking you can have tickets printed from your computer, so you dont have to wait in line behind so many people. Just park in a spot and go straight to the boat. I Will continue to take the boat, forget about driving.