Cuba welcomes first US yacht into marina

The first US flagged yacht made her way into Cuban waters since the trade embargo between the two countries were implemented in the 1960’s, when a 78ft Numarine yacht, Still Water, docked in Marina Hemingway near Havana last week. The yacht carried 12 American guests as she crossed the Straits of Florida, having departed from Key West four hours prior.

The Straits of Florida - Map data ©2015 Google

Passengers and crew entered the country on a person-to-person permit, one of 12 different types of exemptions American citizens can bypass the ban upon visiting Cuba. Non-American flagged yachts are free to visit the island, but then have to deal with the reality of not being able to enter American waters for the following six months.

Paul Madden, the Palm Beach broker who arranged the trip to the island reports to have been struggling for the past eight months to obtain the legal go-ahead for Still Water’s departure to Cuba. Ferry companies operating from the States are hoping to soon achieve the same result, opening a large market of tourism-related opportunities to the region.

By Charl van Rooy

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