US government approves ferry services to Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. The US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960.
The BBC's Will Grant in Havana says the latest announcement does not necessarily mean that boats will start launching for Cuban shores straight away, as there are bureaucratic hurdles to overcome in both countries.
Baja Ferries, a Mexico-based passenger service, has received a licence from the US Treasury Department to run an overnight service, the Guardian reports. The Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Florida reported approvals had also been received by Havana Ferry Partners, of Fort Lauderdale; United Caribbean Lines Florida, in the Orlando area; and Airline Brokers Co, of Miami. In addition a new charter flight service from New York City, operated by JetBlue, had already been announced.
Travel ban still in effect
Despite the new flights and ferry services, a travel ban on Cuba is still in place for US citizens. Only those who have the right paperwork in 12 different categories are permitted to visit the island.