Americans Can Now Cruise to Cuba
Written by: Amanda Bailey on March 07, 2015
For American travelers, the gates to Cuba have finally opened.
In February, Canada-based Cuba Cruise line announced that U.S. citizens could now make bookings to sail around the formerly off-limits Caribbean island. Previously, Americans had to go through sanctioned U.S. tour operators that run cultural-exchange tours.
Since the announcement, Cuba Cruise’s website traffic has tripled, and the tour operator has received double the number of phone inquiries. The major cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean have yet to offer similar sailings.
Cruising around Cuba still requires a bit more paperwork for Americans than an average cruise. Once a trip is booked with Cuba Cruise, passengers must register with the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. This non-profit organization will then issue paperwork that grants travelers entrance into Cuba.
The ship, the Louis Cristal, has 480 staterooms and offers the standard cruise amenities — a pool, casino and several dining options. It departs weekly from Montego Bay, Jamaica and stops in six ports during its seven-day voyage.
Passengers will get a taste of Havana’s historic charm, and can also explore several of Cuba’s national parks and white-sand beaches along the way.
“The focus is on the destination,” according to Cuba Cruise representative Melissa Medeiros. “There are Cuban crew members, performers and dancers onboard, but the Cuban experience really showcases itself on the shore excursions rather than on the ship itself.”
Travel agents can learn more about Cuba Cruise’s packages on their website.
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Source: International Business Times