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Shipping Company Seeks Permit to Provide Ferry Service for Cuba Holidays

  • 31-Mar-11 19:41
  • Cuba
  • DT Cuba News

The Miami-based company, United Americas Shipping Services, has appealed to the U.S. Federal government to permit a ferry service which will provide transport for tourists taking Cuba holidays, allowing it to compete alongside air carriers.

Shipping Company Seeks Permit to Provide Ferry Service for Cuba Holidays

As President Obama eases restrictions in Cuba travel for American travellers, one ocean transport company is seeking permission from the U.S. Federal government to provide a ferry service that will take these tourists to their holidays in Cuba.

Miami-based United Americas Shipping Services (UASS) are looking to compete alongside air carriers who have been granted permission to operate charter flights for taking passengers on holidays to Cuba.

UASS chairman, Daniel Berrebi, said. "The recent announcement that eight new US airports – in addition to Miami – have been authorised to provide air service to Cuba highlights the preferential treatment given air over ocean passenger service.

"There is a need and a desire for a ferry service to Cuba and it is fundamental to this country's values that people be allowed that choice and that the government does not favour one element of the transportation industry over another," he added.

To date, there is no ferry service that offers transport for American travellers taking Cuba holidays, but last year, UASS filed for a Treasury Department licence to operate a ferry service from South Florida to Havana. The department have not yet made a decision on the application but the ocean transport company are hopeful that the ferry service will be approved under the current rules which authorise carrier services to Cuba via “vessels” and aircraft.

President of UASS, Joseph Hinson added four reasons why it would be in the travellers’ best interest to choose this method of transport for their Cuba holidays.

"It is significantly cheaper, it is more comfortable and pleasurable, [and] it is a preferable form of travel for the elderly, the infirm and family groups. Also, a ferry service is a vastly cheaper way for people to bring supplies authorised by US law to relatives in Cuba," he explained.

Robert Muse, a Washington, DC, lawyer who specialises in US-Cuba laws, added: "All that is required for it to happen is a policy decision by the Obama administration in favour of ferry service."

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