U.S. Approves Licenses For Ferry Services Between Florida And Cuba

(Rdog Xtreme)

(Rdog Xtreme)

It’s been 55 years since ferries were allowed to operate between the United States and Cuba, something that’s about to change now that the Treasury Department has granted licenses to four companies that want to offer services between the countries for the first time since a 1960 trade embargo.

Now that diplomatic ties with Cuba have been restored and the government has eased up on trade between the two countries, airlines and other travel companies like Airbnb have been working on providing services for travelers heading to Cuba.

According to the Orlando Sun Sentinel, at least four ferry companies said they were notified this week that the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments had given approvals after more than five decades. Cuba still has to approve the operations as well.

The companies are planning to offer trips that are less expensive than charter flights, but haven’t established firm prices yet because there are still arrangements to be worked out on the Cuba side of things.

“I’m very excited, because this is a historical event in U.S.-Cuba relations,” one company’s managing parner told the Sentinel.

Since general tourist travel to Cuba is still not approved, the passenger ferries can only carry authorized U.S. travelers, including people in 12 categories that don’t need a license in advance to visit — categories like family visits, religious and educational activities.

At least five companies have applied for licenses to operate passenger ferry service between Florida and Cuba, with the fifth company telling the Sentinel it expects to get its license in the next month or so, after having applied later than the first four to be approved.

At least four Florida companies approved for ferry service to Cuba [Orlando Sun Sentintel]

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