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Laid-back island vibes
Set on 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 the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, Key West is connected to the Florida mainland 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 the remains of their dead. The transliterated name stuck, while those traditions fortunately did not.
The island boasts a rich history of the maritime and wrecking industries, and a quaint
Old Town with historic homes, restaurants, bars and Bohemian boutiques centred off colourful 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.
As you’ll arrive on an
MSC Caribbean and Antilles cruise
directly into the port in the heart of the Old Town, you can enjoy a plethora of
. Visit Hemingway’s villa, now a museum, where the writer lived for more than a decade with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, and his be-loved six-toed cats. It is here that he wrote The Old Man and the Sea, his Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize-winning novel. See Hemingway’s paintings, typewriter, kitchen and his beloved 17th-18th century furniture collection from Spain first-hand. Then stop in at
Sloppy Joe’s Bar
, Hemingway’s favourite haunt.
Or explore three distinct historic homes and gardens -
Truman’s Little White House, Audubon House & Tropical Gardens and Amsterdam’s Curry Mansion Inn - during an in-depth walking tour through the historic centre. This includes a history lesson on key lime pie and a tasting, during an exclusive Martha Stewart excursion curated for MSC Cruises.
The Key West adventure doesn’t stop there. Hop on an
Old Town Trolley, take the conch train, r ide a bicycle, and enjoy a pub crawl down legendary Duval Street.
Or book an
for an ocean adventure. Ride a
to view different species of colourful fish below,
kayak along mangroves
as guides point out wildlife or set sail on a
to snorkel at a nearby reef. You may just spot a barracuda, turtle or manta ray.