After a two-year hiatus, seaplane service to Dry Tortugas National Park is set to return Monday, according to park officials.
The service will be offered by PM Air LLC, which will be operated as Key West Seaplane Adventures with flights from Key West to the park.
"Bringing the seaplane service back online has been a high priority for Dry Tortugas National Park as there are only two ways to access this remote national park, either by ferry or seaplane, and the public has missed having that choice," said Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball, who also oversees Dry Tortugas. "This service has been unavailable since 2008 and we are thrilled to have the seaplane option available once again."
This is no inexpensive flight, though. A half-day trip, with "at least" two-and-a-half hours at Dry Tortugas, runs $249 per adult, $199 for kids 7 to 2, and $169 for youngsters 3-6. Extend your trip with a daylong trek and the rates bump up to $435, $349 and $295, respectively, as the company holds a seat for you on the afternoon return flight.
Taking ferries to Dry Tortugas is decidedly less expensive, with rates ranging from $100 to $130 for adults, $95-$119 for kids 16 and under. These trips offer about 4.5 hours at the park.
According to Superintendent Kimball, PM Air has been serving North American destinations with flight-seeing tours for more than 20 years and is the largest seaplane operator in southern Alaska. Owner/pilot Marcus Sessoms is a native Floridian returning home and bringing his business with him.
The office is located at the Key West International Airport; 3471 South Roosevelt Blvd. where free parking is available for passengers. Morning, afternoon, or all day tours and charter flights are available. Current schedule includes daily flights at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 12 noon, and 2 p.m.
The aircraft is an amphibious de Havilland DHC-3 Single Turbine Otter, which comfortably seats ten passengers.
In-flight and land tour narrations are available. Complimentary soft drinks as well as snorkeling equipment will be available for your use on the island. You may bring your own snorkel equipment but you may not bring diving gear.