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Mariel Hemingway Marina, Habana Cuba
There are also two modern hotels located at this
Marina, so you can arrive by boat and stay in the hotel if you like. They are
the Cubanacan Acuario, and the Hotel El Viejo del Mar. You have use of either of
their swimming pools when you berth at the Marina.
For more Pictures of CUBA and these hotels - go to
www.CubanHealthNetwork.org and go to the Photos page
For more waypoints, info on travel to
Cuba, and necessary Coast Guard forms and customs information, go to the
or CLICK HERE TO VIEW A CHART OF THE MARINA,
WITH THE CLEARANCE DOCKS AND FACILITIES LABELED
DISCLAIMER: To all readers of
this information, including U.S. Government agencies, officials and
representatives: Nothing in this website does, nor is intended to,
encourage illegal activity of any type whatsoever including illegally spending
money in Cuba or violation of any part of the U.S. Embargo against Cuba or any
other law by U.S. citizens or others. We believe all information reported here,
and all activity within this organization and website, to be within the allowed
scope of the law, and all readers are encouraged to validate this for
themselves. The purpose of information presented on this website is simply to
help people in both Cuba and the U.S.. We hereby assert our claim to all of our
U.S. Constitutional Rights including Freedom of Speech.
Rooms of the hotel Acuario are seen on the left in this
photo, and below.
The Mariel Hemingway resort marina beach area. It has water
toys such as wave runners and sailboards. Tennis, volleyball, soccer.
Papa's nightclub is shown here toward the left. Chan Chan's nightclub is
at the other end of the marina. Two resort hotels (very affordable) are also
located on the property.
During the summer of 2002 they've put up what amounts to a small amusement
park for kids - with confined play areas and a small "bumper cars" ride.
GPS Sea Buoy at entrance to Hemmingway
23 05.358N 082 30.522W
Our supply trips on Creative Touch are done under Treasury Dept licenses
as a humanitarian effort. US Citizens, without proper authorization, are
not prohibited from traveling to Cuba per se, only spending any money
there. If you take a citizen of another country along (like Canadian) and
they pick up the tabs for you, then you can go plus have them spend money
Unless you are "hosted" by
someone in Cuba or elsewhere (in which case it's free to you), then the marina
charges about .51/ft per night plus reasonable electric & water (2002).
Facilities are modern. Good diesel and gasoline is available.
Call on VHF 72. - see below for arrival procedures
248 y 5ta Avenida
Santa Fe Playa, Ciudad de La Habana
Tel: (53 7) 29 7270, Fax (53 7) 24 5280, E-mail:
*Note: 53 is the country code for Cuba, 7 the City Code for Habana
From the bridge of "Creative Touch", making
landfall in Havana Cuba.
Offshore, passing Havana enroute to Mariel
Hemmingway marina, which is about 10 miles West of the City.
The Sea Buoy (RW) at the entrance to Mariel
Hemmingway Marina channel. It's located at 23 05.358N, 082 30.522W. For
boaters, it's VERY important to approach the channel directly from this
buoy. Don't cut corners because the narrow channel passes right through a
very shallow reef. It's obvious when you see it in daylight, but start from
the buoy, then line straight up with the Red and Green Daymarks to come
straight in to the channel. DO NOT DEVIATE.
Kids on daysailers at the entrance channel
to the marina. January 2002
Customs/Immigration docks where you check
in (down past the sailboat on the left)
We've entered the main channel, then turned
left and are looking straight down the approach to the Marina. The docks
where you check in with authorities are on your left, just past the sailboat
in this picture. Call the Marina first on VHF 72 while you're 5-10 miles
Some of the Guarda awaiting us to begin check in procedures. These guys are
businesslike but friendly and helpful. You must be very patient, and totally
forthcoming about all persons and equipment on board. See below for check-in
This is the building at the customs/immigration dock. They'll
interview you on your own boat as shown at the right, so you don't have to
Capn Greg aboard M/V Creative Touch clearing in with the
Guarda at Hemmingway.
