How Long Is a Boat Ride From Miami to the Keys?

If you’re planning a trip to Florida, chances are you’re considering making your way down to the Florida Keys. With beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back island atmosphere, it’s no wonder why this destination is a popular spot for travelers.

However, before you pack your bags and head out on your adventure, you may be wondering how long the boat ride from Miami to the Keys will take. Let’s explore this topic further.

The Distance

First things first – let’s talk about the distance between Miami and the Florida Keys. Miami is located approximately 160 miles north of Key West, which is considered the end of the island chain.

The Route

The most common route to travel from Miami to Key West is via Highway 1. The highway stretches over 100 miles and connects all of the islands in the Florida Keys. However, if you’re interested in taking a boat ride instead of driving, there are several options available to you.

Boat Ride Options

There are a variety of boat tours and charters that depart from Miami and make their way down to Key West. The length of these boat rides can vary depending on which option you choose.

  • Ferry Rides: One option for traveling from Miami to Key West is by taking a ferry ride. While these rides can take longer than other options (upwards of 4 hours), they offer scenic views and a relaxing atmosphere.

    One of the most popular ferry services is operated by Key West Express.

  • Speedboat Tours: For those who want a faster option with some adventure thrown in, speedboat tours are an excellent choice. These tours usually take around 3 hours and offer an exciting way to see dolphins and other marine life along the way.
  • Private Charters: If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, consider booking a private charter. These options allow you to customize your itinerary and can range in length from a few hours to an entire day.


So, how long is a boat ride from Miami to the Florida Keys? The answer depends on which option you choose. If you take a ferry ride, expect it to take upwards of 4 hours.

For speedboat tours, plan on around 3 hours. Private charters offer the most flexibility in terms of timing and itinerary. Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning views along the way.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet