|Are Cuban waters warming back up?|
Located only 90 miles off the coast of Florida, Cuba used to be a favorite destination among yachtsmen and American tourists in general. The portal was closed in the early 1960's, however, after Fidel Castro gained power and the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with the communist regime. Now it appears the travel ban and trade embargo will be lifted, restoring some freedom of movement to the island's residents and visitors alike, such that boaters may again enjoy the Cuban cruising grounds and marinas.
Currently, there are only 15 marinas on the island. However, in advance of the anticipated removal of travel restrictions, Cuban developers have already announced plans to add 23 more with over 5,000 boat slips, according to marina consultant, Richard Graves of Richard Graves & Associates in South Florida. With the expansion of marinas such as Marina Gaviota Varadero, which officially opens in 2015, larger recreational yachts will be able to test the waters and charter boat operators will likely add Cuba as a popular destination for guests.