Victory Cruise Lines celebrates government approval of new cruises to Cuba

Posted: 14-Jul-17 09:34

Victory Cruise Lines has been granted approval to bring its only ship, the Victory I, to the Caribbean island of Cuba. The itinerary has not yet been decided, but the 202-passenger vessel is expected to call at the capital Havana, as well as Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba and Maria La Gorda, and will include overnight stays in at least three ports.

Victory Cruise Lines celebrates government approval of new cruises to Cuba

The small ship company, Victory Cruise Lines, is celebrating a new victory after it was granted approval to bring its only ship to Cuba. The 202-passenger Victory I vessel is expected to call at Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santiago de Cuba and Maria La Gorda.

The U.S ship company is still planning the itinerary for its new cruises to Cuba, but according to Bruce Nierenberg, the President and CEO of Victory Cruise Lines, there will be at least three overnight stays in ports on the island. The cruises will sail from Miami in the United States and will circumnavigate the island over 14 days.

"Being a small ship company, we will be seeking most of our berths in the smaller less visited ports as we can fit into all the ports in Cuba that would be able to host a cruise product.

"We will work closely with the Cuban authorities to come up with the best combination of ports and cruise lengths that our client demographic looks for."

Explained Mr Nierenberg.

The travel industry in Cuba has been a hot topic over the last two weeks after U.S President Trump announced the changes to the Obama-era policy which allowed American travellers to visit Cuba individually under specific categories. President trump changed this policy last month, cracking down on individual travel, but allowing group travel through people to people programmes.

Fortunately for Victory Cruise Lines, the new law benefits the cruise line as the cruises will be all inclusive and Victory has total control over the tours on land. This means that guests can relax on their trip knowing that everything complies with the U.S regulations, and individual travellers can take the all-inclusive cruise to visit the island and its culture.

Mr Nierenberg also added:

"Yes, the American T-shirt buying crowd looking for a beach and a bar may find it a bit more difficult to go to Cuba. But the passengers we cater to, looking for a real opportunity to meet Cuban citizens, learn about the history and culture of the country will still have the opportunity through products like ours."

Victory Cruise Lines came from the bankruptcy of Haimark, which took place in 2015. The Victory I ship is the former Saint Laurent vessel. The cruise company launched last year, and has been operating on the Great Lakes in the U.S on its own and as a charter boat. Victory Cruises originally planned to start operating Cuba cruises in 2016, but it has only just received the licence to operate sailings to the island.

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