In the first week of August, Numarine’s 78-foot Flybridge M/Y Still Water, became the first chartered yacht cruising under the American flag to legally enter Cuba since the U.S. trade embargo was levied on the island nation in the early Sixties. First welcomed by the beacon from El Morro lighthouse, Still Water entered Havana’s Marina Hemingway carrying three crew and 12 U.S. passengers, who were able to disembark with a “person-to-person” permit, one of a dozen exemptions to the embargo that are now allowed after the Obama administration’s reduction of restrictions.
With a top speed of 32 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots, the yacht—powered by twin 1,150 hp engines—took only 4 hours to reach Cuba from Key West, Fla. The entire process for permission, however, took seven months. Future charters may have smoother sailing as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was present for the official opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana on Friday, August 14.
Still Water features four en suite cabins and includes a sun bed on the foredeck; a hot tub on the flybridge; and a teak, hydraulic bathing platform among its many amenities. Based in Coconut Grove, Fla., it is available through Golden Yacht Charters. (goldenyachtcharters.com; numarine.com)