By Caroline Hallemann
Updated: January 24, 2017
Thomas Meinicke/ Corbis

During the heyday of Havana in the 1940s and ’50s, ferries were an extremely popular way to get from the United States to Cuba and back again. And now that the Obama administration is loosening travel restrictions between the two countries, Florida-based businesses are to racing to restart the industry.

Unlike with charter airlines, ferry licenses have yet to be assigned, and U.S. officials haven’t commented on the status of requests, but that isn’t stopping companies--like CubaKat in Fort Lauderdale and United Americas Shipping Services--from throwing their hats into the ring.

Brian Hall, president of catamaran company CubaKat, thinks services could start as early as December of 2015

"My partners and I are ready to start operating as soon as we get the go-ahead," he said.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure.