Pearl Seas joins the growing list of cruise lines sailing to Cuba

Posted: 31-Jul-15 10:15

As several cruise lines add Cuba to their destinations, Pearl Seas expects to launch cultural trips to the island on spring 2016. The small-ship company plans to visit various northern and southern ports.

Pearl Seas joins the growing list of cruise lines sailing to Cuba

As diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US take steps towards normalization, a large number of cruise operators have announced they would visit the Cuba in the next two years as part of cultural exchanges. Pearl Seas, a small-ship luxury cruise line, recently joined the long list of ships sailing to the island in the near future.

Pearl Mist, the company's only vessel, is expected to depart from Florida on spring 2016 and stop by at important Cuban ports such Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. This relatively small ship, with capacity for 210 passengers, allows access to more of the Caribbean nation's ports and regions.

People-to-people travel

Given that American citizens cannot freely travel to the island as tourists due to the embargo, these trips are part of ‘people-to-people' interactions, one of the 12 legal categories. These exchanges usually have planned schedules that involve meeting local artists, musicians, business owners and ordinary citizens.

Charles Robertson, Pearl Seas President, stated his company would be thrilled to take part in the educational programs between both countries, Mr Robertson explained:

"We are delighted to play such an important role in the people-to-people program in support of the Cuban people."

Big and small cruise lines interested

Pearl Seas follows up on huge cruise lines like Carnival Corporation and the Swiss-based MSC who will both be sailing to the island soon. Carnival's 710-passenger Adonia will host the ‘people-to-people' exchanges in May 2016 whilst the MSC Opera vessel will depart from Havana on December 2015 in a trip that will sail along to Jamaica, the Gulf of Mexico and the Cayman Islands before returning to Cuba and docking off in the capital. Haimark, a fellow small-ship line also recently announced its interest in marketing these cultural voyages in January and February 2016.

All factors seem to point out that cruise ships are to become a fantastic travel and holiday market for Cuba. However, Pearl Seas' hopes to begin cruising to the island next year are still hypothetical, as the necessary approval from the US Treasury Department, the US Department of Commerce and the Cuban government are still pending.


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