Thank you for your interest in camping at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park. We are very excited to have you and are confident that you will find your camping trip a truly enjoyable experience. The following are certain guidelines of which you need to be aware.
• Remember that that the very characteristics that make the trip to the Dry Tortugas so unique and exciting – remoteness, wildness, focus on preservation of the natural environment – also mean that there is no way for us to guarantee that any aspect of your visit will be ideal.
• OCCASIONAL INCLEMENT WEATHER OR RARE MECHANICAL SITUATIONS may require us to cancel a trip. If this happens we will do our best to reschedule your visit to the Park but you need to have alternative options for lodgings. For the same reason we cannot guarantee the exact return date of campers and you should plan your return flights accordingly.
• Please be at the Yankee Freedom III on the day of your departure to Fort Jefferson NO LATER THAN 6:00 AM! You must have all of your gear aboard the Yankee Freedom III by 6:30 AM. Due to our fueling procedures, no guests of the Yankee Freedom III are permitted on-board between 6:30 and 7:30. Due to large number of guests that we board in the short period of time and for safety reasons, WE CANNOT ACCOMMODATE LATE ARRIVALS OF CAMPERS AND GEAR.
• Due to space constraints, the Yankee Freedom III can only transport campers for a maximum stay at Ft. Jefferson up to 4 days (3 nights).
• Please limit your provisions and coolers to only the amount you will need while in the Park. All other gear should be kept to the minimum essentials and cannot exceed 60 pounds per person (not including water).
• When loading your gear on the vessel in the morning, please ask crew members about proper placement. Gear must be packed into tote bags or bins- Please do not have a lot of little, loose gear. The cargo area is not protected from rain or spray – pack any water-sensitive gear in waterproof containers. Crew members will be pleased to assist the loading of gear if they are finished with morning preparation duties but you must be able to lift and carry your gear without help.
• Due to heightened security requirements all bags and containers will be searched before being taken aboard. Do not seal any container with non-reusable closures.
• Propane containers (i.e. Coleman Propane) or any other form of liquid or gas fuels are not allowed. For safety reasons self-starting charcoal or Sterno cans are the only form of fuel allowed.
• Campers must take everything they are going to need with them! This includes fresh water for drinking and bathing. Minimum suggestion for water is one gallon per person per day. The Park Service cannot provide campers with supplies while you are at Fort Jefferson camping. There is no store or showers; however, restrooms are available at all times.
• The Park Service will collect a campsite fee of $15 to $30 per night based on the size of your party. This fee is payable to the National Park Service once you are at Fort Jefferson. Correct change is appreciated.
• Do not attach anything to a tree. Campground trees and shrubs are crucial for providing shade and windbreak. Help protect this valuable vegetation. Do not attach ropes, hammocks, tents, laundry lines, or any other materials to campground trees. All camping gear must be free standing*.
• The eleven campsites are available on a first come, first served basis. However, the Park Service reserves the right to designate camping sites to visitors of the park.
• Space is limited. Each of the regular campsites contains a table and grill. Three tents and six campers are the maximum allowed per campsite. All tents must remain within ten feet of your table. Be prepared to share the limited campground area with others, and remember that flexibility is the key to a successful experience*.
• If a ranger is unavailable to assign you a site, look for a table with a stenciled number. Only those tables with numbers are assigned to campsites. Should you find all regular sites occupied, you must share the overflow area with other campers*.
• The Overflow Area is a grassy area located near the regular campsites. Tables and grills are provided, but they must be shared with other overflow campers. Note: as campers leave, you may move to a regular site if one becomes available*.
• The Group Site is located between the regular sites and the Overflow Area. The Group Site is normally available only for groups of 10-40 campers, and must be reserved in advance. The site contains grills and two tables, and is large enough for 12-15 tents. Groups of 10 or more campers arriving without a reservation will not receive exclusive use of the Group Site*.
• During periods of heavy use, the Group Site may be used for an overflow area, but only on unreserved nights. Any unreserved group choosing to camp in the Group Site during overflow periods must relocate to the Overflow Site by 10:00 AM on the day the site is reserved*.
• Quiet Hours. Please be considerate of others. Radios and other loud noises are precisely what many visitors have come to the Dry Tortugas to escape. Please observe the quiet hours from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. The use of bright lanterns is also discouraged during these hours*.
• Whatever you take to the fort you must bring back. This includes garbage. Please bring enough “heavy duty” garbage bags for your use during your time at the fort.
• Please Note: The Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson has a rat population that has been known to get into camper’s food and other provisions. Please pack all food in airtight containers to discourage their access to your provisions.
• Reservations are required as we are limited to the number of campers we can transport. You must return on the scheduled day. You must confirm your return dates at the time of ticket purchase and with the captain on the outbound trip.
• Campers must have all gear on the dock (NOT left in camping area) by 10:30AM on the day of departure from Ft. Jefferson to load on the boat. Equipment must be packed and cleaned of sand before re-boarding. Please keep with you items you will need for the day.
• No more than three kayaks or small canoes (no greater than 17 ft in length) may be transported on any trip. The cost of transporting kayaks is $20.00 each, round trip.
• Click here for kayaking and safely regulations.
• When in transit to and from the Dry Tortugas National Park, all coolers need to be kept outside of the main salon under the bench seats. Please ask any Crew member for instructions. Remember, you cannot consume any alcohol from your cooler while aboard the Yankee Freedom III, as we have a liquor license and glass containers are forbidden.
• Non- residents and residents of Florida must have a salt water fishing license to fish from shore and/or boat. All licenses need to be purchased before departure to the Dry Tortugas.
• Snorkel gear can be provided to campers by the Yankee Freedom III upon arrival at Ft Jefferson or you may bring your own personal gear. Snorkel gear is not available from the National Park Service.
* Courtesy of the National Park Service and The U.S. Department of Interior.
Dry Tortugas National Park diagram and more camping information