Carnival Corp. cruises to start operating cultural sailing tours to Cuba

Posted: 08-Jul-15 16:05

Yet another U.S. cruise giant adds to the list of American enterprises entering the Cuban market after being granted authorisation from the U.S. Department of Treasury. According to sources, Carnival Corp.'s plan is to launch a seven-night "people-to-people" tour around the island via one of their state-of-the-art vessels starting next May 2016 and subject to the approval of Cuban authorities.

Carnival Corp. cruises to start operating cultural sailing tours to Cuba

With plans to operate bi-weekly cruises departing from Miami, Carnival Corp. plans to debut in Cuba next year in May. Making the most of the momentum, they’ve joined the ever-increasing list of U.S. cruise companies diving head first into the emerging Cuban holiday market that’s just begun to open up for U.S. tourists.

After receiving the license from the U.S. Treasury Department, the company has been quick to announce their forthcoming plans in Cuba.

Noting that it’s been over fifty long years since cruise ships sailed to Cuba from the U.S. Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donalds, told USA Today;

"All of our research suggests there is huge pent-up demand for the Cuba experience,"

Less than a fortnight away from the official, much-awaited re-opening of embassies in Cuba and the U.S., the time is ripe for further engagement between the nations and the fostering of new business relationships.

And, while legal tourist travel to Cuba is still an utopia for U.S holidaymakers under the unchanged embargo laws, the new amendments in legislation put forward by President Barack Obama now allow Americans to see and explore the island through licensed educational “people-to-people” tours. It is under this category that Carnival Corp. will be able to operate their cruises in the island.

Donald added:

"We think this experience as a standalone (business venture) is warranted unto itself, but clearly ... it will give us a much more intimate understanding (of operating in Cuba) to prepare ultimately for whenever the embargo is lifted,"

"It's hopefully a precursor to what's to come. We can only do so much under the cultural exchange (style of travel). Right now we only have the one ship. Once the embargo is lifted you will have many, many ships going."

With capacity for carrying up to 710 passengers on each journey, the new cruises will operate under the company’s new fathom brand, aboard its single ship, the Adonia.

The details of the itinerary for the new Cuba cruises haven’t been disclosed yet as Carnival Corp. waits for Cuban approval. However, those interested in Carnival Corp.’s new Cuba sailing journeys can already book their place on the ship as of today, by simply putting down a $600 deposit. Fares will start at around $2,990 per person without including taxes and port fees but including all on-board social impact-related activities and some of the cultural immersion activities on the ground.


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