Carnival to finally set sail to Havana from Miami starting this May

Posted: 29-Mar-16 10:30

For the first time in more than 50 years a cruise ship company will be sailing between the United States and Cuba. Carnival Corporation just gained the go-ahead from Cuba to make its first voyage between Miami and Havana starting in May. The announcement comes after months of talks between the two former political adversaries.

Carnival to finally set sail to Havana from Miami starting this May

Americans planning to visit Cuba will soon gain a new travel option. American-British owned Carnival Corporation just received Cuban approval to start up regular cruises between Miami and Havana. This marks the first time in more than a half century that a cruise ship has travelled between the United States and Cuba.

Referencing an article posted in the Miami Herald, The Daily Beast reports the seven-day cruises will sail around Cuba, with the first cruise departing on 1st May. While the U.S. government gave the cruise line approval in July 2015 to begin social impact trips to Cuba, it took months of negotiating for the Cubans to also sign off on a plan. In part, the Miami Herald article points to concerns about Cuban ports being able to handle large ships. Adonia, however, is smaller than some other cruise ships.

With room for 704 passengers, writer Chabeli Herrera reports Adonia will sail under Carnival’s Fathom brand. This particular brand offers cultural exchange programmes, which qualify as one of the approved travel categories for Americans to visit Cuba. Current restrictions prevent Americans from travelling to Cuba solely for tourism, something travel agent Ralph Santisteban told the Herald not everyone seems to realise.

“Cuba has been a mystery for all these years and Cuba has brought with it a mystique. The only thing is that there is a bit of a downturn, is when people find out they can’t sit on the beach with a coconut full of pina colada, but people hope that someday that soon will be happening.”

Instead, Herrera writes that these particular cruises will focus on volun-tourism. This could mean teaching English to locals, exchanging cultural information or even organising meetings between American and Cuban groups.

Along with the itinerary, cruise ship travellers to Cuba will need to account for the cost. While the article points out typical seven-day cruises in the month of May onboard Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International average $700-$1,000 per person, a base price for a seven-day cruise from Miami to Cuba starts at $1,800.

Adonia will make stops in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The ship joins Geneva-based MSC Cruises, which already has one ship sailing from Havana during the winter, and plans to add another cruise ship late this year.


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