Schooner Eco Tour

Day Trip, Group Tour

Offer Image
Come aboard and re-live a piece of maritime history on a historic 2-masted wooden schooner as you make your way to a sponge garden for snorkeling and a mangrove island for a kayak adventure.

Schooner Eco Tour

Your backcountry adventure eco-tour encompasses a schooner sail, guided kayak tour through mangroves and snorkeling at sponge gardens. Discover the varied, diverse ecosystem of Key West's backcountry in one amazing tour. This up-close and intimate nature tour is limited to a very small number of participants, providing you with professional and trained guides who will give you their full attention.

Departing from Key West's Historic Seaport, your historic schooner's sails are unfurled for an authentic sailing experience on the way to Key West's backcountry. If you have always dreamed of sailing aboard a tall mast wooden ship, here is your chance to help raise the sails and take a turn at the wheel; all guests are encouraged to participate.

Your destination is Key West's uninhabited mangrove islands in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. The shallow-drafted schooner is the perfect design for your eco-adventure, being a replica of historic bug-eye schooners that dragged for oysters in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay. Keep an eye out for dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, and much other wildlife that call the refuge home. Your captain knows where dolphins are frequently seen and will let you know if he spots any.

Upon reaching the mangrove islands, the boat drops anchor and your exploration begins as the day is divided between guided kayaking tours and guided snorkeling tours. For kayaking, your crew will help you into your stable sea kayak, providing paddling instructions. Don't worry if you aren't used to paddling, the warm, shallow water is calm, sheltered by the uninhabited mangroves, making kayaking a breeze. Your crew will speak about the mangroves and their important role as nurseries to the sea. Learn how mangrove trees survive in saltwater and about the varied marine life that inhabits Key West's unique mangrove ecosystem. Discover there are several hundred species of birds that call these mangroves home where on a typical day, you may see ospreys, frigates, blue herons, bald eagles, and even roseate spoonbills. In the water, look for sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays and tropical fish.

You will also have the opportunity to get in the water on a guided snorkel tour. Your experienced crew provides professional instructions on snorkeling along with information on the sponge gardens. Never snorkeled? No worries, the crew will answer all your questions and be in the water with you. Soon you will be enjoying snorkeling the shallow, calm waters of the sponge gardens. Experience the tropical fish, sponges, and marine wildlife that call the gardens home. If you prefer to float on the surface, grab a noodle float, lean back and watch the clouds drift by. Conditions vary throughout the different areas of the mangrove islands and your tour operator prides itself on providing their guests with the best experience possible as your experienced captain will chart a course for the optimal kayaking and snorkeling locations given that day's tides and weather conditions.

After your adventure, come back aboard and wash off with a freshwater rinse. Find a comfortable spot to relax on deck and then choose from plenty of complimentary cold drinks including frosty cold beer, wine, homemade sangria, chilled sodas, and filtered water. This is the best of laid-back island lifestyle living there can be. Lunch is also served on the boat as an all-you-can-eat fresh buffet feast is provided. Start with peel and eat shrimp and then try the delicious fried chicken, selection of deli meats and cheeses, accompanied by assorted bread and condiments and don't forget the side salads!

Once the day begins to wind down, it's time to raise anchor and leave the tranquil mangrove islands behind. Refresh yourself with another tasty beverage and snack and find your perfect spot on the boat to relax and enjoy your brisk sail back to the Historic Seaport as a lifetime of memories have been made during your day on the calm waters off Key West.

Starting At
 
Tour Type
Group
 
Group Size
Small
 
Activity Type(s)
Active, Water/Beach
 
Tour Duration
5 Hours
 
Activity Level
Moderate
 
Tour Leaves From
An approximately 10 to 20 minute walk or an approximately 20 minute shuttle is required to reach your departure location.
 
Food/Beverage Provided
Meal, Beverages
 
Special Instructions
We recommend wearing comfortable clothing over your swimsuit and walking shoes. Bring along biodegradable sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and beach towel.
 
Restrictions
Guests must be able to get in and out of the boat and be comfortable in a kayak. This tour is not wheelchair accessible. This tour is not wheelchair accessible. Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Guests must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol.
Location Overview
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About Shore Excursions Group
Shore Excursions Group logo
ABOUT US
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Read More

About Shore Excursions Group
ABOUT US
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Read More

Prices are per-person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise noted.