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Complete Guide To Exploring Key West as a Cruise Guest

Visiting Key West from a Cruise?

So you’ve booked a cruise and Key West is a port of call. Lucky you! This quirky island city at the end of the Florida Keys is a perfect destination for day-trippers. At only eight square miles, it’s pedestrian-friendly and almost everything in Old Town can be discovered on foot. Since most cruises are in port for only a half-day, you’ll need to prioritize your time in order to get a taste of what the island is all about. These are our favorite activities for exploring Key West as a cruise guest.

Docking at Key West

Depending on your cruise line, there will be three different docking points in Key West.

  • Pier B, located at Margaritaville Resort & Marina
  • Mallory Square
  • Navy Mole Pier

At Navy Mole Pier, you will need transportation to get to the main city attractions. The Conch Tour Train is available as a courtesy transportation to cruise guests or book a tour and see the whole island while learning it’s history!

Must-See Landmarks On Your Visit

Get the most out of your day on the island by renting a bicycle and hitting up these top photo spots. Fury has several locations for bike rentals or you can reserve in advance!

  • Duval Street
  • Mallory Square
  • Southernmost Point Buoy
  • Mile Marker 0 Sign
  • Historic Seaport
  • Key West Cemetery

Local Tip: Key West’s Old Town is only a few square miles wide, meaning it’s easy to cover a lot of ground by bike in a short amount of time.

Bars & Restaurants For Fuel

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or want to enjoy a sit down meal with a view, there are a few great options to consider. If you’re in the Historic Seaport, Fisherman’s Cafe is perfect for fresh, filling seafood, like their lobster enchilau tacos. If you’re docked at Mallory Square, stop at El Meson for a mojito and live music before exploring!

Local Tip: There’s perhaps no better place to soak up Key West’s charm than along the Historic Seaport where fishermen clean their catch and sailboat masts sway in the breeze. You can also try the new Key West Brewery for beers brewed onsite and a tasty bar menu.

Historic Sites

As we mentioned above, if you’re in the mood for a laid back tour of all the important island sites, consider the Conch Tour Train as an option. Their 90 minute tour takes you all through Key West while the conductor provides historical facts and commentary for guests on board.

  • Truman Little White House
  • Ernest Hemingway Home
  • Southernmost House
  • Key West Lighthouse

Local Tip: The Hemingway House property is still crawling with descendants of his beloved six-toed cat Snowball, opt for a tour with one of the property’s expert guides to get the most out of your visit.

Additional Tours and Fun Excursions

  • Snorkeling: Key West is home to the third largest reef in the world and your stop here is the perfect opportunity to explore it on a snorkel excursion with Fury Water Adventures. The three-hour tour takes you seven miles offshore where you’ll spend a full hour snorkeling amidst colorful coral and tropical fish. On the sail back to Key West, you’ll enjoy all you can drink beer and wine. Depending on what time your cruise ship departs, you should still have an hour or two to explore Key West by land.
  • Parasailing: For a bird’s-eye-view of Key West’s island paradise and a thrill ride that’s actually more peaceful than you might expect, embark on an hour-long parasail adventure with Fury. You’ll soar 300 feet in the air, enjoy a dip in the water and snap plenty of Instagram-worthy pix. It’s a great way to get a taste of Key West’s water sports and still have plenty of time on land to soak in Key West’s chill vibes.
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Dolphin Watch Eco Tour Eco Tour • Backcountry Snorkel
  • 9:00am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm
  • low
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages
Save 10% $67.46 Reg. $74.95
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Dolphin Watch Sunset Cruise Combo Eco Tour • Backcountry Snorkel • Sunset
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  • low
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages
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Double Dip Snorkel Sunset Combo Snorkel 2 Reef Locations
  • 9:00am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages
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Double Dip Snorkel Trip Snorkel 2 Reef Locations
  • 9:00am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages
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Glass Bottom Boat Reef Eco Tour
  • 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 6:00pm
  • low
  • 2 hrs
  • Snack Bar
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Glass Bottom Boat & Sunset Cruise Reef Eco Tour • Sunset
  • 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 6:00pm
  • low
  • 2 hrs
  • Snack Bar
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Island Adventure & Sunset Cruise Combo Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard • Sunset
  • 9:30am, 4:00pm
  • moderate
  • 4.5 hrs
  • Food & Beverages
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Island Adventure Eco Tour Eco Tour • Snorkel • Kayak • Paddleboard
  • 9:30am, 4:00pm
  • moderate
  • 4.5 hrs
  • Food & Beverages
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Key West Snorkeling Morning Reef Snorkel
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  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
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Key West Sunset Cruise Sunset Cruise • Champagne
  • 7:00pm
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  • 1.5 hrs
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Reef & Ritas Snorkeling Trip Afternoon Reef Snorkel
  • 1:00pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages
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Rum & Reggae Snorkel Sunset Combo Afternoon Reef Snorkel • Sunset Sail
  • 5:30pm
  • moderate
  • 3 hrs
  • Beverages
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