American Cruise companies get go-ahead to operate sailings to Cuba from U.S

Posted: 13-Jan-17 10:52

American cruise companies are now ready to begin sailing to Cuba from the United States after being granted permission by the Cuban government to operate cruises to the Caribbean nation. Royal Caribbean will launch their first Florida to Cuba itineraries in the near future, while Oceania Cruises will operate three new voyages between Miami and Cuba.

American Cruise companies get go-ahead to operate sailings to Cuba from U.S

The Cuban government has granted approval to American cruise companies to operate cruises to Cuba. Both Royal Caribbean and Oceania Cruises will launch their itineraries to the Caribbean island nation in the near future.

Oceania Cruises will begin its cruises between Miami and Cuba from March, 2017, and it will offer a 14-day sailing and two 10-day cruises between Miami and the Caribbean on board the Marina vessel. The sailings will call at Cuba’s capital Havana, with two voyages offering an overnight stay in the city and two full days of exploring its streets, museums, and vibrant bars.

Frank Del Rio, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the owners of Oceania Cruises, said:

"As a Cuban-American and founder of Oceania Cruises, I am incredibly proud that Marina will be the first in our fleet to cruise to Cuba,”

And added:

“Not only was Marina the first ship to be purpose-built for the Oceania Cruises brand, she showcases millions of dollars’ worth of Cuban-American art, making our inaugural voyages to Cuba even more special.”

Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises will offer direct cruises to Cuba under people-to-people licences that are permitted by the current U.S regulations. The sailings will comply with existing US Federal Regulations that allow Americans to travel to the island nation for the purpose of meeting and engaging with Cubans and learning about their culture and heritage.

“Our guests have expressed real interest in having the opportunity to experience Cuba, and we look forward to bringing them there,”

commented Richard Fain, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

and continued:

“Our discussions with our travel partners indicate that Cuba is a destination that appeals to a new generation of travellers.”

Earlier last year, the Cuban government gave Carnival Corp. permission to operate sailings to Cuba for all passengers, including Cuban-born residents of America. Until recently, there was a five-decade-long ban on sea travel for Cuban-Americans that was enforced to prevent anti-communist militants from travelling to Cuba to overthrow Fidel Castro’s government in 1961. The ban has since been lifted, after cruise companies pointed out that it was discriminatory towards Cubans who wanted to return home to visit family and friends.


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