How to Legally get to Cuba from the US on your yacht

It is no wonder why the US yachting community has fallen in love with Cuba.

After all, Cuba’s coastline is 40% longer than Florida’s and is largely undeveloped and unspoiled. In response, Cuba is planning a major expansion of its marinas.

In light of the expected increase in recreational arrivals to Cuba (in large part from the US), the business group Boating and Marinas Marlin SA is promoting foreign investment proposals aimed at creating new facilities and expanding those in existence.

According to Business Director Ramiro Mas Camacho, last year the group presented a portfolio of seven projects, three of which will go forward in the coming months.

He said that they have since received several offers from foreign investors for the expansion of the Nautical Base Tarara, with the aim of reaching a capacity of 250 berths in the first stage.

He added that a project at Dársena Varadero marina is also intended to increase berths, while the base project of Santa Lucia, located in Camagüey, also includes a real estate development and golf course adjacent to the facility.

Marina Hemingway, operated by Cuba government-owned Cubanacán, is Cuba’s largest marina with a capacity of about 100 vessels. The marina is located nine miles west of Havana.

Nighttime entry is not advised. Vessels can hail the port captain on VHF channel 77 or over SSB 7462.

Before you provision your ship and plot out a travel plan, be aware there are a number of important US requirements to meet before you set sail.

According to Michael Moore, a leading maritime attorney based in Coral Gables, Florida, the list of requirements he advises adhering to includes:

  1. US Coast Guard CG 3300 Approved Permit (2 copies)
  2. US Coast Guard Documentation Form ( If yours is a documented Vessel)
  3. State Registration (If applicable)
  4. US Customs Decal number and sticker
  5. Copy of your insurance policy with Cuban coverage
  6. All Persons onboard have a Valid Passport valid for a least 6 months remaining
  7. Proof of Payment of To Any Official Cuban Event, such as a Fishing Tournament with Registration and Proof of Payment
  8. Proof of Payment of Hotel (If Applicable)
  9. Issued Cuba n Visa for each crew member (Traveling by boat)
  10. Completed Cuban “Declaracion†(General Statement of Foreign Vessels)
  11. Certification of Travel to Cuba Under General License (Executed)
  12. Cuban “Lista De Tripulantes†(Listing of crews Visa Number, Last Name, First Name, Date of Birth, Citizenship, Sex and Passport Number
  13. Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) Approval or Local Boater Option Card (Optional but, if not acquired you and all crew members will need to report to a US Customs office within 24 hours of entering the US and could face boarding and/or inspection)
  14. Copy of Moore & Co. Email confirming your exemption from the Department of Commerce and US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control Permits Here’s how to contact Moore & Company
Posted in

BluewaterYacht Insurance