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Big Hollywood would have you believe seaplanes are only for drug runners, Bond villains — and Tintin.
In reality there’s a much more romantic side to
these half-boat, half-plane amphibious craft.
Something about being able to seamlessly (and under a minute’s time) take off from, and land back upon, the rhythmic, drifting milieu of the sea just flutters the heart. Ask Devon Windsor and Johnny Dex!
Not to mention being ideal for the COVID era, as the private, intimate quarters of a seaplane are strictly limited to the couple, a micro group of friends or family, and the captains. Er, pilots.
Since the Earth is 71 percent water, it’s also 71 percent tarmac for the magical seaplane. But we’ve narrowed it to six romantic rides nearly right above the sea.
No shirt, no shoes, no passport … yessir! No car is OK, too, since you haven’t a choice but to get to this very private and remote — and beautifully adults-only — island in the Florida Keys by motor yacht or seaplane. So, a no-brainer.
Alpha dog operator in the region, Tropic Ocean Airways, can fly you here from Fort Lauderdale’s Sheltair (from $3,000/one-way) or Miami’s Seaplane Base (from $3,250). There’s only one TV on the entire island, in LPI’s Great Room. Snub the odious thing and instead tune in to the island’s deep-sea fishies.
A darling of the jetsetter glossies, the resort offers a Tropic Ocean package exclusively for seaplane passengers, from $2,590/night (use code LITTLEPALM).
That wafting aromatic cloud of moozadell and pepperoni hijacking your nostrils? It’s likely coming from this 10-acre boutique resort’s prized wood-fired pizza oven on the sleepy Bahamian island of South Andros.
You’ll be headed right for it inside a Tropic Ocean Airways Cessna Caravan (scheduled service from $282/one-way; charter from $3,500) commandeered in either Miami or Fort Lauderdale.
Or, even from New York City, with a refueling stop. Land in a small channel to the northwest of the island, then do a boat transfer to Caerula Mar, just minutes away. Pizza up, then safely and sanely wait a half-hour to digest before snorkeling in the blue hole ocean caves that surround the place (from $485/night).
The score was love-love. Land at the same place Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian spent their honeymoon.
Once upon a tedious time, you’d have to fly into Nassau, take a puddle-jumper to Andros, then taxi over to a jetty, then ferry to Kamalame. No more! Now you can just seaplane it directly from Nassau right up to your villa and kickstart the hay-rolling thanks to COCO Bahama Seaplanes, launching just this month (from $1,967/one-way).
Like every island in the Bahamas, they only ask that you pass your COVID PCR test before entry, pretty please. A five-night “Escape to Paradise” package starts at $1,900.
Thatched roofs are their business and business is good. This no-kiddies-allowed resort is the first and only all-inclusive in the Keys, sitting on the northern-most in the archipelago.
“With not an elevator or tight hallway” in sight, the resorts boasts, its 135 bungalows each come with their own soaking tub, outdoor shower and Huffy Beach Cruiser bike guaranteed to get even the most supine guest to pedal out (from $899).
Get there by, of course, Tropic Ocean Airways, from Fort Lauderdale Int’l’s Sheltair hangar (call for pricing; FlyTropic.com).
You could arrive at this Key Largo, Fla.-based bayfront resort via road trip down US 1. But you’re better than that. Instead, Keys Seaplanes (call for pricing) can get you there from Miami Int’l, or the cutsier-branded Fly The Whale (call for pricing) will do the same from Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, your choice.
A third party will “tender” you (it’s a small boaty thing) onto shore so nary a drop of water will dampen your inappropriately worn socks before settling in one of their signature rooms, two-story bungalows or stand-alone villas (From $299).
Solar urticaria — better known as sun hives — doesn’t play. For those unlucky few allergic to our smiley star, it’s out with the tropics, in with the Finger Lakes at this newish, 125-room year-round resort.
Normally a chartered flight-for-six to the area from the East River (from a seaplane terminal by East 23rd Street, wouldn’t you know) would be in the $12,000 to $15,000 range (for the whole plane), but Cape Air will seaplane individuals for $2,000 to $2,500 a pop, roundtrip.
And they’ll even toss in a fun lagniappe: a mini bottle of bub for the hour-long flight. The fam-friendly Lake House features a boardwalk, hot tub, wellness center and an “event barn” — an evening of do-si-doing awaits (from $201).