May 19, 2024




United aircraft



Hola Cuba!   For Americans, Cuba has long been a destination which was “so near yet so far.”  However, with recent reductions in travel restrictions, Cuba is now rapidly becoming a the hot, “go to” travel destination for Americans.  Even so, travel to Cuba still takes a bit of planning.  American’s are required to have certain travel documents (see related article – CubanTravel Planner – Required Documents ). Finding the right travel lodging and accommodations takes a bit of planning as well (see related article – Cuba Travel Planner – Accommodations).

But what about transportation issues for Cuban Travel? This, the first of three articles on Cuban Transportation, will focus on transportation issues related to How To Get To Cuba. Follow-up articles will later address How To Get Around In Cuban Cities and How To Travel Between Cities and Locations in Cuba.



Traveling to Cuba remains a bit more complicated than travel to many other international destinations. Even though things have become somewhat easier, there are still some travel restrictions for Americans heading to Cuba.  The situation is also fluid with changes emerging and travel options developing, coming and going,  even as this article is being written. Best for the potential traveler to Cuba to “stay on top of things.”


Getting To Cuba By Sea –

kw cruise ship copy

**  Cruise Ship Departing For Cuba From Key West  **


Even though Cuba lies only 90 miles south of Key West, Florida, current travel restrictions do no allow for direct boat or ferry service from the United States to Cuba.  At present then, the only way to travel by sea to Cuba is to take a cruise.  But hey – that’s actually not a bad way to visit Cuba.  Many travelers love the convenience and ease of a Cruise to Cuba. Cruising eliminates many of the hassles involved with visiting the country such as finding a hotel, and packing and unpacking as you move from city to city.  A cruise also solves the “in-country” transportation question as the ship takes passengers from one port city to the next and also arranges for in-port transportation to various activities.

If cruising is your thing, there are currently seven cruise lines which include Cuba in their itineraries:

Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Fathom.

Each cruise is somewhat different.  Some originate in Miami for example while others depart from off-shore locations such as Puerto Rico. Some cruises focus solely on travel to Cuba, visiting only Cuban ports, while others include various Caribbean ports such as the Bahamas in their itineraries.  Some cruises are as short as 4 days in duration while others are more extensive.  And of course some are really expensive while others are less so. There is really quite a variety of cruises available. If you enjoy cruises you will likely be able to find something that fits your interests as well as your budget.

Getting To Cuba By Air –

Air coast

**  “Feet Dry” over Cuba via Southwest – one of my “go to” airlines  **


It’s now possible to fly directly to Cuba from the United States.  Seven U.S. airlines currently offer service to Cuba from various cities in the United States. Additionally it’s helpful that most airlines can assist passengers with obtaining appropriate travel  license and visa information and forms. ( Travelers coming from other countries should know that many other international airlines fly into Cuba from non-U.S. departure cities – and have done so for years. )

U.S. Airlines currently flying to Cuba – 

Alaska Airlines – from Los Angeles

American Airlines – from Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago

Delta Airlines – from Atlanta, Miami and New York

Frontier Airline – from Miami

Southwest Airline – from Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale

Spirit Airlines – from Ft. Lauderdale

United Airlines – from Newark and Houston

US Hiway 1

**  Flying south from Ft.Lauderdale. U.S.Hi Way #1 below snakes it’s way southward through the Florida Keys to Key West.  Unfortunately the road stops there – 90 miles of water (the Florida Straits) separates Key West from Cuba.  **


Most U.S. flights are direct to Havana.  It’s just a quick 30 to 45 minute hop from Florida airports to Cuba. Obviously, it takes a bit longer if you fly from say, Los Angeles or New York. Google Flights is a good resource for checking and booking airline connections.

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Trans plane

**  Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport – Hola Cuba! **



Travel To Cuba …………………. And Enjoy the Adventure!



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