Sail, Paddle, Hike and Snorkel On Full Day Trips
Join us as we explore Biscayne National Park under sail. Full day trips also hike on Boca Chita or Adams Key, paddle protected waters, snorkel the fringes of the mangroves and marvel at the underwater forests that are as enchanting and haunting as those in any fairy tale. When the cold fronts make exploring the Atlantic Ocean reefs impossible, we can still enjoy the calm waters of the bay. Your captain will explain why mangroves, grasses and hardpan are all vital to the health of the local ecosystems. We want to share all the beauty this area has to offer and show how we can be good stewards of the National Park, preserving its unique habitats for generations to come. And most importantly, we can have a blast doing it!
Trips start and end at the park visitor center, located at 9700 SW 328 Street, nine miles east of Homestead, Florida. On full day trips will sail east across the bay for several hours before stopping ashore at Boca Chita or Adams Key. After a lunch break ashore you can swim, use our paddle watercraft or snorkel. Please note that we do not go to the reefs on the Atlantic side, snorkeling in the bay is not as dramatic but still very enjoyable. Then it’s time to raise the sails once again for the trip home. Departure is at 10 AM and return at 4 PM every day of the week as long as the weather will make for a comfortable trip. Singles are welcome but we do require at least 2 passengers to run the trip.
Sailing Excursions on Half Day Trips
On our half day tours we sail in the bay, we do not go ashore (the islands are too far away to reach under sail in a half day). We only use our paddleboards and snorkeling equipment on our full day trips. The trips are a chance to relax under sail with no engine noise and really enjoy the beauty of the bay and the park. You are welcome to help with the sails, driving the boat or just sit back and enjoy. Besides various types of birds we often see dolphins and sometimes sea turtles and manatee. Most times the water is clear enough to see the bottom glide by as we sail. Trips start and end at the park headquarters at Convoy Point from 10 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM to 4 PM, 2 person minimum per trip, we sail daily as long as the weather will provide a comfortable trip
Departing from the park visitor center, located at 9700 SW 328 Street, nine miles east of Homestead, Florida, we tailor our itinerary to the prevailing winds. Using the timeless technology of sail, we slip by the rustling mangroves and quietly slide through the waters of Biscayne Bay in harmony with the wind and the water just as the earliest residents did when they paddled through these waters hundreds of years ago. Explore ashore at Boca Chita or Adams Key in a kayak or on a stand-up padddleboard while watching for exotic birds, dolphins, and manatees. Get in the water for a snorkel or a swim to see the small fish and soft corals living among the mangrove roots.
Who We Are
Biscayne National Park Institute is part of The Everglades Association which operates under Congressional authorities as the official private, non-profit partner supporting educational, interpretive, and historical and scientific research responsibilities of Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, and Everglades National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve. Our sailboats are run by US Coast Guard Licensed captains. They will share their knowledge about the ecosystems in the area, sailing and park history. Our boats are safety inspected by the Coast Guard and have all the required equipment. We use our diesel engines as little as possible, preferring the quiet beauty of sailing. Many of our captains are American Sailing Association instructors.
In order to more closely explore the mangrove forests on full day trips, we supply SUP’s, kayaks and paddles. Snorkeling gear is available in a limited supply, so for the best fit, please bring your own gear if you have it. We have a library of relevant books on board that includes fish and invertebrate identification books. Our boats are rigged with shade, and there are also some areas where you can relax in the sun.
What Customers have to say…
Your ability to educate and teach is incredible. Thank you for a lifelong memory . . . Again, thank you for the great adventure last week. We all had a great time and spent the entire return flight talking about our adventure. It really was an experience we will never forget.—David C., Kansas City, Kansas
What an inspiration for our boys–the snorkeling was great and the company was wonderful. Thanks so much for the memories!–Dan T.
Your gift of teaching and providing a positive example . . . was a blessing. Thank you both for the enlightening experience. We wish you the best in life and happiness.–David C., MN
Great kayaking, great diving, awesome sailing. A fantastic learning experience. Captain created a great atmosphere for our group.–Warren S., Colorado Springs, CO
Your boat tour includes a U.S. Coast Guard licensed crew, a safety inspected vessel and up to 6 guests. Lunch items are available at the bookstore or bring your own. Day sails leave at 10 AM and return at 4 PM. Half Day trips are 10AM to 12:30PM or 1:30 PM to 4PM.
Rates and Hours
We are happy to accept all major credit cards and cash.
Please book online here. Same day trips may be possible, but advance reservations are strongly suggested, We are required to collect Florida sales tax on the prices listed below.
The Islands and the Bay
The shallow waters of the bay are dotted with remote, mangrove islands and are a shallow-water nursery for young plant and animal life. The subtropical climate and simple beauty of the park make this both an American ecological treasure and a great sailing destination that should not be overlooked.
Sailing the bay side of the park gives us access to areas that are seldom visited. There are remote anchorages where city lights and highways are not visible. The calm waters in the backcountry make for smooth sailing.
Kayaking the Mangroves
There are many islands to visit in Biscayne National Park. Once you sail just a few miles from the Visitor Center at Convoy Point, you are transported to a tropical marine environment that is like no other in the United States. It is a special privilege to kayak in these waters, where you will enjoy beautiful vistas with amazing wildlife in mother nature’s nursery.
Tom Schroder of the Washington Post Talks about finding protection in the mangroves on a windy day:
Peter caught up, and we sheltered in a small cove in the lee of the mangroves. As we caught our breath, we stared mesmerized into the universe of arcing roots. They rose above the inflowing waves like so many twisting stilts, merging into thick grey trunks that slanted skyward, holding a crown of green above our heads. After the tempest, it was a haven we weren’t eager to abandon.
Join us for your own exploration of one of natures treasures.
Wildlife Under Water and in Air
Snorkel the underwater world of Florida Bay. The mangroves, sea grasses and hardpan are full of life. Did you know that 70% of sport fish caught on the reefs spend some part of their life in the bay? And even if you don’t get into the water, enjoy the view anyway since many species of fish can be seen directly from the boat.