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Old 16-01-2015, 11:42   #1
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Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

Hello,

I'm new here and just looking for info about sailing to Cuba from Key West. With the new rules going into effect, I'm sure some people are planning on doing the trip, so I thought I'd reach out.

Has anybody done the Key West to Cuba trip or know somebody who has? Anybody planning on it?

And if you have done it or know somebody who has, where in Key West might be a good place to meet others? I'm a Miami resident and am thinking about going down to Key West to see if I can charter a boat, so it would be helpful to know where to start.

Thank you!
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Old 16-01-2015, 15:28   #2
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

You might start at Schooner Wharf bar
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Old 16-01-2015, 18:31   #3
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... .....Key West to see if I can charter a boat, so it would be helpful to know where to start.

Thank you!
Highly unlikely you will find a charter company willing to allow that trip because their insurance is unlikely to cover it and, even under the new relaxed rules casual tourism is not permited.

More likely you could hitch a ride with someone.

Ive sailed Dry Tortugas to Havana, but that was a long time ago under different rules.
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Old 17-01-2015, 06:49   #4
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

Greetings and welcome aboatd the CF, SmartWater.
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Old 17-01-2015, 07:40   #5
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

New rules still do not allow travel for strictly tourism. Visiting Cuba, if you follow the rules, must be for family visits, humanitarian, scientific, formal cultural travel, certain authorized export business (farm and agro products), etc.

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and sail to Cuba, expect some serious hassle if you check back into the US in Key West.
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Old 17-01-2015, 09:07   #6
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

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New rules still do not allow travel for strictly tourism. Visiting Cuba, if you follow the rules, must be for family visits, humanitarian, scientific, formal cultural travel, certain authorized export business (farm and agro products), etc.

If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and sail to Cuba, expect some serious hassle if you check back into the US in Key West.

Check out the charities in Miami first and see if you can load up on medical supplies or something then go see the island. I was thinking of doing it to get around the law. I just haven't gotten that far yet.
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Old 17-01-2015, 09:23   #7
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

What exactly is formal cultural travel? Do i have to write a report and publish it? Or just try to get it published?

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Old 17-01-2015, 09:34   #8
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

The rules for US citizens have changed of course, so others can advise on that. As a non US citizen I visited Cuba from Cayman a couple of times, and their rules were fairly cumbersome. First, they are very welcoming, but strict on paperwork. Expect to have visits from health officials, agriculture officials who may confiscate certain foods, customs and finally harbour authorities. Don't move off your boat until they have all been and done their work. They will also require you to give details of the places you wish to visit and timing, and those are the only places you may go, though I don't know how much these rules are actually applied!
My visits were some six years ago, and to the South coast, but I doubt those aspects have changed.
I also sailed both ways Key West/Cayman, and took care not to visit Cuba en route which is a shame because it is somewhat in the way! It turned a 2 x 2 day trip into a 4 day one, with Cuba tantalisingly close but forbidden!
Enjoy your trip!
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Old 17-01-2015, 10:34   #9
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

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What exactly is formal cultural travel? Do i have to write a report and publish it? Or just try to get it published?
The only "approved" cultural travel that I am aware of is offered by travel agencies that send the traveler to things like museums, performances and shows with schools, musicians, dance troupes, and similar.

To legally travel to Cuba for whatever approved reason you would have to submit a form and receive a permit (license, whatever they call it) issued by the US government. This has been done by the travel agencies that offer Cuba trips. Can't just tell the guy at passport control at the US border you were making a cultural visit.
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Old 17-01-2015, 10:36   #10
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

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The rules for US citizens have changed of course,
Travel rules have not changed. The only official change in policy is the US government is resuming formal diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopening the embassy in Havana. Otherwise everything is still the same.
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Old 17-01-2015, 10:49   #11
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

You missed the latest presidential actions, no more getting permission as I understand it but technically you can't go just for tourism.

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Travel rules have not changed. The only official change in policy is the US government is resuming formal diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopening the embassy in Havana. Otherwise everything is still the same.
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Old 17-01-2015, 11:54   #12
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

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You missed the latest presidential actions, no more getting permission as I understand it but technically you can't go just for tourism.
Well it does look like I missed some of the changes based on the new policy. Here's what I found online about the permit issue.


The changes set to take effect tomorrow will make it easier for those hoping to visit Cuba to do so. Americans who wish to travel to Cuba will have to meet one of 12 different criteria for authorized travel, as they have in the past. Those categories include family visits, official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions.

"It's a violation of U.S. law to disregard travel categories," a senior administration official said. "Penalties can be imposed for violations of any of the terms. This is something that we will continue to highlight as part of the process."

But—and this is a huge but—prospective travelers will no longer have to obtain a specialized license from the government, which seems to pave the way for a future in which leisure travel is more common, if not completely legal. As part of the updated regulations, those hoping to travel to Havana will only need a general license, which they can declare as individuals. In practice, this will effectively mean that people can claim they are traveling under one of the dozen approved categories, and then book a flight. Airlines and travel agents will no longer need specialized licenses to provide service to Cuba.

So, technically things are more or less the same, no travel just for fun but no longer required to pay some travel agent a huge fee to travel under their special permits, you can get one yourself. And if you get your own permit it looks like the new policy is very "Wink, wink. Nod, nod." I'm going on a cultural tour.

Now, does anyone know where to get this general license?
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Old 17-01-2015, 12:38   #13
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

I would also like to visit Cuba, and I don't really know what the curent rules are, but when talking with others I have been told that your really don't need permittion from the US government. I would like to know that for sure before heading over there. I also saw that sporting events are on the allowable list of reasons to visit so maybe a sailing race would be a good enough reason to sail there. If anyone really knows please let all of us know.

Thanks
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Old 17-01-2015, 12:49   #14
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

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I would also like to visit Cuba, and I don't really know what the curent rules are, but when talking with others I have been told that your really don't need permittion from the US government. I would like to know that for sure before heading over there. I also saw that sporting events are on the allowable list of reasons to visit so maybe a sailing race would be a good enough reason to sail there. If anyone really knows please let all of us know.

Thanks
Whoever told you travel to Cuba doesn't need permission was very mistaken. Definitely in the past but it seems restrictions are easing. However, as I read the latest release from Department of Treasury a license is required, just one that is easier to get. If you want to read the original document here's the links.

Cuba Sanctions

http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...a_faqs_new.pdf
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Old 17-01-2015, 15:04   #15
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Re: Anybody Know About Sailing to Cuba from Key West?

Just don't expect the State Department to bail you out.
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