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Old 06-03-2016, 06:33   #1
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Crossing to and from Cuba

We're planning a trip to Cuba and are wondering if anyone has been down there traveling to and from South Florida. Looking for recommendations on the route / ports.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:51   #2
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

I can only tell you what I was told here in Key West.

"We don't care that you are a Canadian Boat with all Canadian crew, we don't allow boats to go from Key West to Cuba and back. If we find out you did, we will strip your cruising license for Florida"

Just some food for thought.. I have been told that Ft. Meyers is more lenient on foreign boats coming from Cuba!
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:53   #3
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

How long ago did you have that experience travellerw?
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:54   #4
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

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Old 06-03-2016, 06:55   #5
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

Quote:
Originally Posted by vonchris7 View Post
How long ago did you have that experience travellerw?
In January.. I'm still here in Key West and have been told by others they are still getting that speach!
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:18   #6
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pirate Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

Call me stupid (and a couple of friends did just that) but I was offered a free trip from Havana to Nassau aboard an 80'er last week and turned it down. Reason being I had to carry $5k in cash into Cuba via Grand Cayman from Miami. Via Grand Cayman cuz that's where I apparently could have gotten a visa. I had a RT ticket from Havana to GC that we were to cancel upon leaving Cuba.

I realize it could have worked out fine, and I was on the way to the airport when I got a call that the boat owner found another way to get some cash, allowing me an easy out, that I took.

Go ahead, call me stupid but I have a nice little life on a nice little boat right smack where I am. I'll go to Cuba when it really is legal.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:33   #7
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

It's legal now Blue Crab just not for general tourist type travel. You have to qualify for one of the exceptions:

A how-to guide to visiting Cuba - CNN.com

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-ce...a_faqs_new.pdf
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:57   #8
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

Restrictions have been eased greatly. If you have a US-flagged vessel, you still need a specific reason to visit, such as a cultural exchange, and have to get a permit (CG 3300).

We went a couple of weeks ago out of Key West. It’s an easy crossing to either Veradaro or Havanna. Take into consideration the stream’s eastward current. Also, sign up for local boater option so you can just call in when you return so you don’t have to schlep to the airport.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:59   #9
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

Customs offices in south Florida have been known for years to be very aggressive towards boats coming from Cuba, even foreign boats that are legally allowed to visit Cuba. Key West seems to be the worst but Miami is reported to be unpleasant as well.

FYI it is still not legal to sail your boat to Florida. Yes you will probably not be fined, almost certainly not arrested but it can happen. A cruisers just last year was hit with a large fine for traveling to Cuba.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:01   #10
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

just my 2 cents.
I found it interesting that most stories about problems reported are old stories (before relations started to improve between the US and Cuba) or stories that someone was told about somebody that had heard something. How about first hand stories?
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:07   #11
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

So cant you go to Jamaica, a small bout of engine trouble requires a stop in Cuba, then a the jaunt to Jamaica, a stop in the Bahamas and back to Florida?
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:16   #12
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

I realize I forgot a crucial piece of information. Customs then told me "If you sail to another country in between returning then No Problem. We just don't allow you to come directly from Cuba."

Again.. I'm a foreign flagged vessel with foreign crew. I actually think it might be easier for an American boat to go back and forth as they can get permits for "cultural reasons". I don't believe the US government issues those to foreign boats.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:18   #13
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

In time one will be able to get a straight, clear answer from the OFAC, and Homeland Security on travel (sailing) to Cuba - for now I think the rules are in flux and variable. If a new administration decides to change Obama's easing of restrictions, I would bet there will be drastic measures to set an example for all to discourage travel. For now, we are not planning on the "heading less traveled".
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:18   #14
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

Passage maker magazine is organizing several trips to Cuba with all the proper visas. Sorry I can't find the link, but it's aimmedia. Peter Swanson is the organizer.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:24   #15
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Re: Crossing to and from Cuba

As above poster has mentioned, it is now legal with a simple form submitted to the coast guard to travel to Cuba. We have our permit, took less than two weeks and no fee. Only problem is its limited to 14 consecutive days in Cuban waters. But even that will be for a longer stay or not even necessary any more soon. Things are changing fast.


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