Credit: Zack Perry with Taste and See Tampa Bay
If you want to spend some time on a beautiful pristine island paradise, the ferry to Egmont Key State Park from Fort De Soto is a great choice for you and your family! Get ready for a day of fun in the sun with Hubbard’s Marina. Our ferry boat operates from the Fort De Soto Bay Pier daily in the spring and summer and nearly every day in the fall and winter (check the schedule for exact times and days of availability). The ferry ride to the island is about twenty five to thirty minutes and offers great chances to spot dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even manatees! We often spot sea birds on the ride to and from Egmont Key Island aboard the Tampa Bay Ferry, our big green boat.
Once on the island, Egmont Key offers great shelling, swimming, and opportunities for adventures. There is even a large fort on the island named Fort Dade you can access and explore. This fort dates back to the Spanish American war era and is spread out along the island’s interior. Egmont Key is also home to a large population of native gopher tortoises! These large, slow-moving tortoises are an endangered species, so you can’t touch them, but they make for great photos as you spot them throughout the island’s interior.
Egmont Key is also home to a large nature preserve – nearly half of the island is blocked to guests, allowing the native seabirds and sea turtles a section of undisturbed beach. This nature preserve area is home to tons of nesting birds and nesting turtles and we cruise around this area by boat when you take the snorkeling cruise option.
If you’d like to take a ferry ride to Egmont Key with us, pack like you’re spending the day at the beach! Bring sunscreen, towels, bathing suits, sun protective hats, shirts and other gear. Egmont Key is a pristine island, so there isn’t a bathroom or any type of shop on the island so make sure to come prepared with a cooler full of water, food and drinks.
ATTENTION: Due to the multiple trips that we offer, the boat will not always be present. While the boat is docked, you will be able to use the bathroom, buy snacks, soda and water from the galley on board.
You cannot bring alcohol, glass, pets, kites, or drones to the island because it is a wildlife preserve and these items are prohibited.
Fort DeSoto Ferry to Egmont Key Schedule
The snorkeling cruise is another option while out on the island with us at Hubbard’s Marina. The snorkeling option is $15 per person and offers about an hour in the water for confident swimmers. We snorkel the sunken ruins of fort Dade, or the grass flat beds depending the weather and conditions at the island. The snorkeling cruise is first come first serve and you reserve this on your way out to the island on our boat. If you need to rent snorkeling gear (Mask, snorkel and fins) we will provide this to you for a $5 rental fee. This means for a ferry ride to the island, snorkeling and snorkel gear rental the entire trip is only $45 per adult and $32.50 for kids 11 and under since kids are half price or $12.50 on the ferry boat to the island. Kids and adults are all $15 to snorkel since spots are limited on that cruise.