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5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas

5 Reasons to Honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas

5 Reasons to Honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. Getting married is an exciting event in your life. And planning your honeymoon is a big part of the wedding celebration. Did you know that the history of taking a honeymoon started in the early 19th century in Great Britain? The newlyweds would travel around the countryside visiting family and friends who were not able to attend the wedding ceremony. For many, this trip around Great Britain would last weeks or nearly a month and due to the high cost of the trip, a honeymoon was usually only afforded by the wealthy. The honeymoon has certainly evolved over the last few centuries!

Currently, nearly every couple enjoys some sort of respite following their wedding. After the stress of planning and preparing for the wedding, the honeymoon represents the opportunity to take some downtime, catch your breath, and focus on the two of you as a couple. But what does it cost for this opportunity to relax and enjoy each other? The average amount of money spent on a honeymoon is $4466, with trips to Mexico or the Caribbean averaging $5000-$7500. Couples wanting to venture to Europe will be shelling out $6000-$25,000 for a week in their desired European destination. Adding on excursions and additional amenities can escalate the costs. Yikes! Do these numbers cause you to pause and wonder if a honeymoon is possible and even within your price range? Not to worry. Take Me There has options for you.

One of the options that appeal to those looking for adventure, a taste of history, nature, and beautiful beaches is the Dry Tortugas. There are several other reasons why the Dry Tortugas appeals to honeymooners. We think there are 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas.

1. If you are not sure where the Dry Tortugas are, don’t worry you are not alone. The Dry Tortugas is a collection of 7 islands in a Caribbean-like place located in the United States about 70 miles west of Key West. The best news about a honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas is that since it is part of Florida you do not need a passport to enjoy this amazing place. And this to us is the first of the 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas – you can feel like you are visiting a Caribbean island like Antigua or the British Virgin Islands (which are in the top 10 destinations for honeymoons), but you never have to leave Florida. Travel requiring a passport has gotten more complicated over the years, and the last thing you want to deal with on your honeymoon is complications or a hassle. So why not skip the messiness of traveling abroad but feel like you have escaped to a tropical paradise and enjoy your Dry Tortugas honeymoon aboard Take Me There.

2. There are only about 80,000 visitors to the Dry Tortugas each year, so you are about to become one of the elite few to visit this stunningly beautiful place. As compared to the beaches of Hawaii that received over 6 million visitors in 2021, or the Bahamas (another popular beach destination) which welcomed over 160,000 visitors in 2021- only 80,000 people have the incredible opportunity of visiting the Dry Tortugas each year- making this the second of our 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas; your honeymoon is a unique experience that not everyone will be able to say they took. When you pick your honeymoon destination- there is a feeling like you are the only ones who have chosen this special place to enjoy your honeymoon. When you start talking to people, and they say that have also been to your chosen destination; some of the magic quickly disappears. Don’t you want to be the unique trendsetter in your group? Don’t you want to be one of the distinctive few that can say that they honeymooned in the Dry Tortugas? Here is your chance!

3. The third of our 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas relates to #2- you will be one of only a few people to honeymoon there because there are only day trip options or limited luggage options. Why are there so few people who visit each year? If it is such a great place to visit, why are there not more people going? There are two main reasons for the low number of visitors. The first is that even though it is part of Florida, there are no airports in the Dry Tortugas, and there are no bridges that connect these islands to the mainland of Florida. Traditionally there have only been three ways to get to these pristine islands- the ferry, the seaplane, or your own private boat.

The second reason why there is a limited number of visitors is that there are no provisions on the island. And when I say NO PROVISIONS, I mean nothing- no food, no water, no camp store, NOTHING. So what you bring with you is what you have. So while there is camping on the island, there are no hotels or restaurants. While I am a huge fan of the great outdoors, my idea of the perfect honeymoon is not cooking over an open fire every day. While I enjoy nature, and I really appreciate the unspoiled natural habitats; I also appreciate the comforts of home like a comfortable bed, a stocked fridge, and a nice cold drink at the end of the day.

