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Old 01-15-2008, 11:54 PM   #1
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My Partner Ruth & I (Gillie )are thinking of heading from here (Punta Gorda) to Cuba in the next week or so. We have a 40'ketch are two english women and are wondering if anyone knows about a need for a visa? Also what is the best currency to take? Euros? Sterling? Canadian $ ? or US $? Any advice would be much appreciated. We have been Cruising/Living aboard your little boat for 18 months and hope to transit the Panama Canal in March.

Looking forward to hearing from you


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Old 01-16-2008, 03:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tuppenny View Post

We have a 40'ketch are two english women and are wondering if anyone knows about a need for a visa?
This site may help.


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Old 01-16-2008, 10:57 AM   #3
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Hi, Gillie.

I do hope you get to see Cuba; I hear it's a super destination for sailors. But you should be aware that the current US Administration has taken steps to prohibit both US and foreign yachts from sailing to Cuba from US waters. Please follow the link below to read more, including text of the proclamation in question.

Sailing to Cuba

All the best,

Info for US citizens (current)
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Thanks for the link, yes we have looked at this and read as many books as we can, even contacted the consul in London, all are giving us differing opinions. We were hoping someone had been there recently.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Hi, Gillie.
Thanks for these links. We have looked at them and are still wondering! heh ho! I guess at the end of the day we will just have to bite the bullet and make a choice!!

Best regards
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:36 PM   #6
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Hi Ladies,

We've pals who are Brits sailing Brit registered yacht who visited Cuba last year and loved it.

You might wish to email them and ask questions directly - it's yachtjem(at)gmail(dot)com.

Good luck

Boring blog at https://www.yotblog.com/swagman
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:43 PM   #7
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A friend of mine from South Africa would use Cuba to redo his stay here in Florida every six months for 2 years. He never had a problem coming, or going. His vessel was a South African vessel though. I would think if you are not an American vessel there would be no problem for you.

Also he loved Cuba, and made many friends on his visits there. He actually adopted a family, and would at times send them a little money.
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Old 01-18-2008, 10:18 AM   #8
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An update to my previous note--here's a message from another Canadian which was very recently posted on another board. They departed from Boot Key Harbor in the US, and were intercepted by a USCG patrol boat.

A couple of years ago, friends of ours were stopped and boarded in the middle of the night in the Old Bahamas Channel, off the north shore of Cuba while passage-making from St Thomas to Ft Lauderdale. Same tactics by the intercepting boat--no running lights, no radio comms, bright spotlight. In that case, it was the Royal Bahamas Defense Force, looking for drug smugglers.

Lots of surveillance surrounding Cuba!

Hola amigos y amigas

Starsinger is alongside in Veradero, Cuba after a lumpy crossing of the

Gulf stream from Boot Key Harbour to Veradero.

The basic facilities are substantial though deteriorated and not up to the

standards of North American marinas, but the prices are also much lower.

The people are very kind and extremely friendly and generous with what

little they have.

There are 100 slips with only 19 boats. For the next four months our

dockage with water and electricity and very very good security, is


We are on our way further south but will linger in Cuba for a while to

enjoy the people and the beutiful country. On our return we will visit

the keys north east of Veradero before heading SW to Cabo San Antonio.

Once we reach the cape we will decide whether to head across to Isla

Mujeres or along the southern shore of Cuba.

The big magic is that we are Canadian and our boat is Canadian registered. That did not prevent the US from forbidding us to go to Cuba or from approaching us at three in the morning in international waters and demanding that we identify ourselves, our vessel, our port of departure and our distination. All this in a heaving Gulf Stream, six to eight foot waves, and under a blinding search light.

On approach I didnīt know what I had we were better than forty miles off

the shore of the US.

The officer on board the US Coast Guard cutter indicated that he was

concerned for our safety, for which concern I thaked him but indicated

that we were just fine and were headed for Veradero, Cuba. We were

shadowed for another hlaf hour or so then their running lights were turned

out again.

On the Cuban side we called at the twelve mile mark but received no reply.

We continued to call to the Guarda Costa and Marina Darsena at intervals

until we were within a mile of shore when we received a reply from the

Guarda Costa and shortly thereafter from the Marina manager Julio.

We were very kindly received, everyone wating for the arrival of the

Mediacl Officer, a local doctor beiofe any contact was made or anyone was

allowed of the vessel.

we were then visited by a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, a

vetrniary inspector and the Coast Guard themselves.

Later Customs took our passports for about a half hour then returned them

via the Marina manager. the entire process took some time but that was

primarily due to a problem with the Doctors transportation to the Marina.

We must check in and out with Customs when we leave the Marina but this is

a very relaxed formality. The Marina is guarded twenty four seven by a

half dozen SEPSA guards and only Cubanos with clearance are allowed on the


The Cuban people have been very kind and generous considering how little

they have.

As I said previously we are considering an extended cruise of the southern

shore over the next year.

I will be returning to Canada on Saturday and am secure in the knowledge

taht the boat will be safe until my return. A cruiser on the dock,

Canadian also, will look after running the bilge occasionally and a Cuban

captian is available to look after more technical issues.

I have not locked the boat nor installed the drop boards since we arrived

a week ago, no need.


Mel IP 27 80 Starsinger

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Old 02-16-2008, 04:50 AM   #9
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Hi there,

We've just joined this forum, so the info may be a bit too late for you, but might be useful for anyone in your wake. We are British and sailed our UK registered yacht from Curacao to Cuba in December 2006.

Visas - we were issued a 30 day visa on arrival, and were able to apply for a 30 day extension.

Currency - don't take US dollars - you get a terible exchange rate and also pay a hefty commission. We exchanged both Euros and ££ for a decent rate.

We arrived in Santiago de Cuba, where the check in process was lengthy and involved around 10 officials. Sounds bad?? Actually it was very pleasant - all the officials were courteous and interested in us and our travels, and all the form filling was done by them. Officials in many Caribbean countries could take lessons in "customer service" from those guys.

You will hear much about the "burden" of checking in and out of each harbour. Yes, you are visited by officials in each harbour, but again we found them to be friendly and efficient. It was a good way to meet the locals! Once out in remote areas such as the Jardin de la Reina, there were no officials, just friendly fishermen.

We wouldn't hesitate to return to Cuba. If you'd like more info, our website is now on the Cruiser Log listing as sv Do It, and we have a section in the Logs about Cuba.

Hope you made it to Cuba.

Ruth & Angus

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