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U.S-Cuba Ferry Service Awaits Decision Two Years after Submitting Application

  • 17-Feb-12 15:50
  • Cuba
  • USA Today

American travellers are now able to take Cuba holidays onboard charter flights from several U.S airports but the option of a more affordable ferry service between Cuba and the U.S appears to have run aground as companies wait for the go-ahead.

U.S-Cuba Ferry Service Awaits Decision Two Years after Submitting Application

After several airports in the United States were granted permission to provide charter flights for American travellers heading to Cuba, ferry operators have also shown their interest in offering travel options to the Caribbean island.

However, while the charter companies’ licences have been granted to provide Cuba holidays for American tourists, the ferry companies are still waiting for the green light, nearly two years after submitting their applications.

Havana Ferry Partners is one of the companies that is still waiting for a decision to operate a 600-passenger ferry to the island of Cuba from Port Everglades in Florida. Travellers planning holidays in Cuba will be able to save $50 if they travel to Cuba via ferry instead of taking licensed charter flights.

At least three other companies are also keen to provide American tourists with cheaper transport for Cuba holidays via a ferry service but it seems that a decision is not likely to be made anytime soon because of the election year. Any changes made this year could alienate the Cuban-American voters who are looking for the administration to tighten not loosen Cuba travel.

 Havana Ferry Partners
Image by: worldtraveller5, on Flickr

Havana Ferry Partners has decided to push forward a one-time trip that will allow them to provide a service to Cuba during Pope Benedict XVI's scheduled visit in Cuba from 26th to 28th March, 2012.

Leonard Moecklin, the vice president for Havana Ferry Partners, said that the company has officially applied to the U.S. government for permission and they already have a boat on standby that can be prepared in time if he gets the go-ahead by 1st March 2012.
In January, 2011, President Obama eased restrictions on American travellers taking holidays to Cuba for educational, academic, cultural and religious purposes. Since these changes to the law were made, several U.S airports have established new flights to Cuba. The airports include Tampa International Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, O’Hare in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and San Juan.

 Paradise beach, Las Brujas Island, Cuba
Image by: tmaros, on Flickr

The Caribbean island nation is situated in the Caribbean Sea south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico. The island is rich in culture and history and is home to beautiful white and golden sand beaches, tropical nature parks, luxury and mid-range Cuba hotels and resorts, and turquoise warm ocean waters that are home to the world’s second largest barrier reef and an abundance of vibrant tropical fish and stunning marine creatures.

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