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Havana & Marina Hemingway Updates

By SY Lily — last modified Apr 12, 2016 12:59 PM

Published: 2016-04-11 23:00:00
Countries: Cuba

Having just left the Hemingway Marina (April 7, 2016) and noticing the change in the last 12 months, we thought an update on the present situation is in order.

Marina:

1. New (increased) berthing prices (per April 1) as follows (all per feet):

  • Under 45 feet: CUC 0.70 (from CUC 0.50);
  • 45 to 74 feet: CUC 1.00 (from CUC 0.55);
  • 74 – 89 feet: CUC 1.80 (from CUC 0.70);
  • Over 89 feet: CUC 2.50 (from CUC 2.00).
  • All other fees remain as is.

  • 2. Channel 1 now has service points (water and electricity (50A)) and thus no longer lower berthing fees;

    3. Clearing in and out took us less than 30 minutes by very friendly and cooperative officials.

    4. Free bus service to downtown Havana is replaced by the Hop-on-off bus system. CUC 1 pp. to La Cecillia Restaurant (near Playa taxi roundabout) connecting (within 10 minutes) to the new Havana Hop-on-off bus system (“Big Bus” alike). See below for details.

    5. As it was quite busy, it might be advisable to let the dock master know of your planned arrival. His details:

    • Email: operaciones@prto.mh.tur.cu or comercial@prto.mh.tur.cu
    • Phone: +535.7204.5088


    General:

    1. Bus.
    Havana Hop-on off bus (CUC 10 pp.) does a 45-minute tour through Havana visiting all major tourist attractions with (Cuban style) explanation of places of interest. Final stop at Parque Central Old Havana. Every 20 minutes at any stop (with some flexibility).
    It seems other major tourist cities have a similar system. We have seen the same at Vineales.

    2. Wi-Fi.
    Per June 2015, Etecsa rolled out Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Cuba. We used the Obispo Old Havana (relatively stable but very popular so some overload occurring) and La Linea (opposite Hotel Libre/ Coppellia - more stable). One needs to buy minutes at either Etecsa offices (the usual long queues) for CUC 2 for one hour or at every hotspot from entrepreneurial Cubans for CUC 3 (no queues). Look confused and they will approach you immediately.
    Easy to find other spots. Every hot spot has a good crowd of young Cubans happily Skyping and browsing the internet.
    Generally the connection is good but the hotspots get easily overloaded. As everything else in Cuba some waiting and persistence is required.

    3. Local taxis.
    Some stronger and more persistent negotiations are required than before to achieve a reasonable rate. The increased flow of tourists (especially those from the US) might have contributed to this. We were in Cuba just after the Obama and the Rolling Stones visit, so might have been a hangover of the enormous increase of visitors in the Havana area.
    Interesting was to notice that more taxi drivers are now roaming around the marina willing to negotiate a reasonable fare to downtown Havana. Clearly the increased boat population has been noticed!

    Ron Heyselaar
    SY Lily

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    Hemingway Marina (Havana)
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