MIAMI— July 17, 2015
A Spanish ferry company named Balearia on confirmed Friday it has been granted U.S. licences to operate a passenger service between Cuba and the United States, pending final clearance from Cuban authorities.
"With the two [U.S.] licences, we are closer than ever to be able to be the first to join Cuba with the United States by sea," Balearia Chairman Adolfo Utor said in a statement. It has been a very long time since such services have run. In fact, it has been since the United States imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960.
Trips to Cuba from Spain by government officials and business leaders have escalated as Spain rushes to take advantage a more open economy on the Caribbean island.
Balearia has run a route from Florida's Fort Lauderdale and Freeport in the Bahamas since 2011 while in Spain it operates ferries to the Balearic Islands and in the Straits of Gibraltar.