Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
U.S. says no ferry service to Cuba soon
In my November 21, 2010, blog post—“Florida Company to begin Ferry Service to Cuba soon?” —I wrote about the hope that the Obama administration would approve applications to operate ferry service between Florida and Havana.
At least three companies have submitted applications within the past two years following changes introduced by President Barack Obama since 2009 to permit less restrictive family and “people-to-people” cultural exchange trips to Cuba.
Hopes that such authorization would be granted any time soon, however, were dashed last week when the a State Department official announced that licensing of ferry and cruise services between the U.S. and Cuba will have to wait. "The establishment of methods of transport such as ferries and cruise services are not currently permitted and would require inter-institutional process to ensure that security, border control and other requirements are met,” said a State Department official.
The desire to see ferry and cruise-ship service to Cuba is not a lost cause, however.
The Treasury’s Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has still to rule officially on formal requests for ferries and cruise ship service.
You can play your part by signing an online letter to President Obama from recently-formed Havana Ferry Partners, which is seeking authorization as a Travel Service Provider and as a Carrier Service Provider under the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.
As the letter states, “Havana Ferry wishes to primarily provide transportation via sea-going vessels to Cuban-Americans to visit close relatives in Cuba. Havana Ferry would also offer transportation to other persons authorized to travel to Cuba under various categories of OFAC licenses… and wishes to be able to provide lower cost transportation, thereby opening travel to Cuba to more people wishing to go.”,
The advantages are many, not least lower cost travel to Cuba, plus a larger baggage allowance, recalling the days when the West Indies Fruit & Steamship Company operated daily ferries.
To make ferry travel a reality, please sign the petition today!
For further information about travel in Cuba, buy Moon Cuba
For further information on Havana, buy Moon Spotlight Havana.
Buy an autographed hardback copy of Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba direct from the author.
Looking for the perfect coffee-table book gift item? Buy an autographed hardback copy of Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles direct from the author.
Disclosure: I occasionally accept free or discounted travel when it coincides with my editorial goals. However, my opinion is never for sale. The opinions you see in Cuba & Costa Rica Journal are my unbiased reflection of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Learn more about Christopher P. Baker.
Copyright © Christopher P. Baker