Jerry Berton is no stranger to the yacht world – and now his S. Florida location makes his experience in Cuba all the more valuable for sailors and boat owners seeking access to Cuba’s pristine 4,000-mile coastline.
For nearly a decade, Jerry has been yachting to and arranging charters and fishing tours of Cuba from his home base in Coral Gables, FL. His company CubaSeas.com can handle just about any itinerary and boat, but he emphasizes the importance of planning.
According to Jerry, “Foreign-owned pleasure craft must enter and leave through an international marina, where they can clear customs and immigration and obtain a cruising permit from the harbormaster. It is best to file a float plan with the expected itinerary, dates and times. Vessels must clear in at each port of call.”
In fact, the U.S. government has fined boats in excess of six figures for flaunting the rules pertaining to Cuba travel restrictions for yachts.
Jerry adds, “Paperwork and permissions are required by both U.S. government and the Cuban government if you’re on a U.S. boat or plan to make a stopover in the U.S. after visiting Cuba. It takes a little time to file, but the risks for failing to comply can by huge.”
Then there’s Cuban visas, required health insurance and boat insurance, all of which can be handled by CubaSeas.com with a few days’ notice.
Finally, Jerry says, “bring plenty of money. It always takes more than you think.”
Marina Hemingway, located about 20 miles from Havana is great place to start. It’s about 90 miles from Key West and has full facilities for yachts of any size.
Jardines de la Reina
(English: Gardens of the Queen) is an archipelago in the southern part of Cuba, near the provinces of Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila.
It was named by Christopher Columbus in honor of the Queen of Spain. Jardines de la Reina was established as a national park. With a surfaces of 840 sq miles, it is one of Cuba’s largest protected areas.