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Ferry Yucatan to Florida

Editor’s Note: We got an email asking us to publish this, yet another survey about the interest in a ferry from Florida to the Yucatan. We know there is a lot of interest, so we’re publishing the inquiry. We are exceedingly aware, however, that this ferry has been promised for years on end and has turned out to be nothing more than that… promises. Still, hope springs eternal, and maybe one of these days, they really will bring it back again. We can dream… and so can you. If you want to fill out the survey, please be our guest!

We Want To Hear From You About the Ferry

The past year has not brought a lot of forward momentum with the ferry project in spite of the interest of Ferry From Yucatan, Mexico to Florida, United Statesthree different ferry companies and many false start dates. The scandals which precipitated personnel changes at the Progreso Port Authority certainly didn’t help the situation. However, things have been happening behind the scenes and from what I understand a number of feasibility studies have been done in the Tampa area showing the ferry project is viable. So far, the inability to complete a feasibility study within the expatriate community continues to be a stumbling block, especially with investors.

Hopefully, we have learned from the mistakes of the previous ferry services in the area and responses from the previous expat surveys, and we have modified the original plans. Super high speed ferries are now being considered to shorten the crossing times. Other ideas include frequent user plans, and even free vehicle bonuses. A year round weekly crossing schedule with frequency based on use patterns and peak seasons is also being considered. As this service will take some years to become profitable, investor backing will be the key to success.

We know many of you have already completed one or both of the previous surveys but United Caribbean Lines is asking for your input once again. The results will directly influence investors and the more responses the better. Please forward this email and ask everyone you know who may travel this direction to answer the questions and forward their responses to United Caribbean Lines. If you have access to expatriate websites, blogs or travel groups, please have all your members respond and forward the questions on to any other websites and blogs you use anywhere in Central America. Even if you have no interest in using the ferry service please respond. We need to establish how many expats live in the Yucatan and Central America.

If you are comfortable letting UCL know how to reach you, they would like to extend some special courtesies, goodies, discounts and upgrades for helping them, when the ferry service begins. Just put your email address and mailing address in Central America on your answers to the questionnaire so UCL can reach you with the offers when they get started.

Please copy the following questions with your answers in an email and send your responses as soon as possible to Bruce Nierenburg at United Caribbean Lines.


Questionnaire for Expats living in Central America for new Ferry Service of United Caribbean Lines

  • Where in Central America is your current home?
  • How many family members reside in your Central American home?
  • Do you maintain a second home in the U.S. or Canada?
  • When you travel to go to the U.S or Canada to visit friends family etc. What is your destination?
  • How many times a year do you make this trip?
  • If you have more than one place you travel to in the U.S or Canada please list those additional destinations
  • How often do you travel to these secondary destinations each calendar year?
  • When you go do you drive or fly? If both what is the approx. % for each?
  • Do you have pets? Do you take them when you return to the U.S or Canada?
  • When you return to the U.S. or Canada do you shop for supplies etc. For your home in Central America?
  • When you travel from your home in Central America to the U.S. or Canada are there times of the year you do most of the travel? If so, when?
  • Do friends and family come to Central America each year to visit you? If so how often?
  • Do you own an RV in Central America?
  • Would you take it on the ferry?
  • What would be the most important reasons you would take the ferry to Florida?

Please number the following reasons in order of importance for using the ferry. Number 1 is the most important and Number 10 is the least.

  • Go back to other homes in U.S. and or Canada ____
  • Visit family and friends ____
  • Shopping ____
  • Vacationing in Florida  ____
  • I can take my car or RV ___
  • Go to Florida to use airports for further travel ___
  • Go to Florida to get on a cruise ____
  • Just to get away for a short trip ____
  • Travel for medical purposes ___
  • Other ( please name ) ______


Additional comments or things you would like us to know to help serve you better with our new ferry service:

Your Name and address in Central America:

Your email address:

Thank you from all of us at United Caribbean Lines

—Tamara Magnusson

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45 Responses to “Ferry Yucatan to Florida”

  1. As a former online Marketing specialist, my experience is that you will get far more responses if you make this form easy to fill out online and send to you vs. copying and emailing it to you.

  2. We agree, but we’re just the messenger… if they want an online form, they’ll have to create one and we’ll be happy to link to it.

  3. This survey seems to be directed to those who live in Mexico already. What about those of us who would like to reply, but still live in the US? We would love to use that ferry!

