I received an inquiry recently from a graduate student who was seeking information on potential ferry services between the U.S. and Cuba. He wanted to know if any studies had been done on the subject and, if so, where he could get the information.
The grad student realized that establishing ferry service between the two countries would not happen anytime soon, and only after a suitable cooling off period after a regime change finally occurs in Cuba. I provided him with some names and e-mail addresses of passenger vessel industry contacts so he could get their take on it and whether they knew of any studies done on the subject. I also supplied him with the names of some of the more entrepreneurial U.S. passenger vessel operators who may be interested in the results of his analysis.
I told the student that he would probably have a tough time finding any studies on potential U.S.-Cuba ferry services unless they were done for a public agency. Some private companies have probably looked at the idea and done their own proprietary studies.
I suggested that he contact some Florida operators in Key West and Key Largo. I have speculated that interest in fast-ferry service from mainland Florida to Key West was partially fueled by the hopes of establishing a base of operations in Key West for an eventual route to Cuba. However, I have yet to hear this from any Key West operator.
Another friend, a Florida resident, said that the route down to Key West gets extremely congested, and a better base for a Florida-Cuba route would be in Riviera Beach or some other Atlantic Coast location in southern Florida. Others have recommended locations on Florida’s West Coast.
I would like to gather more information for the student’s analysis and also learn more about this potentially lucrative route for my own knowledge and for my business. If you have any information on this subject, please e-mail me so I can pass your name and contact information along to the student.