Laid-back island vibes
The southernmost point of the continental United States, Key West draws crowds for its glorious sunshine, wild beaches, historical charm and carefree attitude.
Located in the Straits of Florida just 90 miles from Cuba, and flanked by Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, Key West is connected to the mainland of Florida by bridges. The Spaniards originally called it “Cayo Hueso,” or the “Island of Bones,” for the indigenous tribes who used Key West as a communal graveyard to scatter remains of their dead. The transliterated name stuck, while, fortunately, those traditions did not.
The island boasts a rich history from the maritime and wrecking industries, and a quaint Old Town with historic homes, restaurants, bars and Bohemian boutiques centered off the colorful Duval Street, the lively pulse of the island. It is no coincidence that the likes of Harry S. Truman, Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett decided to reside here.
Arriving on an MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise directly into port in the heart of the Old Town, enjoy a plethora of MSC excursions[ADD HYPERLINK TO EACH COUNTRY’S UNIQUE EXCURSIONS PAGE ON NEW WEBSITE]. Visit Hemingway’s villa, now a museum, where the writer lived for more than a decade with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, and his beloved six-toed cats. It is here that he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, his Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize-winning novel. See first-hand Hemingway’s paintings, typewriter, kitchen and his beloved 17th-18th century furniture collection from Spain. Then stop in at Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Hemingway’s favorite haunt.
Or explore three distince historic homes and gardens - Truman's Little White House, Audubon House & Tropical Gardens and Amsterdam's Curry Mansion Inn - in an in-depth walking tour through the historic center, with a history lesson Key lime pie and a tasting.
The Key West adventure doesn’t stop there. Hop on an Old Town Trolley, take the conch train, ride a bicycle, and enjoy a pub crawl down legendary Duval Street.
Or book an MSC excursion for an ocean adventure. Ride a glass-bottom boat to view different species of colorful fish below, kayak along mangroves as guides point out wildlife or set sail on a catamaran to snorkel at a nearby reef. You may just spot a barracuda, turtle or manta ray.
cruises to key west