First US Yacht Charter To Cuba In 50 Years
Published: Thursday, 20 August 2015
Numarine 78 Flybridge M/Y Still Water has become the first US-flagged yacht to cruise to Cuba since the trade embargo between the two countries was implemented in the 1960s.
The Turkish-built yacht, Still Water crossed the Straits of Florida and Gulf Stream after its departure from Key West, carrying 12 American guests and three crew. The 23.9-metre yacht then docked in Marina Hemingway near Havana.
The first glimpse of Cuba came with the single bright beam from the El Morro lighthouse. Before meeting with immigration, Still Water was welcomed by a voice over the radio to greet and give directions to the yacht.
Passengers and crew entered the country on a ‘person-to-person permit,’ one of 12 different types of exemptions American citizens can obtain to bypass the ban on visiting Cuba.
Currently non-American flagged yachts are able to visit the island, but they are not able to enter American waters for the six months following.
Paul Madden Associates chartered Numarine M/Y Still Water under a license granted by the U.S. Treasury Department, in strict compliance with U.S. Visa Laws and Procedures.
Public ferry companies operating from the States now aim to achieve the same result to open the large market of tourism-related opportunities in the region. However, the Trade Embargo with Cuba (the Helms-Burton Act) still remains in full effect.