Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Approved for Cruises to Cuba

Dec 7, 2016

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Plenty of airlines now offer service to Cuba, and soon you’ll have a few more options if you’re looking to reach the destination by boat as well: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises have been approved for voyages to the island.

The Cuban government approved all three of Norwegian’s lines (Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises) and two Royal Caribbean brands (Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises) for trips to the island. Until now, the only US-to-Cuba cruises available were on board Carnival Corp.’s Fathom brand, which TPG Senior Editor Kaeli Conforti got to experience first-hand, but the cruise line will come to an end in 2017.

Norwegian announced that its Oceania Cruises’ Marina (with a capacity for 1,250 passengers) will kick off Cuba voyages on March 7, 2017, offering three itineraries with a mix of full-day and overnight stops in Havana. No word yet on when Royal Caribbean will begin sailing, but the company previously said it would sail the Empress of the Seas (with a capacity of 2,270 passengers).

havana-featured
Some cruises will include an overnight stay in Havana. Image courtesy of Piero Damiana via Getty Images.

Next up will be Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Mariner in April with two itineraries offering overnight stays, followed by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Sky setting sail in May, with five Caribbean trips, also with overnight stays in Havana.

Because Americans still can’t travel to Cuba only for tourism purposes, the cruise lines will provide activities that comply with all laws and regulations.

While we’ve seen plenty of cheap fares to the island nation, the addition of cruise options is good news for travelers — especially those who prefer traveling by sea and are hoping to explore multiple destinations in the Caribbean on their trip.

H/T: Skift

Featured image courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.

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