Greetings from Varadero! Our travel group is wrapping up our 10 day expedition to Cuba. Today we leave the beach for Havana. We will stay there tonight at Hotel Santa Isabel, then in the morning, fly back to Miami. I’ve written several articles about this trip, and I will post them after returning to California on Tuesday. In general, there is increasing excitement and much hope for the future.
I recently read an article by an American “journalist” who claimed there had been no change here in the past few years. He could not have been more incorrect. The past few years have brought much change, but since President Obama’s announcement on December 17, the pace of change is accelerating.
On past posts I mentioned that it will be a big deal when ferry service starts between Florida and Havana. Well–this week, it was announced that this process is moving forward. It is hard to determine how far along things are, but applications have been on file for several years. The most likely departure points will be Miami, Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, and Tampa. Hopefully it will soon be announced when this service will begin.
Ferry service to Cuba will be a game-changer. Currently, U.S. policies suck the money out of the Cuban community in Miami, most of whom simply want to visit their relatives in Cuba and bring much-needed medications and supplies. Right now, it costs about $550 for a round-trip airplane ticket from Miami or Tampa to Havana. The usual flight for a trip of that distance should be about $100-150. It is estimatated that the price of a round-trip ferry crossing will be around a hundred dollars.
Another important change will be the cost to take supplies to Cuba. On our flight here, most of our fellow passengers were Cuban-Americans bringing supplies to their families. As you can imagine, it is very expensive per pound to bring supplies on an aircraft. Shipping them on a ferry will cut the cost to 1/10th or less the cost by aircraft.
Americans wanting to visit should consider doing so as soon as possible. The costs of all travel services are increasing dramatically. With the law of supply and demand in place, it is only going to get more expensive every year. With the rest of the world becoming so crazy, it is nice to know that nearby is a safe, beautiful country where the locals are friendly, and they really like Americans.