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Old 12-05-2012, 16:00   #1
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Travel to Cuba?

Anyone in here every sail to Cuba? For US citizens I think it is legal to go for humanitarian reasons. For other US citizens I heard is legal to visit but US government will not allow you to spend money there. I Don't know if any f this is true or not. It is a country I'd like to visit simply because it has been off limits for US citizens for so many years. Since this board has many members from other countries and I wonder what your experiences have been for those of you who have sailed to Cuba.

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Old 12-05-2012, 16:35   #2
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

Have not sailed there but have visited twice. People are very nice, food was good although different from north american mainland fare. I felt very safe there as well.

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Old 12-05-2012, 17:07   #3
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

Sailnet just had a big discussion on this. I have talked to two cruisers who went in the last month. The Canadians had a different experience than everyone else, Cuba loves Canada. Clearing in is an ordeal.for.everyone, but the Canadians cruised around and anchored and went to shore for three months. They had to report in everytime they anchored and ask to go to shore. Only twice they were not allowed to shore.

On the otherhand I talked to an Irish cruiser who I think liberated a cuban girl from the country. He was just there and was frustrated with how everything he could do was through a government sanctioned entity: taxis, tours, marinas, ect... The Cuban girl explained that Cuba loves Canadians as they are 80% of the tourist so Canadians get special treatment.

My suggestion is hop on a Canadian boat,.you'll have a better experience, but be prepared to deal with a lot of bureaucracy.

I don't think the coast guard would take your boat. At least not once you areb12 miles offshore, they have better things to do. We got buzzed by a helicopter before entering the windward channel and they just wanted to make sure we were safe. If you are worried say you're going to mexico or Jamaica.

It's not really a big deal going to Cuba if you are american, they don't even put evidence of your visit in your passport. Just more american fear mongering, and really living in fear is not very american.

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Old 12-05-2012, 17:09   #4
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

There is a multitude of lengthy threads here on that subject. Chuck
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

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Old 12-05-2012, 17:21   #5
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

We don't need no stinking badges.
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Old 13-05-2012, 10:22   #6
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

In Grand Cayman now but spent last month cruising the south coast. beware of the reefs as many are uncharted. never arrive at night in to any anchorage. i know these are as old as the hills but we all take chances sometimes.checking in is a bit of a pain but all part of the cuban experience.people are friendly but english hardly spoken. spanish , if you speak it will make all the difference.Food at markets is all organic and cheap. local honey is very , very good. Currancy is the C.U.K . 1 USD = 1 C.U.K . The locals use traditional pesos. 24 pesos to 1 dollar or CUK. Use traditional pesos to by local market food , local ice cream etc. many dollar stores which accept CUK only. If you want to exchange USD in Cuba , you will get .87c (cuk) for 1 dollar.
Rental car is about 60 CUK a day. You also pay for the full tank you get with it. Many tourists return it full as thats the way its done in most of the world. Rental Co. score !
we stayed in a "cassa particular". These are private homes that have a license to rent out a room. We used these in Havana. They are clean , neat and you pay extra for a healthy breakfast. Cost 30 CUK a night.breakfast about 4 cuk extra. Havana is absolutely great. We were there 8 years ago when we sailed the north coast. The changes in Havana are like day and night. So much renovation has taken place. The Cohiba's were splendid. I smoked them everyday and bought a good supply from the locals.
Go for it , as it is a great destination which is going to go through a rapid state of evolution soon . Now is the time
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Old 13-05-2012, 12:10   #7
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

I strongly suggest you read Nigel Calder's Cruising Guide to Cuba. Get the facts straight before you make the decision to go. Once you do, the first thing you must do is ask US Coast Guard permission to go and provide the lat/long and aprox time of entry into Enemy Territorial Waters. Once you have this document signed off it will be clear to you what to do next.
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Old 13-05-2012, 12:38   #8

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Re: Travel to Cuba?

When we went in being American they (the Cuban Authorities) didn't stamp our passport.
We went with regulars who boat there from South Fla.
This was a few years back, and evidently still important they don't stamp your American Passport.
We love everything Hemingway, and wanted to visit the Bay of Pigs museum and drink the local rum and see Cuba as it is under Communist rule.
A real eye opener.
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Old 14-05-2012, 15:23   #9
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

It is not legal for any U.S. recreational vessel to travel to Cuba unless the owner has obtained an "export permit" from the U.S. Commerce Department. Once you have applied, Commerce shares your application with the DoD, Energy Department and U.S. State Department. The State Department routinely vetoes any application for a vessel under 100 meters, effectively banning recreational vessels for going to Cuba. The reason given? Approval of such an application is counter to "U.S. foreign policy interests."

As a marine journalist I may travel to Cuba under a "general license" from Treasury, which involves only a minimum of paperwork. My profession was no help at all getting an export license from Commerce. Condoleeza Rice vetoed the application.

In summary, you need to have a legal reason to go to Cuba as a person, whether under a "general license," as I do, or a "specific license." Then you need second permit from Commerce for the boat.

It is fully expected that this will continue for another eight years under a Romney administration. Unless, of course, the Cuban regime decides to surrender.

Peter Swanson
Boating writer, delivery captain
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Old 14-06-2012, 06:48   #10
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Re: Travel to Cuba?

Cuba by sailboat, navigation and sailing notes for Cuban coast, ports of entry, cruising permits, entering and cruising in Cuba, provisioning for extended cruise to Cuba

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