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How Far is Cuba from Florida by Boat

How Far is Cuba from Florida by Boat

Wondering how far Cuba is from the coast of Florida if you wanted to make the crossing by boat? The distance can vary quite a bit depending on exactly which points you measure between along the extensive coastlines of Florida and Cuba.

You might also be interested in our article: How far is Hawaii from California by boat?

Distances from Key Points in Florida to Cuba

The closest point between Florida and Cuba is the 90 miles stretching from Key West to Havana. However, if you are starting farther north along Florida’s coastline, the distance increases significantly.

Start Point in FloridaEnd Point in CubaDistance (nautical miles)
Key WestHavana90
Fort LauderdaleVaradero270

As you can see, the distance from Florida to Cuba ranges quite a bit depending on exactly where you are starting from. The farther north you begin your journey in Florida, the longer the trip across the Florida Straits to Cuba will be.

Travel Times by Boat Type

The time it takes to reach Cuba from Florida by boat depends largely on the type of boat you are using. Here are estimated travel times based on common boat types:


A sailboat will generally take 15-30 hours to reach Cuba from Florida. Winds and currents will impact the exact time.

  • Key West to Havana: 15 hours
  • Miami to Havana: 24 hours
  • Fort Lauderdale to Varadero: 30 hours

Motor Boat

A motor boat can make the crossing in 4-15 hours depending on speed.

  • Key West to Havana: 4 hours at 20 knots
  • Miami to Havana: 10 hours at 10 knots
  • Fort Lauderdale to Varadero: 15 hours at 10 knots

Speed Boat

High performance speed boats can make the shortest crossings in 2-4 hours.

  • Key West to Havana: 2 hours at 60 knots
  • Miami to Havana: 3.5 hours at 60 knots

When to Travel

The best time to make the crossing from Florida to Cuba is during the summer months when weather is calm. However, even in optimal weather conditions, the Gulf Stream that flows between Florida and Cuba can produce hazardous conditions for small vessels. Always check forecasts and consider safety carefully before embarking on this route.

Requirements for Americans

It’s important to note that due to political reasons, the U.S. government places strict limits on American citizens traveling to Cuba. Americans must obtain special authorization from the U.S. government before traveling there by boat. This includes boats departing from Florida ports. Consult official government sources for the latest policies.


With the minimum distance being just 90 nautical miles from Key West to Havana, Cuba is tantalizingly close to Florida by boat. However the crossing requires careful planning, a seaworthy vessel, and an understanding of legal requirements for American citizens. By selecting the right boat and departure point in Florida, you can minimize the distance and traveling time across the Straits of Florida to explore beautiful Cuba.

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Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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