The Florida Powerboat Club is set to take off on another fantastic adventure to Cuba again this year, but this year they’re giving members a choice of two different itineraries to choose from. The Florida Powerboat Club’s Stu Jones lays out all the details below:
As many of our members, sponsors and subscribers are aware, FPC made history in 2016 by staging the first-ever Florida Havana Powerboat Rally, from Key West in May. It was an amazing adventure for all those who participated, and it set the course for embedding the Cuba event on the FPC calendar for many years to come.
As we move forward in our planning for 2017, we have already planned a five-day, four-night adventure, with a May 8th departure from Key West, as part of the Air Land & Sea Weekend in Key West. This event features both Havana and countryside touring, plus accommodations in the heart of Havana at the highly acclaimed IBEROSTAR Parque Central Hotel.
As these planning details were locked in with hotels, tour companies and marinas, we came to learn that an alternative date might also be attractive, later in May. A recent Florida visit by our Cuban colleague, Commodore Escrich from the Hemingway Int’l Yacht Club, introduced a NEW opportunity, to participate in a grand-parade event, celebrating the HIYC’s 25th Anniversary. The dates of that adventure would then be Wed. May 18th departure, 4 nights in Havana, with a return on Monday May 22.
IF YOU PLAN TO JOIN US FOR CUBA 2017 – Please indicate via email reply or phone the FPC office! Sooner would be better, as we must lock in hotels and provide deposits.
TWO EVENT FORMATS to choose from:
CUBA 2017 – FORMAT 1: May 8-12, 2017
2nd Annual FLORIDA HAVANA POWERBOAT RALLY
This event format is focused on giving the participant the maximum touring and “people to people” experience, in a five-day format. The idea of this format, is that it will fall on the heels of the Key West Air Land & Sea Poker Run, which departs from Miami on May 5, and spends three nights in Key West. After preparations are made, the group will depart 8AM from Key West Historic Seaport, making the crossing directly to Marina Hemingway. Upon arrival, modern A/C touring buses will provide transfers to Parque Central Hotel in old Havana, close to shopping, restaurants and amazing historic scenery. The following two days (Tuesday-Wednesday) will provide exciting tours that are hand-selected by FPC staff, working closely with our CUBA travel experts at Cuba Travel Services. The third day will be focused on “Free time” for participants to cruise around and get in their final shopping, touring, sight-seeing or just relaxing, before prepping for the return. On Friday morning, after early check out, the group will be shuttled back to the marina for our departure. This format is HIGHLY recommended for first-timers, who want to get the maximum amount of touring and sightseeing in. This format also provides MORE time in Key West at the earlier stages, as the Key West AIR LAND SEA Poker Run provides a 3-day format in Key West.
CUBA 2017 – FORMAT 2: May 18 – 22, 2017
2016 Parade into Havana Harbour- Stage by Commodore Escrich, HIYC
HEMINGWAY INT’L YACHT CLUB “HAVANA BAY PARADE” Celebrating HIYC / FPC 25th Anniversary
One of the highlights of the 2016 Cuba event, was the Powerboat Parade into Havana Bay, with the landmark Morro Castle in the backdrop, and thousands of Cuban natives, tourists and journalists lining the shores of downtown Havana and the Malecon. This parade made international news from United States, to Europe and as far as China, based on press reports that circulated globally, due the significance of this historic event. It was the first time in 58 years, that a US Flag powerboat fleet had ever entered Havana Bay! Adding to the excitement of that event, Florida Powerboat Club signed a ” Friendship Agreement” with Hemingway International Yacht Club, which is based at Marina Hemingway. This proclamation of sorts, ensured a long-lasting relationship between the two organizations, with the essential objective to promote a safe fun weekend and Celebrating their 25th anniversary as Cuba’s only private yacht club, Commodore Escrich from Hemingway International Yacht Club has invited Florida Powerboat Club, along with other Florida-based yachting organizations, to visit Marina Hemingway starting May 18th…to help stage an event of sheer magnitude, a 100-boat parade into Havana Bay, which has never been done…ever. We are trying to secure private homes near the marina.
IBEROSTAR Parque Central Hotel – In the heart of Old Havana- walking distance to shopping, dining and major historic attractions.
FEES / COSTS / GENERAL INFO:
Boat Size Restrictions: Based on previous experience with gulfstream conditions, potential seas of 6-8 feet or more! This crossing may be challenging, so be prepared!
V Bottom: 36′ Min- twin ok / triple power preferred.
Catamaran: 38′ min / late model reliable power preferred.
NO RACE ENGINES please..Fuel not available, repairs difficult.
SPARE props required for ALL boats.
FPC has the discretion in deciding if a boat is suitable for this event. We are concerned about the safety and overall well-being of our members and participants. Major repairs in Cuba are virtually impossible, so we want you in a boat that “wont break” or is easy to repair.
Boat / team entry fee: $ 1,500 (any number of crew)
*Fee will cover ALL event logistics and activity planning, USCG permits, Cuban documents,customs preparations, safety instructions, and making all reservations in Miami, in Cuba, and on return.
Safety: Emergency life raft suggested and safety equipment must be up to par.
USCG Inspections prior to departure in Key West are standard procedure.
Towboat US: Full coverage mandatory.
Insurance: All boats may be required to purchase a Cuba rider to add to their policies.
Cuba Travel Services, our Cuban Travel Agent, is working on the combined hotel/transfers/tours/function rates for our group now. We should have the full cost by next week. Pricing will be based per/person double occupancy.
US Credit Cards will NOT work in Cuba.. therefore all payments will be made through FPC prior to departure. US cash may be converted to Cuban Currency on arrival, FPC will assist in this process.
Thank You, We hope you can join in the adventure!