The Washington Post publishes tips for Americans on how to travel to Cuba

Posted: 12-Apr-16 14:16

As the United States continues to ease travel restrictions making it easier for Americans to visit Cuba, airlines and cruise lines continue making plans to accommodate an expected influx of new travellers. Before you book a flight or a cruise, The Washington Post outlines everything you need to know about travelling to Cuba.

The Washington Post publishes tips for Americans on how to travel to Cuba

With the recent easing of long-standing travel restrictions on Americans visiting Cuba, U.S. airlines and cruise lines are hoping to profit from the increased demand of travellers. For the first time in more than 50 years cruise ships will begin sailing from the U.S. to Cuba this spring, while commercial airlines are expected to take off later this autumn.

To help understand the important dates, the costs and some of the still-standing restrictions for American travellers, writer Candyce Stapen recently penned her take on how to get to Cuba for The Washington Post. She reminds travellers that U.S. airlines are just now applying for the daily flights and the U.S. Transportation Department is not expected to announce the routes until sometime this summer.

As for the cruise lines, Carnival recently received approval for a Miami to Cuba cruise scheduled to set sail for the first time on 1st May while Pearl Seas Cruises has sold out of its April 5, 15 and 25 departure dates, despite the fact that, according to Stapen, Cuba has not yet signed those off.

Stapen also emphasises that American travellers need to fit within one of the 12 travel categories recognised by the United States government. Many people fall within the “people-to-people” category, requiring things like cultural and educational tours, visits or meetings with locals.

To help American visitors decide how to get there, Stapen offers a brief description of what’s available.

Starting in May, Carnival’s Fathom brand is offering seven-night cruises from Miami, including stops in Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Havana. Starting at $1,800 per person, the MV Adonia will sail every two weeks and some cabins are already sold out all the way through to autumn.

The smaller Pearl Mist, part of Pearl Seas Cruises, hopes to set sail this April with seven and ten-night cruises. Starting at $5,465 for the week-long cruise and $7,810 for ten-nights, the longer voyages includes stops at seven island ports.

In addition to the three outlined above, the parent company for Oceania and Royal Caribbean Cruise both hope to reveal their itineraries for Cuba cruises in the near future. In the meantime, the writer reminds that Americans can book cruises to Cuba that sail from outside of the United States. She mentions the large Celestyal Crystal, boarding in Montego Bay. Priced starting at around $1,500, passengers must register for the P2P programme beforehand. There are also chartered flights to Havana that allow passengers to meet up with yachts in Cuba. These are priced starting at around $5,000 from International Specialty Travel and International Expeditions.

For those who wish to fly to get there, Americans can now directly book charter flights. A Cuban visa is necessary and these flights do not run on a regular schedule. Still, American Airlines offers 27 weekly departures with its charter partners, taking off from Los Angeles, Tampa and Miami. JetBlue currently has charter partners offering nonstop flights from select cities. In addition, Aeromexico and Copa both offer charter flights from Dulles.

American Airlines, Delta, United and Southwest Airlines are all awaiting news on their applications to gain some of the total 110 daily flights allowed between the U.S. and Cuba starting this fall.


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