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KonaCat plans new ferry service between Florida and Havana, Cuba

The Fort Lauderdale-based company KonaCat is planning to start a new ferry service between Marathon City Marina in Florida and Havana in Cuba. Owner, Brian Hall, is looking to operate a service via a 200-passenger catamaran twice a day, following President Obama's announcement that travel restrictions to Cuba would be eased.

KonaCat plans new ferry service between Florida and Havana, Cuba

The owner of KonaCat in Fort Lauderdale is planning to launch a new ferry service between Florida and Cuba.

Owner of KonaCat, Brian Hall, is looking to start a service via a 200-passenger catamaran twice a day between Marathon City Marina and Havana, Cuba by the end of 2015.

Following President Obama's announcement about travel restrictions to Cuba being eased, late last year, Hall is keen to start up a service which was once hugely popular before the travel embargo was enforced.

A four-hour one-way trip will cost $169 or it will be $338 for a return if the licence is granted. Mr Hall explained:

"We're going to operate as a non-profit organisation. I feel pretty certain we'll get the OFAC license. The trips are going to be for religious groups, educational trips and for Cuban-Americans to see their families again."

Hall is hoping that Customs international entry point at Florida Keys Marathon Airport, which is currently under construction, will be completed before the first ferry service launches and he is working with customs agents to ensure the correct procedures for inspections take place. Mr Hall also commented:

"When we dock, the boat will be given to a customs agent who will sweep the whole boat and all the baggage. It will be similar to the customs screening you get if you flew into the country by plane."

Just 90 miles away from the USA, Cuba, an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, has become the third most popular holiday destination in the Caribbean over the past decade despite having no tourists from the United States due to the travel embargo since 1962.

Havana is the capital city of Cuba and it is rich in history and culture. The city boasts an array of tourist hotspots including the Malecon, a promenade that runs along the main streets of Havana and offers beautiful views of the bay; the Catedral de San Cristobal; the maritime museum, Castillo de la Real Fuerza; the Old Town, a UNESCO site with restored buildings and the tourist square, Plaza de Armas.

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