So let’s talk about the ways of getting there first… The Yankee Freedom Ferry makes day trips from Key West to the Dry Tortugas for $190 per person. You can book tickets on the Yankee Freedom up to 6 months in advance of your trip, but the tickets sell out very quickly, so people are waiting in virtual lines and scrambling to find ways to get the golden ticket on the Yankee freedom Ferry. The other option of getting to the Dry Tortugas is to take the Key West Seaplane. This also is only a daytrip, and the current cost is $634 per adult for a 6.5-hour ride with a very short stopover on the main island to explore Fort Jefferson.

People who visit the Dry Tortugas say it is not only one of the most beautiful places they have been but that the biggest complaint is that they had such a short amount of time, they did not get to see and do everything they wanted to do. The third option of getting to the Dry Tortugas is by your own boat. This is not usually something that everyone has. And even if you have your own boat- there is a lot of planning, preparation, and knowledge that goes into a trip to the Dry Tortugas.

All of these options of visiting the Dry Tortugas are what we refer to as “limited luggage” options. The seaplane does not allow anything more than a carryon bag, and the ferry limits your luggage to a 60-pound bag. Neither of these transportation methods allow propane tanks. So remember when I mentioned camping on the island? Yes, you can camp- but you must cook using charcoal. And you have to allow room in your backpack to carry the charcoal and it counts towards your 60-pound weight limit. No wonder there are no honeymooners in the Dry Tortugas! This is not sounding like these are great 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas.

BUT WAIT! Take Me There Sailing offers you all the comforts of home. A very comfortable bed, a stocked refrigerator, more than plenty of water, wine, and beer, and someone to prepare all of your meals for you. Plus Take Me There carries all the water toys like kayaks, paddleboards, snorkel gear and floats so you no longer have a “limited luggage” option when you travel aboard Take Me There. So #3 on our list of 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas is because it is now as simple as saying TAKE ME THERE!

4. The 4th reason on our list of 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas is because it is packed with history (Fort Jefferson is one of the oldest forts in the United States), preserved and unspoiled land (It is one of our national parks), and because most people visit for day trips only, it is uncrowded and you will have the beaches mostly to yourself. So, it has a wide variety of things to do in one small place. You can choose to explore the fort, visit the lighthouse, lay on the beach, snorkel, swim, or just enjoy being one with nature. And then at the end of each day, you can board Take Me There’s 60-foot vessel, take a relaxing shower and enjoy a cooked meal and a cold drink while enjoying the sunset on deck. Now that sounds like one of 5 great reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas!

5. The 5th of the 5 reasons to honeymoon in the Dry Tortugas is because Take Me There offers you all-inclusive pricing. When you book your honeymoon aboard Take Me There, it includes all of your food and drinks, your lodging aboard the boat, entrance fees to the park, and all the equipment necessary to enjoy multiple days of kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, paddle boarding, and exploring the islands. Now that sounds like a great honeymoon.

Take Me There offers a 5 night/6 day package from Key West to the Dry Tortugas for $8250 that includes all of your food, drinks, water toys, park entrance, and sundry items aboard the boat. Bring your bathing suit, some shorts, and t-shirts, and let’s start sailing to the Dry Tortugas. The adventure awaits. And who says you have to be planning a honeymoon to enjoy this trip. It doesn’t matter whether you are just getting married, have been married for a few years, or you are single and want to take a “friendlymoon” – this trip is for YOU! Just say TAKE ME THERE!

Dry Tortugas Fort Jefferson

Did you hear that Take Me There Sailing is now adding an excursion to the Dry Tortugas?

Have you heard the news? Take Me There is now adding a 5 day charter from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. Did we also tell you how excited we are? Now that we have shared our excitement with you, it’s time to give you all the details of the trip. Are you ready? Let’s take a look at a sample itinerary of what 5 nights aboard Take Me There to the Dry Tortugas would feel like:

First of all, are you flying into town for this bucket list trip? If you are flying to Florida, you will want to fly into Key West International Airport  (Airport code EYW). Be sure to pack light. Shorts, t-shirts, and bathing suits are all that is required for this amazing vacation.

