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 Hemingway Marina (Havana) - Profile

Location

One of the most popular Cuban ports of entry for boats arriving from the north is Marina Hemingway. The harbour for the marina is in fact called Santa Fe, and whilst it's the closest marina to Havana, it is nine miles west along the coast from the city.

Marina Hemingway can cater for approx. 150 boats, and the majority of slips now have both water and/or electricity. But be aware that this marina was built in the 1950s and not a huge amount has been invested since, so it is showing its age.

More than 50% of the berths are permanently occupied, the rest are for transients. As there is no alternative port within 70 miles east or west, be sure to check there is available space prior to arrival.

Havana's architecture reflects three principal periods in Cuba's history: Spanish colonial, American neo-colonial and revolutionary. The core of Old Havana (Habana Vieja), which occupies the western side of the long narrow entrance to Havana harbour, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

The restoration of Old Havana  continues and many of the old narrow streets have now been pedestrianised making a stroll around the old city much more enjoyable.

Approaches

From Marathon or Key West, one passes Havana itself, angling in to the coast and approaching Marina Hemingway which is some 9 miles further West of the City. There is a sea-buoy off the entry-channel to the marina which can be hard to find visually against the back-drop of low buildings, trees and the white-water surf along the beach.

There are reefs on either side of the entrance, which is difficult to identify until fairly close in. With an onshore wind, which is the usual direction during winter months, entering the marina is not easy and in strong winds and breaking seas, should not be attempted nor is a night entry safe to attempt.

Contact the marina on approach for entry instructions.

Note:

  • The mark shown on charts as G7 is referred to in the instructions issued by the marina as G9. This can cause confusion if you are trying to match your chart with the directions given.
  • Be sure to check your drift. There is a strong east to west current and the channel is only about 100' wide at the entrance.
  • Stay as close to the center line as possible. The red side channel marks can drift slightly and can be slightly behind the reef so don't be tempted to get too close to the marks.

 

Position 23°05.3'N, 82°30.6'W (sea buoy)

Clearance

See Cuba Formalities for detailed information on clearing into and out of Cuba.

Most visiting yachts try and enter at the large Hemingway Marina as the officials are used to dealing with foreign boats and are friendly and efficient. They speak good English.

It has been reported that it's best to wait until you are fairly close to the Marina before calling them on VHF Ch. 16 as the Harbourmaster who answers and can speak English, operates with a hand-held VHF.  The marina also uses Channel 68, as a working channel, and 2790 kHz.

If you don't receive an answer, don't worry, it's highly likely the authorities are aware you are coming and will be ready to receive you.

There is a Customs dock in the entrance channel to the marina, just past the flag poles (but you can also stop anywhere along the seawall). Put your fenders at least 1 foot higher on your vessel than normal. Clearance formalities are completed here, after which a yacht is assigned a place in the marina.

Last updated February 2017.

Docking

Marina Hemingway, Canal 2 - North Wall - courtesy of http://commutercruiser.com/

The marina has a good range of services and Yacht Services Inc. is a useful source on local conditions. Boats can be hauled out by crane here and this is also a good place to store the boats ashore.

In 2016 marina berthing rates have increased substantially. See this April 2016 cruising report for details.

The two hotels by the marina both play loud music, so try and get a berth away from them if wanting some peace.

From the Marina there is a shuttle bus for 1cuc to the "Playa" from where you can get the double decker tourist bus to Old Havana for 5cuc. Both are hop-on hop-off and tickets are valid all day.

http://commutercruiser.com/marina-hemingway/
Excellent report with lots of photos of an April 2016 visit here.

Last updated April 2016.

Marina Hemingway
5ta Ave y 248 Santa Fe , Havana
Tel:537 - 2046848 / 2097928 / 2097270 Fax:537 - 2045280 ,VHF Channel 16, 77
Whilst prices have risen, facilities here are poor. The north side of canal #2 is the most convenient, being closest to the showers (still quite a long walk!). Take your own toilet paper and hand soap.
No pool available to marina users, however the Hotel Acuario charge $20 CuC/person/day to use their swimming pool. Fuel still available here. Security presence has been reduced at this marina, so locking your boat at all times is recommended.
Marina Puertosol Tarara
Vía Blanca, km. 18, Playa de Tarará , Havana
Tel:(53 7) 97-1462 Fax:(53 7) 97-1313 ,VHF Channel 77
Coordinates: 23°10.5’ N, 82°13’ W, a few miles east of Havana.

Yacht Clubs

Hemmingway International Yacht Club
5ta Ave y 248, Sante Fe Playa
Tel:537 204 6653 Fax:537 204 1689
Offer help and advice to visiting yachtsmen.
Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 07, 2017 12:28 PM

From Cuba Land & Sea Facebook Page:
Hazard warning for canal #1 in Marina Hemingway ⚠️

If avoidable don't use the turning basin at the bottom of canal #1.
There is a sunken sailboat lying on its side at the height of the rent-a-car place with its mast towards the channel centre - marked with a white fender. When passing, keeping to starboard you should be ok.
There is an abandoned ketch moored on the other side.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 16, 2015 04:35 PM

Berthing tip from Cruising Cuba Facebook page:
To be closest to the marina store, showers and laundry ask for the north side of canal #2 or the south side of canal #1. If its really busy or if you request it the marina will also put vessels on the south side of canal #2, which means either a very long walk to the facilities or you can launch your dinghy to cross the canal.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 07, 2015 08:57 PM

Update posted on Sailing and Cruising Cuba Facebook page:
A little update from Marina Hemingway. Quite a number of improvements were made for the Hemingway Billfishing competition. Firstly they moved all the abandoned boats out of channel 2, making more berths available. In conjunction 6 new power/ water torrets were installed on the east side of C2 and the whole west side of C1 now also has water and electricity. Capacity has so been increased by nearly 50 slips. There now is a new bus service available to cruisers, they don't want us to use the hotel bus anymore, that takes you for 1cuc from the marina to "Playa" from where you can then get the double decker tourist bus to Old Havana for 5cuc. Both are hop-on hop-off and tickets are valid all day.
There now is wifi available at the Acuario Hotel, half hour for 2.50 cuc and 1 hr for 4.50 cuc, the day I tested it worked very good ...
As far as entertainment is concerned the popular Friday night BBQ at the Yacht Club is still on and a good deal for 5 cuc. For late night parties the Cova now opens nightly as a discotheque from 10pm. Sun-Thurs entrance is free, Fri & Sat it's 3cuc ... busier during the week.

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