Today is an exciting day aboard Take Me There as we just received our Commercial Use Authorization to take clients to the Dry Tortugas! Why is this so exciting?
Here are our top 3 reasons why Take Me There is so excited to sail to the Dry Tortugas.
- The Dry Tortugas is part of our National Park System and a significant part of our US History. Take Me There always promotes our history and national heritage. Ponce De Leon discovered this group of 7 islands in 1513 and named this beautiful place tortugas after catching more than 100 turtles here, and tortugas is Spanish for turtles. The word dry was later added to the name to indicate to sea traveling merchants that there was no fresh water available. During the 1600s and into the 1700s pirates used these waters to attack merchants in these heavily traveled waterways. After the Civil War, the US government began building Fort Jefferson, envisioning it to be the primary protector of the southern part of the United States and the lifeline of commerce traveling the Mississippi River and its byways. While the ultimate vision of Fort Jefferson was never completed, the purpose is commendable and the Fort is a sight to behold, and certainly part of many people’s bucket lists. The Dry Tortugas was promoted to National Park status in 1992 and is currently visited by over 80,000 people each year.
- Only 80,000 people annually see this national treasure. Take Me There wants to provide more access to this area. Currently, there are limited transportation methods available to access the Dry Tortugas. The Yankee Freedom is the main method of transportation to get to the Dry Tortugas. The ferry tickets are limited and sell out fast. You purchase daily tickets on the Yankee Freedom ferry to take a 2.5-hour BUMPY ride to the Dry Tortugas, stay approximately 3 hours, and then take a 2.5-hour BUMPY ride back to Key West. You can purchase food and water from the ferry and use their restroom facilities during your daily trip. But there is so much to see there- 3 hours is just not enough!
- The sea life is amazing and it is a beautiful place to visit right here in US waters with no passport required. Partly due to Covid-19, international travel and cruising has become complicated. Take Me There wants to provide access to pristine places while keeping it simple and as uncomplicated as possible. These are beautiful waters, with amazing sea and land life to be admired, and we want to help people get there.
Another reason why we are excited is that Steve and Kimberly are always on the lookout for the next big adventure. And this is it! It is a long process to apply for and have the Commercial Use License approved. We love a challenge and this endeavor put our patience to the test. But that’s ok. We were vigilant in staying on top of the National Park Service to ensure that they knew who we were and how deeply compassionate we are of the slowdowns that have occurred as a result of Covid-19. So we stayed the course and finally received our approval.
The process of getting our CUA reminded us of how challenging it was for us to become a licensed restaurant with a beer and wine license. That was no easy feat either. But here we are- just one year in business and exceeding our dreams of creating exceptional experiences for guests.
We feel confident that adding a Key West to Dry Tortugas excursion to our list of options for our guests will prove to be successful. We have already booked our first Dry Tortugas trip. This is one trip you won’t want to miss. Just say TAKE ME THERE!