  4. I filled this out. I would really like to use a ferry to bring all my belongings to Merida when I move there!

  5. My wife and I have driven to Merida / Progersso area many times and are quite serious about retireing there. Lately my wife does not want to drive there and I hate to fly. Its to inconvenient and I miss my own PU while there. We have many friends who feel the same and refuse to drive because of the games being played for the first 50 miles south of the border. So we stay stateside or travel elseware

  6. I am from Yucatan. I use to travel there 3 to 4 times a year. I used to drive. Now the northern route has become prohibitive, too risky. The ferry from Florida is the ideal solution. To travel by plane and rent a car there, for the length of time I stay there, it is very expensive. To buy a car there is also very expensive. I am for the ferry.. Francisco Colome

  7. I looked into a ferry service from Florida to Yucatan, using a high speed trimaran that can make the trip in 16 hours, eliminating costly overnight cabins. The manufacturer is Australian. From what I can remember, the boat can carry 600-800 passengers and about 100 cars and trucks. I understood at the time that Fonatur might be interested in supporting such a project, but supported a very slow ferry and a service that went bankrupt within a year. The service should likely be between Naples and Progreso where docking and customs services exist. Those ships are not cheap, but occasionally one comes up as a used sale, and one is all you need.

  8. Tamara Magnusson at United Caribbean Lines may have the right idea but doesn’t have any idea of how to gather needed information or to create a questionnaire. To start with, a ferry service needs business at either end of the trip, something that is not addressed. The other is that Mexico is not in Central America, I hope her captains have a better idea.

  9. I think the ferry would be very beneficial in a multitude of ways.. We are currently gathering information on retiring in Yucatan and the Ferry would certainly be a delight for other travels from Florida or ease in going back to the US for a visit… But that survey isn’t for people like us. That ferry would be another check mark on the positive side of moving to the Yucatan!

  10. I agree with Claus Mohr, above, and I can’t imagine that any investor would part with cash on the strength of the mishmash of anecdotal “evidence” that such an ill-conceived survey would gather. Nevertheless, I wish them luck.

  11. Of course, we all know that Mexico is not part of the “isthmus” called Central America.

  12. This survey is only for those who seem to live in central america. I believe the ferry would be of great benefit to everyone who loves to travel and to those like me, who is looking to retire to Merida for various reasons including travel to and from US and Mexico to visit friends, to bring our vehicle, etc. the list can go on.

  13. We are moving to merida soon and really need this.

  14. I think this is a great idea. I am in Florida and plan to retire in Merida Mexico soon, and would love to be able to bring my vehicle and personal household items, this would be great if the price could be kept reasonable.

  15. My family is from Yucatan. I used to drive to Mexico but I am not willing to drive so many hours any more. I love the ferry idea.
    Many people would use it. We just need to send mass emails to let people know.

  16. I love Merida & would visit there quite often, if there were a ferry. I just moved to the west coast of Florida & the ferry would be very convenient. Input from US residents would be helpful to United Carribbean Lines.

  17. Ferry is a great idea, I would use it to visit family

  18. A survey aimed at people living in the USA who frequently travel to Yucatan for business or pleasure could also be helpful to prospective backers of the ferry service. Please suggest this to United Caribbean Lines.

  19. my wife and i are very interested in this travel option. We would like to reduce our carbon footprint by avoiding air travel wherever possible.
    if you are successful in re-instating this route – Tampa to Progresso, Naples/progresso, whatever, we would like to be on an email list to be notified. We are already booked on flights this coming February – returning mid March – but are already planning for future trips.
    16 hours would be great, but we would be okay with 30 hours as well – a cruise across the gulf would be lovely I imagine…

  20. I should add that we are from Canada and are looking to travel by train to florida from ontario – another interesting trip!

  21. We are very much in favor of the ferry. We moved here for a year starting Nov. 2013 and are returning to the US Nov. 2014 and hope that the ferry is a viable option. We have pets, household goods, and a car. (Hoping that the customs situation has been worked out when passing through Tampa). Additionally, I have many family and friends in the Tampa area that would love to take the ferry over and visit us! Let’s hope you can get the ferry up and running before the end of summer 2014.

  22. Kari, don’t hold your breath. There are many roadblocks to this ferry and even though many of us want it to happen, it doesn’t really look promising.

  23. I tried to use Mr. Nierenberg’s email address but it was rejected by the system. How else can I send in this survey?

  24. Has anyone heard of any other updates regarding the service?

  25. James, the fact that it isn’t working probably means that this idea isn’t being pursued any longer.

  26. Seems as though there is a lot of interest in this ferry happening. What problems exist that are insurmountable? Politics, money (investors), location? Aren’t there enough people that want to see this happen that have resources to invest to get this underway? Or are there people with a lot of resources that do NOT want this to happen? Myself, my family and many of my friends would certainly be repeat customers.

