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Start Your Trip Right on the Key West Express

Last Updated on June 15, 2021 by Dan

Start your trip to Key West right by going on the Key West Express!

Start your vacation about 5 hours sooner then if you were planning on driving.  Get out of that cramped car and get on board the relaxing Key West Express.  Sit back with no worries on this beautiful 3.5 hour boat ride from Ft. Meyers all the way to Key West, weather permitting.  They also have a ferry that leaves from Marco Island and there is no charge to park your car at this location.  You can hang out on the inside of the boat with flat-screen TVs that are hooked up to satellite so you never miss a game.  There is also air conditioning on the inside, but you also have the option to be outside where there are different levels to hang out to get some fresh air and catch some rays.

Be sure to check out the full bar with beer, wine and mixed drinks.  Also order sandwiches, burgers and more from the galley.

You can take the ferry one way or get a round trip ticket.  Be sure to reserve your tickets early as seats tend to fill up quickly but be sure to know your dates of arrival and departure as the tickets are non-refundable and have a $25 charge for change of date.

Ticket Prices:  Check discounts for early booking online.  Prices start at $124 and go up from there.  Get deals on group rates and friends and family.  

Be sure to take note of these other fees and check the website for detailed information:

  • Pet – Call for prices and to reserve space
  • Bicycle – $20 each way
  • Additional luggage – $10 each piece
  • Parking – $0 – $12 per day depending on location

Remember to bring:

  • Sunscreen if hanging on deck
  • Sunglasses
  • I.D. to board
  • Ticket to board
  • Cash or card for drinks and food

Planning on snorkeling while in Key West?  These articles will give you some ideas on the best places to snorkel while there.

Finding flights to Key West and how to get the best price.

Probably the most important thing when trying to get the best price is BE FLEXIBLE!  There are some times when this just isn’t possible but when it is, do!  Some of these options will take a little time to research but your savings should cover the added time spent.

  • Check different days and times – Less expensive flights are offered on different days and hours of those days. Sometimes early morning flights are discounted because they are harder to fill.
  • Check nearby airports – Do this for departure and destination airports.  This probably won’t work that well for Key West as your destination because the next nearest airport is 109 miles away in Naples.  Do check airports surrounding your departure location though.
  • Reroute –  Try looking at buying two round trip tickets instead of one.  This works better when rerouting through larger airports or ones that are running a special on flights.  Just be sure to give yourself enough time to catch the second flight since restrictions will apply.
  • Search incognito mode – This will help so that the prices don’t go up as you continue to search.
  • Search early in the morning – Deals get posted early on some sites and as the day goes on these tickets get snagged by the early birds.

Another fun option may be taking the Key West Express.  This allows you to fly into another part of Florida and take a 3 1/2 hour ferry ride from Fort Meyers down to Key West.  There is also a ferry from Marco Island, so check flights into those locations.  You can read more about it at Key West Express.

Check directly on sites of airlines that fly there as some of them don’t allow their prices to be quoted on popular comparison websites.  The Key West airport code is (EYW) and the airlines that fly there are:

  • United
  • American
  • Cape Air
  • Delta
  • Silver
  • U.S. Airways
  • Southwest

Use discount sites that will search many options for you.  My favorite sites are:

  • Skyscanner 
  • Momundo
  • Trip Advisor