Thinking About Sailing in Cuba?
Cuba for American Citizens
American citizens planning a trip to Cuba need to be cognisant of this: the American Government doesn’t want you to go to Cuba and has made it difficult to get approval for an above-board visit. However, American citizens have been visiting Cuba for decades despite this. Things are changing… slowly, but let me be clear that it’s not Cuba that is changing so much as the US!
Cuba has always welcomed tourist visitors of all nationalities.
Matthew Karsten has written a great article for Americans – also useful for non-Americans – interested in travelling to Cuba here. There is also a wealth of great information on the Cuba Land and Sea Facebook group here.
If you have any specific questions, please send me a mail or ask a question using the form at the bottom of the page.
Not Your Usual Ibis Trip!
If you’re thinking of coming on one of our Cuba trips in 2018, there are a few things to be aware of… Cuba is not like anywhere else you might have been!
- There are no supermarkets
- Many of the navigational charts are out of date
- The Cuban Government doesn’t want us to anchor near towns and dinghy ashore
- There are no Coastguard or dedicated assistance vessels
- There is little in the way of cellphone signal or wifi data
- It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it!
The Cuban Government own all of the marinas around the coast and doesn’t want you to anchor anywhere else in Cuba in case Cuban Nationals come on board and we traffic them to another country. We are allowed to anchor at the remote offshore islands and also where there are other facilities for foreign tourists. Other places where we might choose to anchor, we will be boarded by La Guardia Frontera to inspect our papers and more often than not, won’t be allowed to visit ashore (in case we make friends and invite them aboard!). The routes we have planned in 2018 along the South coast of Cuba make stops at the more remote islands and other chosen spots where we are generally able to go ashore.
Coastal navigation can be tricky for a number of reasons – outdated charts, GPS offsets imposed by the US, strong currents, numerous reefs, shoaling river bends and the complete lack of navigational marks where they are most needed! We will need to be extremely careful when navigating Cuban waters as there are no dedicated rescue services to call on… if we get into trouble, we will need to rely on the kindness of local fishermen and other cruisers.
We will be carrying a satellite phone, but elsewhere in Cuba you may find your cellphone won’t receive a signal, and it certainly won’t receive a data signal. Should you have a burning desire to get on the internet, we will need to find a tourist hotel where they usually have one or two dedicated PC’s for accessing the internet.
Still want to go?