JULY 21, 2015 — Spain's Baleària Group has obtained a U.S. Treasury Department license to operate a ferry service between the U.S. and Cuba, following its application to the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) back in March (see earlier story).
Although Baleària has all the needed U.S. approvals it still has to get the nod from Cuban authorities before initiating service.
The company has operated in the Caribbean region since late 2011 under the brand Bahamas Express, connecting Fort Lauderdale and Freeport (Grand Bahama Island), using the ferry Bahama Mama. Previously, the fast ferry, Pinar del Rio, which still remains in the area operated, on the route.
Baleària plans to operate two routes between Havana and Florida: a high-speed vessel service from Key West with a crossing time of three hours and a conventional ferry from Port Everglades (North Miami) with a travel time of about 10 hours.