Tropic Ocean Airways, a South Florida-based luxury amphibious airline delivering the solution for elevated air travel to remote or congested destinations and Pacific Bound Yachts, a bespoke luxury yacht and aviation travel and concierge agency specializing in “off the beaten path” destinations, partnered to complete the first water landing in Cuba in more than 60 years on March 5, 2019.
The flight, a private seaplane charter, was coordinated fully by Pacific Bound Yachts for one of their clients and executed by Tropic Ocean Airways. The plan involved picking up guests from a private yacht cruising on the southern coast of Cuba and transport them to Miami International Airport for a connecting flight. This historic and highly anticipated seaplane flight took many months of planning by Pacific Bound Yachts (who are currently in the process of changing their name to Discovery Bound Yachts & Aviation) to ensure all necessary protocols and approvals were in place to ensure a safe and smooth flight experience.
The teams conducted thorough research of the area and liaised with government officials from both countries. Pacific Bound Yachts was instrumental in the success of this initiative, providing critical details regarding optimal landing location for a seaplane, and facilitating all required permitting and approvals. Both companies share a commitment to the safety and comfort of each guest, so nothing is left to chance.
This momentous flight departed from Tropic Ocean Airways’ private lounge at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, made a brief stop in Key West, and continued into Cuban airspace where Cuban Air Traffic Control guided the seaplane to the designated water landing area. Once at the destination, the highly-trained two pilot crew conducted an aerial survey of the proposed landing area and coordinated with Pacific Bound Yachts’ Director of Aviation to ensure the safety and integrity of the proposed landing zone. The crew safely touched down into the protected waters ahead of schedule and moored the seaplane to a buoy adjacent to the yacht where Customs and Immigration officials greeted the crew and processed the guests returning to the United States.
“Seaplanes are part of the storied history of Florida’s connection to Cuba, dating back to days of the Clippers operating the air bridge between Miami and Havana,” said Tropic Ocean Airways’ Founder and CEO, Rob Ceravolo. “I’ve heard for almost a decade that reintroducing seaplane flights connecting the two nations will never happen. Our company is built on removing the limits on what is possible - this historic flight and water landing is a testament to that. We feel fortunate to share this historic flight with Pacific Bound Yachts; we appreciate their support and partnership.”
“Over the past number of years, we have worked hard to navigate through the proper official channels to establish reliable luxury yacht and private aviation experiences in Cuba. We are proud to add this to our list of aviation ‘firsts’ in Cuba such as the first helicopter landing on a private vessel in Havana harbor in history, and now the first seaplane landing in the country since 1959, according to Cuban Civil Aviation,” said Founder and COO Lisa Greenberg. “We are proud to have selected Tropic Ocean Airways as our partner and the provider for this historic accomplishment given their ever-expanding fleet and services throughout the Caribbean.”
About Tropic Ocean Airways
South Florida-based Tropic Ocean Airways, LLC is a United States certificated commuter air carrier, founded by United States Navy TOPGUN fighter pilot Rob Ceravolo in 2009. In addition to being the largest commercial amphibious airline in the world, Tropic Ocean Airways is one of the fastest growing commercial airlines on track to transport more than 45,000 guests throughout destinations in Florida, the Northeast., The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Tropic Ocean Airways is the recipient of the highly-coveted ARGUS Gold rating for safety and enjoys a five-star customer service rating on TripAdvisor. Ceravolo and his team of over 100 experienced aviation professionals have developed and implemented standard operating procedures borrowed from the U.S. military, which ensure the highest levels of safety and service aboard each and every flight. To learn more about Tropic Ocean Airways, visit FlyTropic.com and on Instagram at @FlyTropic.
About Pacific Bound Yachts
Pacific Bound Yachts specialize in providing luxury yachts and private aircraft support while visiting "off the beaten path" destinations. Travel from Cuba and the Galapagos to Iceland and the Baltic, their highly personalized itinerary planning and local support in more than 35 countries ensures bespoke and immersive experiences for the world’s most discerning clients. PBY offers an integrative approach to support owners, captains and crew. Their team includes well-seasoned yacht agents, expedition leaders, and aviation specialists whose experience stretch five continents.
Pacific Bound Yachts will launch their highly anticipated re-branding effort in the fall of 2019 with a company name change to Discovery Bound Yachts & Aviation. “We have been working beyond the Pacific and with aviation for over 10 years. It’s time our name matched our offerings.”, said Lisa Greenberg, Founder and COO.