90 Percent of the boats in Marina Hemingway
are American. US Authorities are aware of this.
|Habana itself, and Old Habana, is about 10
miles East of Hemingway marina. You can take a cab for $10-$15 each way, or
you can get a local driver for about $35/day plus fuel (2001). This becomes
a very good deal because you have a local who knows their way around, plus
usually speaks reasonable English as a translator. Our recommendation is to
ask for Alex (Alejandro), a young cuban who is a retired soviet fighter
pilot. He speaks excellent English. Call him at 271-62-81 or 271-93-17, or
go into the lobby at Hotel El Viejo y El Mar and ask the concierge for him.
Isaura, the public relations person at the marina, can also get in contact
with Alex. Tell them Capn Greg on "Creative Touch" sent you.
The swimming pool at Mariel Hemingway
Marina is very pleasant. Many of the local Cuban families also enjoy it's
CLEARANCE PROCEDURES FOR BOATERS - Though it is very helpful to speak
Spanish or bring along someone who does, it isn't really necessary. You can get
by speaking only English. You call Marina Hemingway Marina on VHF CH 16
and/or 72 about 10 miles out or so (sometimes don't get a response until 5 miles
out). Technically you're supposed to start making
calls when you enter territorial waters 12 miles offshore - but many times they
can't hear you or don't respond then. Don't worry about it - they're OK with it
as long as you're going right into Hemingway marina and not trying to sightsee
up and down the coast. You'll be directed toward the customs / immigration docks immediately
to your left upon arrival. Be patient. The Cubanos are friendly enough but they
each have a job to do and it will take some time - Maybe 2 hours. You need your
passport. They will ask you whether you want them to put the Cuban stamp
directly in it, or separately on a piece of paper. Fly your yellow quarantine flag until you've cleared with the doctor,
then you can fly your Cuban courtesy ensign. You'll clear through the doctor
(quarantine), customs, immigration, agriculture, coast guard, etc.. We suggest
the offering of soft drinks, beer, snacks and small gifts - rather than
"tipping" in cash. Be friendly and honest. You'll have drug and gun
sniffing dogs brought aboard your boat, and a diver will sometimes go under your
boat to check it out. You of course must have your passport and they'll ask you
whether you want it stamped directly or on a separate insert. You'll buy your
Visa from them for $15 per person (Nov 2002). Once cleared you'll be
assigned a slip (they're all along sea walls - no finger piers) down one of 4
canals (see the chart by clicking the link below). The electrician will come by to plug you into electricity. They meter
the electric and water. The water there has been good. You can arrange for a rental car, though it's
easier to arrange for a driver at about $35/day (ask for Alex, he speaks good
English too). There are at least 3 restaurants within the marina complex. They have a ship's store in the
marina office, and at the other end they have tourist dollar stores where you
can buy groceries, gifts, clothes, Cuban cigars, rum, beer and other alcohol
(beer is cheaper in the ship's store).
Someone will come by to offer a wash down on your boat ($) or any repairs (Ask
for Johnny (Yonny) to wash your boat). If you want anything arranged at all just ask for Isaura in the dockmasters office - she's the public relations person - like a
marina concierge. Your
guests can stay on the boat or at either of the on-property resort hotels. There
is of course no cable TV - many boaters use satellite & it works fine there
(settings are 52.7º elev. and 223º
Diesel and gas is available, and I've had no problems with the quality of the
diesel fuel. Diesel's running about $3 or more per US gallon equivalent.
Clearing out is in reverse. You go to the Marina office (or call on the radio &
he'll come to you) and pay the dockmaster
in cash, then start clearing out with the officials. I would strongly recommend
AGAINST trying to smuggle out large numbers of cigars or anything else. Also be aware, that
though very friendly and obliging, the Cuban officials don't take kindly to
illicit drugs of any type, nor firearms. Pornographic material is similarly
frowned upon. You're boat is perfectly safe in the
Marina - you are at much higher risk from the American and other tourists than
the Cubans. The Cubanos will watch out after your boat.
They want you to come back. If you travel from Port to Port within Cuba you'll
need to complete this clearing process at every Port.
Cubans (except marina workers and officials) will not be allowed upon your boat
while in Port. Marina security is vigilant to enforce this 24 hrs per day. Also
- if you're taking gifts & donations for Cuban people, you're allowed (Cuban
regulations) up to about 22 lbs per person on your boat for such distribution.
You can bring in anything else you want but you'd have to pay a duty on it which
is equivalent to the original purchase price in the first place.
VIEW A CHART OF THE MARINA WITH THE
CLEARANCE DOCKS AND FACILITIES LABELED