The first Rallies to Cuba event has sold out with nine boats and 29 boat owners and guests meeting in Havana on April 17 for 10 days of conversational/nautical lessons. Last call for participants in the second rally, beginning on May 29.
Learn the lingo
The goal of this educational people-to-people exchange is to expose cruisers to enough of the language and country so that they can return to Cuba in their own boats with greater confidence and better able to communicate with the people of the island nation.
We've also announced two more rallies in October.
Price per boat
$4,900 per boat/couple, $2,200 per additional person on the boat
May 29-June 11. DEADLINE TO REGISTER: March 16
October 2-15. DEADLINE: (TBA)
October 16-29. DEADLINE: (TBA)
Minimum number of boats per rally: 5
Maximum number: 15-20
Maximum number of participants: 25
Refund policy: Full refund up to 30 days before departure date. Within 30 days, money will not be refunded but applied to a future rally.
All these dates, by the way, are based on the times of most settled weather to cross the Florida Straits outside (the worst) of hurricane season. Having a schedule and going by boat are contradictory concepts, but the months we are using come the closest to making that possible.
Concept: Rally participants cruise to Havana legally as part of a “people-to-people exchange” operated by the AIM MARINE GROUP. Participants study conversational/nautical Spanish with Cuban instructors on the grounds of the Hemingway International Yacht Club or Hemingway Marina. The textbook is Spanish for Cruisers by Kathy Parsons.
Classes are conducted weekday mornings from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Afternoons include organized activities and unorganized exploration time, during which participants are expected to practice what they have learned in class. Some evenings feature social events. The middle weekend of the rally is an opportunity for guided and unguided exploration of the countryside, during which time participants are expected to practice what they have learned in class and report back.
Example of a schedule
Sunday, April 3—Rally boats arrive at Marina Hemingway from Florida Keys, clear through Customs & Immigration and settle into berths.
Monday, April 4—First day of class for Conversational/Nautical Spanish. Happy-hour cocktail party at the yacht club with students, teachers and club staff.
Wednesday, April 6—Afternoon bus tour “Following in Hemingway’s Wake,” including lunch at Cojimar, a visit to the Hemingway Museum, Ambos Mundo Hotel and Daiquiris at La Floridita.
Friday, April 8—Long weekend with optional organized trips to Cienfuegos or Vinales.
Monday, April 11—First day of second week of class.
Tuesday, April 12—Organized visit to the Art Fair on the Havana waterfront in the “Old City.” Participants expected to return on their own via taxi cab.
Friday, April 15—Graduation dinner/party with live music at Yacht Club or Marina Hemingway facility.
Saturday, April 16—Boats depart for Florida, weather permitting.
Other Benefits to Participants:
- Chris Parker weather routing for crossings
- NV Chart Kit for North Coast, vic. of Havana-Varadero
- Yacht Pilot’s Cruising Guide to Cuba, Vol. 1by Cheryl Barr
- Spanish for Cruisersby Kathy Parsons.
- Havana Guideby Christopher Baker
- Membership in the Hemingway International Yacht Club.
- Assistance in advance with all clearance paperwork and U.S. Coast Guard departure forms.
- Discounts for dockage and fuel.
- Group insurance option.
- Organized social events and tours included.
- Certificate of completion for the course.
AIM maintains records showing compliance with U.S. regulations for participants for five years in accordance with U.S. law.
- Representative from AIM MARINE GROUP on site throughout.