A Florida-Cuba Ferry?


Above: Havana

By the Caribbean Journal staff

There could soon be a new way to get to Cuba from the United States: by sea.

A Florida-based company called CubaKat says it is looking to develop high-speed catamaran ferry service between the Florida Keys and Havana, Cuba.

The company says it is working toward December 2015 as its official launch date, according to CubaKat’s web site, although that would require clearing a host of governmental hurdles, from customs to the laws of the embargo itself.

“While we are not currently operating ferry service from Florida to Cuba, we are working very closely with both US and Cuban authorities and other partners to gain full governmental approval for our service,” the company said in a release.

While purely touristic travel is still prohibited for US travelers to Cuba despite the recent rapprochement between the US and Cuban governments, a number of categories of travel are legal; those are the categories through which CubaKat would apparently debut under.

That would mean launching as a nonprofit in order to comply with the aforementioned regulations.

CubaKat has reportedly been working with officials in both the US and Cuba on the proposed service since 2011.

If realized, the service would be the resumption of what was, before the embargo, a frequent means of transit between America and its Caribbean neighbour.

While the Keys and particularly Marathon would reportedly be the primary potential port, the company’s web site says CubaKat is “evaluating options including Key West, Tampa and Miami.”