Norwegian operator plans Key West to Havana day cruises

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Norled hopes to make 90 mile gap between Key West and Cuba a three hour cruise experience

DECEMBER 4, 2016 — Stavanger, Norway, headquartered shipowner Norled says it intends to start a regular day cruise connection between Key West, FL, and Havana, Cuba.

“We understand there may be a significant interest for re-connecting these two cities, a half century after the regular auto ferries of the 1950s stopped,” says Norled Deputy CEO Lars Jacob Engelsen “International connections like this are part of Norled’s strategy to leverage on our long experience to expand into new markets.”

Norled has approached the City of Key West to get docking times at its ferry terminal.

“The connection can only be started with good and prompt support both from the City of Key West and the Federal government in upgrading the terminal with efficient passport and customs facilities for international traffic,” says Kjell Ove Hatlem, Norled’s Project Manager for International Transport, who also is in dialogue with relevant authorities in Havana to get the necessary green lights on the Cuban side.

“To arrive at the center of Havana by boat after a three hour ocean crossing fits perfectly with Norled’s mission to give people a ‘Great travel experience’ – and overlooking the sunset in the Atlantic on the return trip to Key West will also be unforgettable,” says Mr. Engelsen.

Norled AS has a total fleet of 80 vessels, 30 of whichare fast passenger vessels (catamarans) and 50 are combined car and passenger ferries. Its fleet includes l\the world’s first fully battery driven and emission free ferry, the 81-m MS Ampere, which entered service in 2015.

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