You are welcome to stay aboard Take Me There the night before we leave the marina, for $349 instead of getting a hotel the night before we leave. Our goal is to make your trip easy and carefree, and finding a hotel in the Key West area can be expensive, time-consuming, and a hassle. Let us help you avoid that added detail by giving you the option of staying aboard. (exact marina to be determined based on your travel dates). You can also choose to arrive in the morning if you decide not to stay aboard the night before we depart Key West.

SAILING ITINERARY

DAY 1: After a hearty breakfast, we will depart Key West and spend the day sailing about 20 miles.

NIGHT 1: Anchor at the Marquesas Keys, about 20 miles west of Key West.

Day 2: Sail approximately 36 miles to the Dry Tortugas

Nights 2, 3, and 4 – Anchor in the Dry Tortugas while you explore Fort Jefferson, snorkel, paddle board, kayak, swim, fish, eat, drink and relax.

Day 5- Leave the Dry Tortugas, sail about 36 miles, and anchor at the Marquesas Keys.

Day 6- Sail 20 miles and arrive back at Key West.

Investment

For two people – $1650 per night for 5 nights totaling $8250 plus 6.5% tax and gratuity. Each additional guest is $1750 for the 5 nights. Two couples or a family of 6 would be most comfortable aboard Take Me There for this amazing vacation.

Remember that Kimberly can also officiate your wedding nuptials aboard so if you are looking for an amazing elopement and honeymoon- this is a fantastic option for you.

OR… if you have another couple that would like to travel with you, two couples could take this five-day trip for less than $3000 per person (plus tax and gratuity).

OR… If you are planning a girls trip or a guys trip we could create a fun excursion to meet your needs.

Whoever you are and whatever your plans, just say TAKE ME THERE.

What is Included:

  • All meals, snacks, and desserts
  • All drinks of beer, wine, soft drinks, water, and tea
  • Water toys – snorkel gear, paddleboards, kayaks, floats, fishing bait/tackle/gear/and license
  • Captain, crew, and operating costs of the vessel
  • Entrance fees to Fort Jefferson and commercial use authorization in the Dry Tortugas
  • Linens, towels, toiletries
  • Planning time and services
  • EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE!

This 5-night package is the minimum number of nights that we offer from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. You are welcome to add nights to this package. We always have options for you at Take Me There. We can add days to the front or back of the trip to explore the Keys or we can stay additional days in the Dry Tortugas. Let us know what meets your needs, and we will plan something amazing for you.

What’s Next?

Take a look at your calendar and see when you would like to take this vacation. Remember that the best months to be in the Dry Tortugas are April through June or October and November. After you have a few dates in mind, give us a call or contact us through our website so we can talk about your desired itinerary and offer you any suggestions. Then we will firm up your dates, book them on our calendar and email you an invoice for 50% of your charter. The remaining 50% is due upon the completion of your charter. It’s that easy!

See you in KeyWest or we are still running charters out of our home port in Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, Fl. Just say TAKE ME THERE!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

Steve and Kimberly excited for the Dry Tortugas

Beautiful Sunset

We launched Take Me ThKimberly and Steveere Sailing as a private sailing charter business in January 2020. After spending a year in the boatyard renovating our 1975 Gulfstar, we brought Take Me There to Burnt Store Marina in January 2021. We’ve been having a blast hosting customers aboard Take Me There since March. During this first year in business we have figured out what our customers want (You wanted Daysails so we added 1/2 day and full-day charters) and we also figured out what our customers really like (The comfortable deck chairs and the food have received the most glowing comments so far!)

When we moved the boat to Burnt Store, we were not even sure that we would be able to keep this business afloat- but thanks to your decisions to book Take Me There for your family outings, honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, and end of life celebrations- we realized that we are offering something that you want- so we are excited to move into our second year here in Punta Gorda. Please keep saying “Take Me There”!

