Joe and I have been going to Key West for well over a decade. It’s within driving distance for us, and is therefore one of our “go-to” trips, where, once we have established a place to stay, we’re pretty much good to go. Some of the hotels and B&Bs we’ve stayed in include:
- Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa
- Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
- Cypress House (now closed & re-owned under the Kimpton banner)
- Kimpton Key West Ridley House (yep, same place! And boy, has it changed!)
A few of the Key West things we’ve covered over the years include:
- Some of our favorite places to eat (yes, we know you probably think we’re nuts for that first one. We don’t care LOL)
- When I went deep-sea fishing on the Gulfstream Fishing party boat
- Our visit to the Key West Cemetery
When we go to Key West, we sometimes plan stuff in advance, especially if reservations are required/suggested. A perfect example of that is our favorite way to see a Key West sunset, on Danger Charters’ Wind & Wind Sunset Sail.
However our last trip was a little different in that we had tentative plans that couldn’t be scheduled until pretty close to our visit. So by the time we had those plans set, Danger Charters was sold out for the 2 nights we had open.
So I followed my own advice and went to the Key West version of the best place I’ve found for travel research and planning and wrote:
Hi y’all! We’re going to be in KW next weekend and planned to go on Danger Charters’ Wind & Wine Sunset Sail on either Apr. 17th or 18th. While tying up some loose ends for scheduling things, both days pretty much filled up. We’re on a wait list but…
Any recommendations for a sunset cruise that’s something along the same line as Danger Charters – $100ish per person, a variety of wine and hor d’oeuvres kind of finger foods, and the ship not filled to the gills because although we’ve gotten our COVID vaccines, we’re still not comfortable with too much peopleing yet.
We’re middle aged and not party people, so we’re not interested in big groups or a boat filled with 20-somethings whose main goal is to get drunk (no offense – we’ve been those people; it was just a LONG time ago LOL).
Join us on the SV Argo Navis, the only luxury catamaran sailing yacht in Key West, for 2 hours of craft food and drink pairings as the sun sets where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico. Your sail through the enchanting changing tropical colors of the sky and water includes a selection of craft beers, fine wines, local breads, delicious cheeses and charcuterie and bean-to-bar chocolates chosen by our crew with suggestions from our sommelier. A sunset on the water is the original nightly show, and we’ve got the best front row seats.
On the SV Argo Navis, we don’t play any music and never overcrowd the boat so that you can enjoy space to stretch out while experiencing the tranquility of a wind driven vessel in the beautiful azure waters of Key West. Limited to just 34 guests (on a vessel rated for 91).
Their web page also had a whole list of health & safety measures which, as people who were, at the time, relatively newly COVID vaccinated and still a little skittish about crowds, was a plus.
Their website was easy to navigate and I made our reservations online. However, we discovered that trying to find the ship was a little confusing (“Our vessel is docked at the end of Margaret Street at the Historic Key West Seaport.” So are a bajillion other boats! LOLOL). So when we were less than 5 minutes from final check-in time and we still couldn’t find them, I called. As it turned, out, we were REALLY close. So close, in fact, that when I explained I couldn’t find the ship, the guy who picked up the phone said, “Are you wearing a peach-colored shirt?” I was. “Turn left and you’ll see us on your right, in about 100 feet.” Now THAT’S service!
The catamaran is built for people used to luxury, with, “an air-conditioned lounge, two spacious bathrooms (called ‘heads’) for guests with normal house-style facilities, a fully stocked kitchen (galley), a large dining room with a table that seats 10 and 3 staterooms with ensuite bathrooms.”
Like most sunset cruises, the Argo Navis went out and just kind of went back and forth in the waters off Key West. We noticed that we went significantly further out than Danger Charters ever did; I assume that’s because they’re two entirely different types of vessels (catamaran vs. sailboat).
Anyway, while sailing back and forth, the mates offered us a variety of things to eat and drink. There were about 10 wines to choose from, on top of a dozen or so different beers (there were soft drinks and bottled water available, as well).
I don’t remember if they ever went through the drinks they had available, other than pointing them out and saying, “Here they are.” So once we were sailing, they’d ask what we wanted, and we could say “the Brut,” or “do you have a red Zinfandel?” And go from there.
There was a nice variety of hors-d’oeuvres that the mates offered, one by one. They did explain what each one was, and I was able to get photos of most of them, but I didn’t get a chance to write them down.
Of course, the highlight of a sunset cruise is the sunset, and this one didn’t disappoint.
Once the sun was officially set, we started back towards the dock and our sunset sail was complete.
Our Overall Impression & Comparison
Sailing on the Argo Nevis was a perfectly fine replacement for and roughly on par with Danger Charters’ sunset sail.
- Their respective levels of friendliness and helpfulness on the ships were equal.
- Both ships offer a variety of wines and finger foods.
Their only differences?
- Argo Nevis has more COVID-related info listed on their website for those interested in such things (Danger Charters has none; not even a reminder of President Biden’s Executive order that masks be worn on all “public maritime vessels, including ferries”).
- Visually, Argo Nevis is fancier than Danger Charters’ ships
- Argo Nevis sails further out
- Danger Charters explain their wine selection better but Argo Nevis has more wines and beers to choose from
As of this writing, their prices are within $10 of each other (Argo Nevis was more). Frankly, you won’t go wrong with either.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary