Guanahacabibes Peninsula in Cuba records increase in cruise passengers

Posted: 15-Jan-16 11:13

The number of cruise arrivals in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula in western Cuba is on the increase and authorities are expecting 16,000 cruise passengers by the end of June 2016. The region has already logged 11 cruise calls, and visitors come from direct calls and stopovers from passengers on liners sailing from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.

Guanahacabibes Peninsula in Cuba records increase in cruise passengers

The Guanahacabibes Peninsula is set to have a successful winter season as the number of cruise passengers increases. The western tip of Cuba has become a cruise hub, with 11 calls already this winter, and authorities expecting a total of 90 cruise calls by the end of June 2016.

Approximately 16,000 cruise passengers are expected to visit the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, with passengers from direct calls to the region and stopover passengers from cruise liners sailing from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Smaller boats are used in Guanahacabibes to ferry passengers from their ships to the Maria la Gorda International Diving Centre, to help protect the fragile marine ecosystem.

Boasting crystal clear waters, thriving colourful coral reefs, and thousands of diverse marine species, the Peninsula of Guanahacabibes spans 200 square miles of land and marine reserve with protected forests and pristine white sand beaches.

Situated 135 miles northwest of Cuba's capital Havana, the peninsula only has one military-run tour company that oversees scuba diving in Maria La Gorda, the resort inside the Guanahacabibes reserve.

Lack of agricultural run-off, limited coastal development and strong environmental laws have helped keep Cuba's reefs and ocean waters healthy and the Guanahacabibes Peninsula boasts some of the Cuba's most pristine reefs and stunning landscapes.

Last year, U.S and Cuban officials officially signed a memorandum that would see the protection and conservation of fish and corals in the Gulf of Mexico.

The memorandum will see the protection of Guanahacabibes National Park and the Banco de San Antonio, two natural and fragile reserves that sit within a 90-mile stretch in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists in America and Cuba will closely work together to conserve the precious marine life including sea turtles, spiny lobsters, and one of Cuba's most pristine coral reefs which could lead to the revival and protection of other coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico and South Florida.

As Cuba gets ready to receive an influx of international travellers following the recent restored diplomatic relations with the United States, it is feared that the increase in visitor arrivals by boats and ferries that will occur if general tourism is permitted for Americans, will result in damage to the country's coral reefs.

Cuba is located south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico and the island is rich in breathtaking landscapes, culture, heritage and history. The country is home to pristine white and golden sand beaches, azure ocean waters, luxury beachfront hotels, historic cities, the world's second largest barrier reef, 14 thriving national parks, six world biosphere reserves, and 236 protected areas.


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