Cuba Bound


A number of major cruise lines have now received permission from the Cuban government to begin offering cruises to the destination.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has received approval from the government of the Republic of Cuba to operate cruises to Cuba, beginning March 2017.

All three of the company’s brands – Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises – will offer US travellers the opportunity to visit Cuba on select sailings starting next year.

The company’s first cruise to Cuba will set sail from PortMiami on Oceania Cruises’ Marina on March 7, 2017 with select Caribbean itineraries featuring calls on Havana, including many multiple-day calls to allow guests to explore Havana and its environs.

Seven Seas Mariner, of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, will call on Havana during two cruises in April 2017. Norwegian Sky will also offer a selection of four-day voyages that will overnight in Havana in May 2017.

“We are tremendously excited to have all three of our award-winning brands receive approval from the Cuban authorities to offer cruises to Cuba from the United States,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Del Rio continued, “As a Cuban-American and founder of Oceania Cruises, I am incredibly proud that one of Oceania’s vessels will be our company’s first to sail to Cuba. 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.”


Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has also been granted approval by the Cuban government to begin cruises to Cuba, with the company indicating that it would announce its first Florida-Cuba itineraries in the near future.

Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, commented, “Our guests have expressed real interest in having the opportunity to experience Cuba, and we look forward to bringing them there.”

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

Both Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises, will provide guests with travel directly to Cuba for the purpose of providing people-to-people exchanges between guests and Cuban citizens and other travel permitted by current US regulations.

The cruise itineraries will comply with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that permit travel companies to transport approved travellers to Cuba to engage in people-to-people activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).