On August 31st, Jet Blue Flight 387 took off from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport, and flew into history. Flight 387 was the first regularly scheduled commercial flight to travel from the US to Cuba in 55 years!
This followed on the heels of Carnival cruise lines historic voyage in May of 2016, with the arrival of the first cruise ship from America to Cuba in five decades.
But, did you know that you could travel from the US to Cuba by private yacht since 2015? As part of easing relations between the US and the Caribbean nation, at the behest of President Obama, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that U.S. citizens with a “legal reason” to travel to Cuba could do so by their own boat.
The only problem was, if you wanted to make such a voyage, it was unlikely that your insurance company would be behind you. But that may finally all be changing.
Pantaenius, a U.S. marine insurer, announced in a company Press Release in July that it will start offering coverage for American yachts and other boats traveling in Cuban waters.
Details of Yacht Insurance for Cuban Travelers
Speaking with industry magazine, Trade Only Today, Cary Wiener, the president of Pantaenius USA, described their hull coverage for yacht owners traveling to Cuba. “We offer a navigation area for Florida and the Caribbean, which has heretofore excluded Cuba. Now, customers will be able to “buy back” Cuba coverage for up to 20 days for an additional 10 percent of their total premiums with a $500 minimum.”
This should be of particular interest to luxury motor yacht owners who wish to cruise to Cuba, as Pantaenius only insures boats valued at $200,000 or more. If the buy back seems expensive, Wiener explained that the rationale is, that any boat that is damaged in Cuban waters, will likely need to be towed back to Florida for repairs, due to the lack of infrastructure in Cuba.
Yacht owners wishing to travel to Cuba and apply for the insurance, will still have to qualify for a “general license” issued for one of the 12 legal reasons for US Citizens to travel to the Island.
- Family visits
- Official government business
- Journalistic activity
- Professional research and professional Meetings
- Educational activities
- Religious activities
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions
- Support for the Cuban people
- Humanitarian projects
- Activities of private foundations, or research, or educational Institutes
- Exportation and importation of information and informational materials
- Certain transactions for exports that the U.S. Department of Commerce may authorize
While Pantaenius has jumped out ahead of the pack with its Cuban marine insurance, it will unlikely remain the only company in the game for long. U.S. insurers, such as AIG and the Gowrie Group, also have demonstrated their interest in the market for Cuba coverage, and others will likely follow soon after that. So, one of the last remaining hurdles to making the dream of travel to Cuba by luxury motor yacht a reality, is coming down.
New Charter Destinations Mean Increased Charter Income
With its rich history, interesting cultural heritage, and miles of tropical beaches, Cuba has much to offer as a yacht charter destination. Cuba has long been attractive to tourists around the world, but experiencing Cuba has largely been denied to most Americans since the embargo. With relationships improving the people of Cuba are at a true turning point in their history. The Cuban people, our neighbors, a mere 90 miles to our south, are looking forward to welcoming Americans and interacting on a person-to-person level that political animosity has made impossible for the past 50 years.
Thawing relationships between our two countries, should mean major business and investment opportunities for high net worth Americans in Cuba, not the least of which could be charter income. Now that American marine insurance companies are willing to provide insurance for yachts traveling in Cuban waters, running charters to Cuba just became that much easier, and potentially more lucrative.
Would you like to run a private yacht charter to Cuba? It is not often that you have the opportunity to earn additional income, while at the same time, be part of a history making event!
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. Putting your boat in Charter can earn income, and defray some of the costs of ownership. On Demand Yachting from FYM can show you how. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.