This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
As Cuba gears up for increased tourism numbers, the communist country is bulking up its tourist infrastructure to accommodate the recent spur in visitors from the United States and beyond. By 2024, Cuba’s cruise ship terminal will be able to hold three times as many boats as it can today.
The terminal expansion project is part of a 15-year management agreement with Global Ports Holding Plc, an Istanbul-based company that operates 14 cruise ports, including Havana. This will be the company’s first venture in the Americas. Global Ports plans to add an extra four berths at the terminal, which would allow for six ships to dock at once.
Havana’s tourism numbers have grown exponentially in the past couple years. 2017 saw a 156% increase in cruise ship passengers from 2016. Cuba is hoping for a whopping 500,000 cruise passengers in 2018.
The Caribbean cruise market is the largest in the world and brings about 9.6 million passengers to the region. The cruise industry was initially nervous when President Trump placed travel restrictions that barred American tourists from visiting hotels and restaurants run by Cuba’s communist government. But the cruise industry soon realized that the restriction was actually in their favor, pushing visitors to stay and eat on board.
Once the new terminal has been completed, Global Ports believes that it should be able to accommodate more than 1 million passengers annually. Carnival, Norwegian Cruises, Royal Caribbean have all added trips to Cuba, even after Trump’s most recent travel restrictions there.
In May 2016, Carnival became the first US cruise liner to dock in Cuba in more than 50 years. This month, Carnival announced 23 new routes to Cuba, including one route for its 3,000-passenger Carnival Sunshine. When it docks in Cuba, it will be the largest ship to have ever sailed there.
Image by Marjie Lambert/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees