Key West Sea Plane and Dry Tortuga Sea Plane Tours

Key West Sea Plane and Dry Tortuga Sea Plane Tours

Posted 05.23.2012 in Articles by Caitlin

If your visit to the Florida Keys includes plans to visit islands accessible only by boat or aircraft, three seaplane operators are available to give you a view of the islands most people see only through the lens of National Geographic photographers.

Key West Seaplane Charters offers seaplane service to the Dry Tortugas National Park aboard a 10 passenger DeHavilland Turbine Otter. Travel time to the site of historic Fort Jefferson, the largest brick building in the western hemisphere, is approximately 40 minutes each way.  Time at the park is either 2 hours or 6 hours depending on whether you book a half day or a full day excursion. Although the flight offers amazing views of hundreds of the tiny islands that dot the archipelago, this is a air taxi on a regularly scheduled flight, so if you want the kind of flight where the pilot will indulge your requests for another pass over a scenic landmark, you may prefer one of the charter flights in a Cessna 182 floatplane listed below.  

Key West Seaplanes offers scenic tours throughout the Keys and charters to the Keys and Bahamas aboard its four-seat Cessna 182 float planes. A brief but thrilling 30 minute tour of Key West includes aerial views of Old Mallory Square, White Street Pier, Smather's Beach, Fort Zachary Taylor, The Harbour, our reef and Sand Key Light.

A more thorough 50 minute tour around the previously mentioned landmarks is also available. This flight includes  a water take off and landing, weather and ocean conditions permitting.  

Extended excursions to Little Palm Island, Hawk's Cay resort on Duck Key or Cheeca Spa and Lodge on Islamorada, ranging from a few hours to all day can be arranged.  These charter flights allow a much greater flexibility of your course, so if you plan to take aerial photos, these are best.  Your pilot will be happy to make more than one pass over a favorite spot so you can get the perfect shot from either side of the plane.

Tropic Ocean Airways offers regularly scheduled service to the Bahamas' North Bimini Seaplane Base, departing from either Fort Lauderdale or the  the Miami Seaplane Base. The flight takes approximately 30 minutes.  This air taxi operator, flying a four-seat Cessna 182, also offers private seaplane charters to Bimini, Little Palm Island and Key West. Tropic Ocean president Rob Ceravolo touts his background as a F-14 Tomcat Top Gun pilot, so although you won't be doing any inverted flight or other aerobatics on this flight, it is certain that he'll line the sights up for a perfect shot.

Seaplane flights are invariably the highlight of any trip, and there are very few places in the world that are blessed with both unparalleled scenic beauty and weather that is idyllic almost year-round.  Flying just a few thousand feet above the crystal-clear water, you can see straight down through the water to the coral reefs and sandy bottom below.

The birds-eye view of the seemingly endless sandy beach strands, tropical island vegetation and sunken vessels that provide some of the more interesting scuba diving locations is exhilarating.

Sea plane charters are not the least expensive way to tour Key West and nearby Caribbean islands, but the experience is by far the most thrilling way to see the area, and shorter travel time means more time to explore your destination.

Key West Seaplane Charters
Key West International Airport
3471 South Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, Fl 33040

Key West Seaplanes
Key West International Airport
Nikali Pontecorvo, Co-owner and Pilot
Julie Ann Floyd,  Co-Owner and Pilot

Tropic Ocean Airways
Fort Lauderdale
Miami Seaplane Base
Rob Ceravolo, President


Photo (cc) smackfu

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