Are you planning to sail from Florida to Cuba? Let's see if you can travel between the two countries by sea on your boat.
For anyone planning to go on a trip from Florida to Cuba, finding the most efficient means of travel is a different challenge. But first, it must be defined which modes of transportation a Florida resident can use to travel to Cuba. Only then can you choose which route to take.
Yes, you can take a cruise ship to travel by sea from Florida to Cuba. American citizens on private yachts are no longer permitted to enter Cuban territorial waters legally as a result of changes to the travel laws. Floridians need a US Coast Guard-issued permit to travel by boat to Cuba.
If all you want to do is get there quickly, a boat is one of the easiest ways to get to Cuba. This is also why Cuba is the most popular destination to visit for cruise travelers. So you need to be fully aware of how to travel there by boat.
Before boarding the ship from Florida to Cuba, make sure to read the following information. Here we have discussed how you can travel there by sea. For your convenience, we have also discussed the time and distance estimates for traveling by water to Cuba. Keep on reading to find out!
Can You Boat From Florida to Cuba?
Yes! You can go by boat from Florida to Cuba. Many people use houseboats or cruise ships to go to Cuba. These boats are better suited for long voyages like the one from Florida to Cuba, because they have spacious storage areas, mattresses, and kitchen and bathroom facilities. You may also use other passenger boats like a ferry or a cruise ship for your journey.
There are also handcarts available between Florida and Cuba. These are small passenger boats that also allow passengers to trek their way out of Cuba. Passengers are on their own after they get off the ship. Besides these, you can choose ships that operate specifically between South Florida and Cuba if you want an elite-class travel experience. These are often priced higher and are ideal for people who wish to take their time traveling.
Can You Sail From Florida to Cuba on a Private Boat?
No, private boats of any type (fishing boats, sailboats, or yachts) are not permitted to enter Cuban waters. The same rule also applies to all types of corporate boats. Only passenger boats like cruise ships and ferries can carry you from Florida to Cuba.
Although travel restrictions from America to Cuba had been eased in 2017, new legislation was introduced again in 2019 that prohibited the travel of US residents to Cuba by private boats and jets. Still, in 2022, it is not allowed for US citizens to sail to Cuba on their private boats, especially if they have an American flag on them. The matter at hand is not just in Florida but in all the states of the US.
If a Floridian really wants to go to Cuba, he or she must have an official permit to sail legally into the territorial waters of Cuba. This permit is granted by the United States Coast Guard. Though these permission letters are quite difficult to get and may take a long time to get approved by the USCG.
The Distance Between Florida and Cuba
The sea displacement between Florida and Cuba is approximately 90 miles, as calculated between Miami and Havana in a straight line. But the ship cannot sail directly between the two cities. It will take you through the turning Straits of Florida to sail to Cuba. The total distance for this circumnavigation comes to about 250 nautical miles.
Time to Reach Cuba from Florida by boat?
It would take you around four hours to reach Cuba if you boarded a high-speed ship from Florida. On a boat moving at medium speed, this time increases to 10 hours or more. It means if you set out early in the morning on a medium-speed boat, you'll reach Cuba the same day before the sun's down.
The time required to sail by boat from Florida to Cuba may vary greatly from one ship to another. It depends on the size and speed of the boat, the weather conditions, the port you are traveling to, and the time one wants to spend at sea.
Traveling to Cuba by Boat: Benefits
Cuba has always been popular among tourists because of its fascinating history. Cuba's historic cities, including Santiago de Cuba, have charming antiquities and distinctive architecture. The country is home to some of South America's most stunning beaches, like Playa Pesquero.
It is really a complete package to travel to such a charming place by sea. The following are some perks of traveling to Cuba by boat:
Less Expensive than Air Travel
Though it may be a bit expensive, taking a boat from Florida to Cuba is still going to cost you less than traveling by air. As your team size on the yacht grows, the price drops even further. For example, each of the ten people traveling together will have to pay 2 times less than those of a group of five. So, it is overall affordable for an average person to visit Cuba on a cruise ship.
With a ship, you're not obliged to travel in a certain direction or at a certain time. So, there isn't a defined timetable for the trip in most cases. As a result, boating can provide you with greater freedom and flexibility of time during your trip to Cuba.
More Chances to Explore
With a yacht, you may be able to travel a long way across the island. It'll give you a chance to explore far-off places where other conveyances can't take you. Moreover, cruising may offer you the chance for side visits too.
Considerations Before Travelling
- There are numerous factors to take into account while organizing a boat trip from Florida to Cuba.
- Schedule your trip during the day. It is because the Florida Straits is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. It may be hazardous for small boats to travel there at night, especially if they have less fuel and no compasses or light sources.
- The weather in Cuba undergoes sudden and erratic changes. Therefore, consider scheduling your trip when the sun is out after consulting a weather forecast. Don't forget to consult the National Hurricane Center for local sea conditions before beginning such a long voyage.
- We recommend you inform someone of your intended destination and expected time of arrival. If something happens to the ship, the other person will be able to look for you.
Things to Bring With You on a Boat
- A Cuban visa and passport
- Travel insurance (if any)
- Food items, snacks, and drinks
- Bottled water or Water maker
- Light sources to travel at night
- Blankets and pillows
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson