Star Clippers' cruises are due to sail to Cuba next winter

Posted: 22-Aug-16 08:06

The Seattle-based Clipper cruising company announced that services connecting Florida to two Cuban ports will be launched at the beginning of 2017. In 2016 other three cruise companies have revealed their plans to launch new routes connecting different countries with the Caribbean island.

Star Clippers' cruises are due to sail to Cuba next winter

Prestigious cruise liner Star Clippers recently confirmed that some of its elegant vessels will start sailing to Cuba on January 2017, calling at two of the most important ports in the Caribbean island. Modern cruise ship Star Flyer will dock in Havana (the capital) and Cienfuegos (in the southern coast), with stops at a number of other ports surrounded by beautiful beaches like Cayo Largo (in the southern coast), Maria La Gorda (in the province of Pinar del Rio), and Punta Frances (in Isla de la Juventud or Isle of Youth).

After obtaining federal approval, the Seattle-based company launched a new offer with prices ranging between £1,290 and £2,080, depending on the length of the itinerary (7 to 11 days).

Star Clippers, which recently merged with German ferry and shipping company FSR, has been offering trips to Cuba since 2014, as part of a wider itinerary that included other destinations in the Caribbean. But now that Cuba seems to be more appealing than ever to tourists, thanks to the negotiations kicked off by the re-establishment of normal relations with the United States, the company saw a perfect timing for an expansion.

Americans, Germans, and Canadians make up the main groups of tourists that the company targets, attracting them with their offer of amazing adventures within the atmosphere of a traditional cruising vessel and the level comfort and luxury found in most modern cruise ships.

Star Clippers is one in a growing list of companies that are recently becoming interested in sending cruise vessels to the island. Carnival Cruise launched a new sailing route from the U.S. to Cuba last May, and the Adonia became the first American ship of its kind travelling from the large neighbouring country to the island in nearly 50 years.

Other American-based cruise companies awaiting approval in order to open new routes to Cuba are United Caribbean Lines, Baja Ferries, and Airline Brokers Co. Senior members of Oceania Cruises also announced that The Marina, a cruise ship with capacity for 2,500 passengers has tentatively been approved to sail to Cuba at the beginning of 2017.

Earlier this year Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said to Travel Weekly that they were waiting for Cuba to open up for them to send a vessel to the island known as Empress of the Seas. This would be the first step for later establishing a regular service. On the other hand, last April French cruise company Ponant announced its plans for opening a new route to Cuba, taking U.S. passengers onboard its 64-passenger yacht, Le Ponant.

Cruise companies currently taking U.S. passengers to Cuba have to find alternative mechanisms for avoiding sanctions if they violate the embargo, a policy that still bans Americans from visiting Cuba as tourists. As U.S. travellers need special licences for going to the island, cruise companies targeting this market offer itineraries that focus on the country´s rich culture and history; thus offering visitors the opportunity to engage with locals in order to comply with regulations.


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