More cruise lines get greenlight for US to Cuba sailings in 2017
Royal Caribbean International is the latest cruise line to add sailing routes to Cuba. Royal joins Carnival Corporation, who announced in May, 2016, that its Fathom brand would begin to operate full, week-long, historic sailings from the U.S. to Cuba, marking the first time in 50 years a cruise ship had been granted such approval. And this past December, 2016, two additional cruise lines announced that they were granted approval to sail from the U.S. to Cuba.
In a recent press release, Royal Caribbean announced that its Empress of the Seas cruise line will offer a 5-night sailing departing from Miami, Florida for Havana, Cuba, this April, 2017. The ship will then reposition in Tampa for two itineraries there and then homeport in Tampa for the summer season, during which it will continue to offer 4 and 5-night sailings with port calls to destinations in Cuba.
"We're thrilled to introduce culture-seeking travelers to Cuba. As the unrivaled innovators of the cruise experience, no company is better positioned to help adventurers explore and experience this culturally rich destination," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International in the release.
While in Cuba, guests will have the option to explore Old Havana and historic neighborhoods there, a local artisan market, Havana’s rum museum, and Hemingway’s former residence and favorite lairs, among other sites. While on board the ship, authentic Cuban experiences are extended to include beverages like café con leche, cortaditos and salsa music.
Norwegian Cruise Line is also now offering 2017 media sailings to Cuba aboard Norwegian Sky, the largest vessel to sail to Cuba, according to a recent press release. The series of four and five-day itineraries, set for May, 2017 and departing from Miami, include an overnight stay in the capital of Havana, "Allowing guests the opportunity to go ashore and experience the island’s rich cultural traditions through people-to-people exchanges," according to the release. Such outings will enable Norwegian Sky guests to visit Old Havana, view incredible art and listen to the vibrant, local music scene.
The ship will continue on to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island destination in the Bahamas.