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Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

Cincinnati
Level Contributor
4 posts
7 reviews
Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

We are planning a girls trip to Ft. Lauderdale at the end of the month to celebrate my birthday and wanted to take a day trip, preferably by ferry, to Key West. We are beach girls so the idea of being cooped up in a car for 3 hours each way doesn't sound like fun (nor do we want anyone to be a DD if we rent a car.) I've searched the Internet for public ferry service and haven't found anything. Does anyone know of private charter options that are relatively inexpensive? There will only be 3 or 4 of us.

Central PA
Level Contributor
3,842 posts
59 reviews
1. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

They ran the ferry from Miami for awhile, but no longer. Now it's only Ft Myers/Marco Island.

It's a good 4 hour trip each way, definitely no DUI, it's a 2 lane head on road in most places.

If I were you, I'd take the KW shuttle, stay overnite and then back the next day. http://www.keysshuttle.com/

Mercer,Wi
Level Contributor
1,400 posts
50 reviews
2. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

ft. myers beach has a catamaran that goes to key west every day. We were tempted to try it but never found hte time. you can go and come back the same day or stay over night. I beleive it is $99 per person. look on the ft. myers beach web site for more information. seems like we saw many coupons for the trip.

The ride over is across aligator alley, one $2.50 toll each way, and takes maybe 3 hours.

Cincinnati
Level Contributor
4 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

Another option we just read about was the day trip to the Bahama's vis Discovery Cruises. Seems like a good deal being that 2 of us are celebrating bdays in March which means we get a good discount. Anyone have any exposure to that?

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
41,189 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

Discovery= dirty , junky ship- rude employees pandering for tips constantly - we locals avoid it. Many impoverished Bahamian families buy cheap deck space to come here and shop and spend the trip sitting on deck surrounded by piles of stuff while their kids run about unsupervised. It will remind you of travelling steerage on the Titanic.

A few regulars from the Bahamas who post here tell us they would never endure it and fly here when they need to come.

DE Audrey can give you a very opinionated account of her awful experience on it.. but she'll need a drink to recover from the retelling...don't do it!

Harleysville...
5 posts
5. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

Did you ever find a ferry service? I'm interested in the same question.

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
41,189 posts
11 reviews
6. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

There is no ferry service to the Keys from the east coast of Florida. The only one is from Ft. Myers on Florida's west coast. It would not work as a day trip from here as it takes two hours just to get to Ft. myers by car ands it only runs the round trip once a day..

Also, the Discovery day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale no longer exists as it went out of business in 2011.. There is a new ferry from Ft. Lauderdale to Freeport in the Bahamas beginning at $49 pp , but it only allows you a few hours in Freeport if you take it as a day trip because of the extended time needed for paperwork and immigration procedures at each end. More people use it coming in the other direction from the Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale to shop for needed provisions .

www.ferryexpress.com is the website for the Bahamas ferry I believe( I think a passport or passport card is needed for the Bahamas trip).

Portland, Oregon...
1 post
2 reviews
7. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

I love the FerryExpress for only $49 pp!

I am traveling to Miami in late December. Would it be nice to go to the Bahamas then?

Denver, Colorado
1 post
8. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

What did you end up doing? WE are the same - a bunch of girls going to Key West for my birthday - from Fort Lauderdale airport

key west
Level Contributor
3,350 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

SM, you can get the keys shuttle from the airport and it will take you directly to your hotel or rental. Comfortable van and nice driver. They make stops however so it will take longer than the 3 1/2-4 hrs it would take in a car.

Fort Lauderdale...
Destination Expert
for Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
41,189 posts
11 reviews
10. Re: Ferry Service from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West?

Keys Shuttle is the only alternative I can't think of as well. You really don't need a car once you are in Key West and parking one can be a hassle at times, and there really is no water based or fun alternative from this coast.