Bahamas-Cuba Loop: An Introduction

Here's where we can discuss how best to prepare for cruising Cuba once the U.S. government lifts restrictions on travel to the largest Caribbean island.

Bahamas-Cuba Loop: An Introduction

Postby Georgs » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:01 am

Circular Logic
Opening Cuba Will Create a Spectacular New Cruising 'Loop'
By Peter Swanson

The likelihood that U.S. citizens may soon be able to freely travel to Cuba makes Monty and Sara Lewis a tad nervous. The Lewises are a cruising couple who publish the Explorer Charts for the Bahamas and, like tourism officials and marina owners throughout the Caribbean region, they expect that a "legal" Cuba will siphon off thousands of potential customers.

Indeed, according to one conservative estimate, 60,000 U.S. vessels of 25 feet LOA or greater will cross the Florida Straits to Cuba in the 12 months if the restrictions that effectively ban travel by U.S. citizens to the island nation are relaxed.

Yet the Lewises may not be as vulnerable as that projection suggests, because not all boating is created equal. Many of those thousands will be sportfishermen and folks in center console boats who come over for tournaments or a quick sampling of Havana's attractions, then speed right back to the states. The audience for the Explorer Charts are cruising couples who set off for months or even years at a time in sailboats and slow-moving trawlers—the kind of people who do "The Great Loop."

For more of this interesting article by Peter Swanson, visit Mad Mariner.
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