Another cruise line to take Americans to Cuba

Posted: 16-Apr-16 11:55

Following the wake of the latest American cruise lines, French-based Ponant is also making plans to transport U.S. travellers to Cuba in the near future. The excursions will begin in 2017, focusing on Cuban culture and history while giving guests the opportunity to engage with locals in a variety of fields.

Another cruise line to take Americans to Cuba

American travellers to Cuba will soon have another choice in how to get there. Ponant, the only French-flagged cruise company in the world, just announced plans to take American citizens to Cuba as early as 2017.

According to an article by Jason Leppert published in Travel Pulse, Ponant plans on supplying seven or eight-night voyages on board its 64-passenger yacht, Le Ponant.

With cruises under the U.S. government approved category of “people-to-people cultural exchanges”, Leppert writes the cruises will focus on the island nation’s expansive culture and history, offering Americans the chance to meet and engage with Cuban citizens, professionals, artists and even civic leaders.

The article quotes Navin Sawhney, Ponant’s chief executive officer, Americas, in explaining how the cruise line plans to expand to include American travellers in its voyages.

“Enjoying thoughtfully curated programs and engaging with locals have always been the essence of the PONANT cultural experience. PONANT has been introducing Europeans to Cuba in the past and we are now delighted to offer Americans this enriching opportunity from a most comfortable setting aboard a cruise on Le Ponant".

The announcement comes on the heels of U.S.-based Fathom, which only recently gained approval from the Cuban government to set sail from the United States to Cuba beginning on 1st May this year. Fathom will offer seven-day cruises from Miami to Cuba, with stops in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. The U.S.-based Group IST first began its “Havana to Cienfuegos” cruises in 2014 and plans to add a third ship beginning this November.

In addition, the article points out other foreign cruise lines already transporting American passengers to Cuba. These include Celestyal Cruises and International Expeditions while Pearl Seas Cruises does not yet have final approval from the government. Leppert writes that Cuban cruises for Haimark Line, meanwhile, may be overshadowed by the company’s on-going bankruptcy.

The writer says prices and dates for Ponant’s planned Cuban cruises are not being released just yet. In total, Ponant’s fleet includes five small ships and the line has been in business for more than 20 years. Le Ponant supports a crew of 32 with two restaurants on board.


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