Recreational Boats in Cuba
Text and Photos by Roberto F. Campos
Recreational boats have a distinct role in Cuba, as, in addition to serving as an enjoyable mode of transportation, they also represent the growth and development of recreational nautical activities within the country’s tourist sector.
Cuba receives over four million foreign tourists annually and a good number of them — especially Canadians and Europeans - go on sea tours around a well preserved insular platform.
The country counts on two important companies, Gaviota and Marlin, responsible for operating sea activities from different nautical centers, jetties and other points located all over the island.
The Cuban tourism company Gaviota covers one third of the country’s hotel capacity, more than 70,000 rooms and operates 35 modern catamarans. Every year, 225,000 travelers take part in the company’s nautical activities on board 22 fishing boats and 10 diving vessels.
Meanwhile, the Marlin Nautical Entrepreneurial Group attracts more than 400,000 clients every year in five international yacht clubs and 11 nautical bases, from which there is access to 39 diving areas, 23 immersion centers and 900 underwater sites.
Based on this official data and taking statements made by the companies’ spokespersons into account, it’s evident that Cuba is well on its way to becoming one of the top destinations for recreational nautical activities in the Caribbean. In this sense, boats continue to be an important symbol for the island.