  27. Quisiera saber si esta activo el servicio de ferry de Florida a Yucatan o si es que existe alguna otra línea en la que me pueda trasladar con mi motocicleta?
    Desde ya muchas gracias.

  28. Many people would like to see such a ferry operational, but the current information does not look promising. The picture of the giant ship begs the question of who would fill it. The website is a holding company at GoDaddy with no corporate or other information. We would love to see a ferry operational but the few thousands of expats would not be likely to provide a sufficient revenue source unless as part of a much bigger cruise operation. Let’s hope that somehow it comes together and listen for some substantive announcements supported by the governor and the relevant authorities. It would be wonderful news!

  29. Friends, family and ourselves would love a Tampa ferry. Would allow us to have a car here (Playa del Carmen) without driving across the border in Texas.

  30. My wife and I maintain a home in Tampa, FL and in Isla Mujeres, Q.Roo. She is retiring this June and we will be spending more time in Mexico but would like to travel back and forth more often since kids and grandkids are in FL. Having made the drive twice and encountered the crooked city cops. I will not do it again but it would be nice to have a car down there.

  31. I got an answer to a text message asking when the ferry was going to start service from Mr. BNIERENBERG saying November 2014! I am beginning to doubt if it will ever start service.

  32. i read somewhere that the ferry itself is the current issue. they are supposedly built in europe and production is delayed or postponed

  33. I am of Mennonite background and was born in Belize. I have been waiting for this to become a reality for about 10 years now. I can tell you if someone starts up a ferry and keeps it running for a year news will spread and you will have lots of Mennonites taking it simply to get to Belize from North America. In fact rumor has it that chartered flights to Cancun had to be cancelled due to too many Mennonites taking these flights simply to get to Cancun in order to take the bus from there to Belize and the touring companies were not getting the benefit of tourist resorts being filled. You could easily see daily usage from Mennonites alone. Due to the dangerous situation in northern Mexico, most don’t risk the drive anymore.

  34. We would spend so much time in Merida if there was a ferry. I hate to fly. Why can’t they bring it back??

  35. I would be one of your first passengers if it ever sails. I have driven from Fort Myers Florida to Progresso and back three times and won’t do it again. Please get it going!

  36. We would be very interested in this ferry, especially if we could bring our dog.

  37. Here’s the thing… of the biggest headaches long term visitors (2-6 months) have in the Yucatan is transportation. Renting a vehicle is expensive and inconvenient. Some of us have chosen to drive to the Yucatan but this is a lonnnngggg drive. I am not sure what the numbers of long term visitors are to the area but I would guess it would be in the thousands. If there were a way to get your car to the Yucatan from Canada or the US without having to go the long way around, i.e by ferry, then I am certain most of us would take it. Not to mention all the other US / Canada expats who live in the Yucatan full time and most certainly would take advantage of the quick access to Gringoland. Anyway, all this to say, this should be a “no-brainer”. But please hurry….I am 62 now and don’t want to croak waiting for a ferry service. Thanks for all your efforts.

  38. I have been waiting to move to Merida but refuse to do it until there is a way to safely get there with my son and dogs. I am semi-retired so i want a way that I can use my car to come and go there when I need to return for meetings etc. That would be the only way this would make sense for us. I really do hope that some billionaire finally get this going. I know that it would definitely be a good investment!!!!

  39. I would like to come across the Gulf using the ferry as I would need to travel home to Tulsa to check on the home front and family members. I might like to bring some furnishing from home for the Yucatan home. Using the ferry will make any of this move so much easier. Please let me know if it is a viable plan. My friend Lynette Setzkorn from Tulsa used your service to bring her car to the USA. I am not sure when I want to make this trip. Maybe before the holidays or after. Keep me informed, please.

  40. Has anyone heard anything definite regarding the August date for the Ferry’s opening?

  41. We have not…

  42. We are planning to move early next year. We want to bring car with dog and some personal items. Been watching to see if and when the ferry will begin to make such a move possible.

  43. Bryen, don’t hold your breath :-)

  44. Looking forward to visiting Mexico with many R.V. friends. This would be a dream come true. We travel from Canada to Florida every year for 5 months.

  45. When will it be real? We are all ready for it. It is a necessity!


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