If a cruise to Cuba is on your bucket list, your options just expanded. With the announcements last month of two more cruise lines receiving approvals by the Cuban government last month, there’s a lot more choice for cruise fans.
Royal Caribbean International (which also owns Azamara Club Cruises) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) (which also owns Regent Seven Seas and Oceania), received approval from the Cuban government to sail to Cuba. Both cruise lines have published itineraries for new cruises to Cuba.
What Cruise Lines Sail to Cuba?
International cruise lines companies already offer cruises to the island or include a stop at a Cuban port on their Caribbean cruises. Cruise lines already with Cuba itineraries include Fred Olson Cruise Lines, Thomson Cruises, Canadian-based Cuba Cruise, Italian-owned MSC Cruises, Greek-owned Variety Cruises, Swedish-owned Star Clippers, and Australian-British Noble Caledonia.
In the past, people from around the world have been able to travel and cruise to Cuba for years. It is only now that the American traveler can also take a cruise to Cuba – if they meet one of the regulated conditions for travel.
For cruise lovers, this development expands the options for people looking for a cruise holiday to Cuba. It opens up the competition for customers. With such a choice in the number of cruise lines, it will definitely mean more competitive fares as well as a choice of ships. The itineraries will offer a wider choice as far as cruise length, ports of call and excursions.
NCLH’s first cruise leaves the Port of Miami on March 7. Regent Seven Seas Mariner will offer two cruises in April. Norwegian Sky will begin with four days cruises with over night excursions at the Havana port beginning in May. In April, Royal Caribbean will begin offering cruises to Cuba. Azamara Quest will also start selling itineraries to Cuba departing from Miami March 21
NCLH’S CEO Frank Del Rio, who emigrated from Cuba in 1961 said, “This is truly a dream come true for me and I cannot wait for our loyal guests to experience the sights and sounds of my hometown of Havana and get to know its rich culture and its warm and welcoming residents.”
“We’re excited to be the first luxury cruise line to offer voyages to Cuba, a destination our guests have dreamt of visiting,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “With our industry-leading all-inclusive luxury experience, guests will be able to enjoy the wonders of Havana with a robust selection of free, unlimited shore excursions, all of which meet the people-to-people guidelines established by OFAC.”
Author: Zoe Veraz
Zoe is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the Cuba Business Report.