Like any successful business, we are starting to think about our next steps. And we felt that the next most important piece of our business was to update our website to broaden our reach of potential customers. We found the BEST website partner E’s Website Design. Eleina helped us to reconceptualize our business and make some fresh updates while optimizing our site for advanced web searches, greater online stability, and faster processing speeds. We are excited to launch our new website in the near future and get your feedback. Please keep telling us what you want and we will keep listening. We want to continue to “enrich lives through exceptional experiences” and we strongly believe that YOU DESERVE EXCEPTIONAL! All you have to say is Take Me There!

6 Ways We Amaze You at Take Me There Sailing

Take Me There Sailing, based in Punta Gorda Florida, offers all-inclusive sailing charters and came about as a result of a dream. But isn’t that the way most small businesses start? Here is the Reader’s Digest version of the history behind the dream of Take Me There Sailing…

Steve has been boating all of his life so for his birthday in 2011 I bought him professional sailing lessons- knowing that a boat would be in our future. Before the lessons were finished, Steve was looking at boats for sale- no surprise there! After much searching, we purchased this 1975 Gulfstar in December 2011. In 2014, when Steve retired from the military and was offered a job in the Washington, DC area, we sailed Take Me There from Florida to the Potomac River and lived aboard for three years. In 2017 and 2018, we broke away from the dock and cruised the East Coast and the Bahamas. What an amazing adventure!

While we were sailing, there were other life-events going on. During this time, I completed my Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and continued consulting with clients around the United States on how to create servant leaders and healthy organizational cultures. In 2019, after 20 years of serving clients, I closed InterWeave’s doors. But I wasn’t ready to settle down and just play golf several times a week- although we love our golf community home in Timber Greens.

Not quite ready to slow down during retirement, Steve and I took our passions for sailing, exploring new places, serving others, and living a life full of purpose and meaning and decided to launch Take Me There Sailing to offer private, all-inclusive sailing charters. After a year in the boatyard, we are now ready to start serving clients! And we are so excited to have you come aboard.

After a year of quarantines, work-at-home, home-schooling, take out or food delivery, social distancing, and limited social engagements- aren’t you ready to throw your hands in the air and shout, “take me away!” Well, just say TAKE ME THERE and we are ready to help you get there.

Here are just some of the ways that we deliver exceptional service to amaze you at Take Me There Sailing:

  1. We want to talk with you! While we may be out serving clients on a charter and may be out of cell phone range in the Punta Gorda Florida area, we will find a way to connect with you because that’s what we like to do. While other companies are moving away from the personal touch, we believe that building relationships is essential to an exceptional experience.
  2. We will not nickel and dime you! We opted for an all-inclusive pricing structure so that you know your costs upfront and there are no surprises. Look at what is included in your all-inclusive package.
  3. We invested in upgrading Take Me There so you would have all of the conveniences of home. Pack your clothes and toothbrush and let us take care of the rest!
  4. We want to make the reservation process easy so we created the ability for you to book, sign, pay, and engage online through our secure in-house booking website. While other companies ask you to call them for a quote, we provide you with all the information online so you could conveniently book your reservation without waiting for us to contact you. Booking an all-inclusive sailing charter is easy with Take Me There Sailing.
  5. We want to know what defines exceptional service for you. We are counting on you to tell us what matters most to you so we can make sure that we meet your expectations on your all-inclusive sailing charter. Complete our Pre-Departure Questionnaire to tell us about your preferences.
  6. We want to be a part of your lifetime memories. Our lives are filled with special moments- proposals, honeymoons, baby announcements, anniversaries, birthdays, and bucket list items. Our desire is to create a lifetime relationship with you so you can experience exceptional over and over again. Just say TAKE ME THERE.

These are just a few of the ways that we provide you with exceptional service at Take Me There Sailing. Our mission and our sole purpose is Enriching Lives through Exceptional Experiences. We look forward to seeing you aboard Take Me There so we can amaze you with exceptional service- because you deserve exceptional!