Report: Florida-Based Company Looks to Develop Ferry Service to Cuba

cubaCaribbean Journal is reporting that CubaKat, a Florida-based company, is looking to develop ferry service between the Florida Keys and Havana, Cuba, using a high-speed catamaran.

According to CubaKat's official website, the company is hoping to officially launch the ferry service by December despite the governmental obstacles the company is posed with, from customs to the laws of the embargo itself. CubaKat has reportedly been working with officials in both the U.S. and Cuba on the proposed service since 2011.

The United States government announced in January a new set of regulations that ease restrictions on travel to Cuba. With the new regulations, Americans can visit Cuba without obtaining a special license from the government for 12 reasons: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations, research or educational institutions; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines.

For agencies, travel agents and airlines will now be able to sell Cuba travel without a specific government license. Additionally, travelers will be able to use credit cards and spend money in Cuba, and can bring back up to $400 in souvenirs (including $100 in alcohol or tobacco). 

The move follows the decision late last year to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana. That decision reversed a 50-year-old policy of isolation and embargo, and came following months of secret talks hosted by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis. 

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