The Yankee Freedom III is a high speed, state-of-the-art, all aluminum catamaran recognized world wide for safety, performance and passenger comfort. Built in New England in 2012, she entered service in Key West in the fall of 2012. It is equipped with the latest and most sophisticated safety, navigation, and communication equipment. The Yankee Freedom III has undergone a thorough U.S. Coast Guard inspection and will do so each year.
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The Yankee Freedom III catamaran is powered by twin Caterpillar engines that give her a speed of over 30 miles per hour, making Yankee Freedom III catamaran the fastest vessel of her size out of Key West. Also, below decks are two generators plus a multitude of machinery and equipment to operate the vessel in the safest, quietest, and most dependable manner possible.
The upper deck of the Yankee Freedom III is open to the sea air and sights and sounds of marine life. There is spacious sundeck seating with areas to stretch out in and enjoy the sunshine and the view. Also topside there is a convenient cocktail bar with protective covering.
The large, completely air-conditioned cabin has comfortable cushioned seating and large windows all around. DVD monitors are available for your pleasure. Here, you’ll find a complete modern galley serving a complimentary breakfast of fresh foods and juices at sea and a delicious complete lunch served at Fort Jefferson. A snack and cocktail bar are open at other times during your voyage on our Key West ferry. Also on the main deck are fresh water rinse showers and three separate restrooms.
In 1944, on a shore 35 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts, a young boy named Jerry Hill began taking visitors on an afternoon sail aboard his small sailboat. It is from this childhood business the Yankee Fleet was born. Today Jerry, his wife Carol and family operate the Yankee Fleet with vessels located in Key West, Florida and Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Located in Key West, Florida, one of the jewels of the Yankee Fleet is the catamaran Yankee Freedom III. The Yankee Freedom III is the fastest, largest and newest state-of-the-art ferry transporting passengers to Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park.
The Yankee Fleet in Gloucester, Massachusetts has over 7 vessels and has grown to become New England’s leader in whale watching excursions, deep sea fishing trips, education, whale conservation and marine stewardship.
The Yankee Freedom III is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). We have also been honored with the ISO Environmental Award. Therefore, our services conform to International Standards of quality, service, environmental awareness and reliability. No other fleet in Florida has this distinguished honor.
We are also ADA (American Disability Act) compliant.
Learn more about taking a voyage to the Dry Tortugas aboard the Yankee Freedom III.
This Key West ferry has 3 restrooms. Marine toilets are delicate so place only what should go in and use the wastebasket for everything else.
Please place your belongings under the tables and benches while we are under way.
You may purchase non-alcoholic drinks and snacks from the galley on the way to and from the fort.
Please feel free to ask the crew to answer any questions or for assistance. They will gladly help you.
Snorkel gear will be distributed to you on the way to the fort.
Upon arrival at the fort please take everything you will need on the island off the boat with you. Place it on the beach, in the picnic area or anywhere you choose.
Return to the fort entrance to begin the 40-minute narrated tour. (You are also welcome to walk around on your own).
Lunch is served on the Yankee Freedom III from 11:30 am to 1 pm.
Fresh water is available at the Yankee Freedom III all day.
If you are a camper you must bring your gear to the dock area the day of your departure (Clean and free of sand and dirt) to place it aboard when the boat arrives approximately at 10:10 am.
Please let day passengers get off the boat before placing your gear aboard and remember to keep with you the things you will need for that afternoon.
The Yankee Freedom III is concerned with the environment. Our high standards and stringent ecological guidelines have earned us an environmental ISO certification. The Yankee Freedom III is one of the first ferries to be ISO certified in the United States.
The Yankee Freedom III is also a part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s, Performance Track Program. Because of our awareness and compliance with stringent Federal, State, and Local requirements, we are proud to be the only ferry in the United States to participate in this program. All of these standards must be kept current; as there is an annual renewal process in which we must participate to keep this certification.
We at the Yankee Freedom III take great pride in the tremendous strides we’ve taken to comply with the standards set forth by ISO and EPA’s: Performance Track. The products purchased by the Yankee Freedom III are either recycled or environmentally friendly. We keep a watchful eye on how much non-recyclable waste is produced each year and consistently reduce the number as years goes by. We promote the recycling of bottles, cans, paper and even our printer and toner cartridges. Green tipped fluorescent light bulbs are a must.
We participate with the National Park Service in the protection and non-invasive behavior around indigenous wildlife at Ft. Jefferson. The Yankee Freedom III gives generously to Save the Turtles, Reef Relief and countless other environmental organizations. The Yankee Freedom III keeps its eye on the ecology of the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas islands so that future generations may enjoy them as much as we have.
About ISO certification
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards bodies. Founded on February 23 1947, the organization produces world-wide industrial and commercial standards. ISO sets standards that often become law; through treaties or national standards.
The organization is often referred to as “ISO”. It is commonly assumed that ISO is an acronym that stands for “International Standards Organization”; however its origin is from the Greek Word (Isos) meaning “equal”. In other nations, whose pronunciation is varied, such as France’s “Organisation internationale de normalisation” (OIN) for example, the initials would result in different acronyms. This prompted the founders of the organization to choose “ISO” its universal nickname. This also reflects the aims of the organization; to equalize and standardize across cultures.
About Performance Track
Performance Track is a partnership that recognizes top environmental performance among participating U.S. facilities of all types, sizes, and complexity, public and private. Program partners are providing leadership in many areas, including some that are not currently regulated, such as energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption. Currently, the program has about 450 members and welcomes all qualifying facilities. Applications are accepted twice a year: April 1 – May 31, and September 1 – October 31. Annual performance reports and renewal applications are available on February 1 and due on April 1.