American charter boats returning to Cuba

An American charter boat has legally docked in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years, after the sanctions against Cuba were relaxed

American charter companies are beginning to return to Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years, after the US eased its trade sanctions against the Communist country.

A Numarine 78 Fly (pictured above) recently moored up at Hemingway Marina in Havana – a visit that the Turkish yard is hailing as a landmark event.

It took seven months for the 12 American guests and three crew on board Still Water to get the required person-to-person permits required to visit Cuba.

Florida-based ferry companies hope to expand the options for Cuba vacations, but for now American charter boats are one of the few options available to US boaters.

In this instance, Paul Madden Associates was the first charter firm to secure the permission of the US Treasury to carry out this trip.

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Non-US flagged boats are free to dock in Cuba, but this can lead to a six-month exemption from mooring in the USA, as the Helms-Burton Act is still in force.

This news comes just two weeks after the first speed run from Florida to Cuba in 57 years resulted in the record being smashed by German boater Roger Klueh.