Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruises have announced approval to commence cruises to Cuba.
Royal Caribbean has yet to set a date for the commencement of its first Florida-Cuba itineraries, while NCL’s cruises are anticipated to start in March 2017.
All three of the company’s brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, will offer U.S. travel offer voyages next year.
The company’s first cruise to Cuba will set sail from PortMiami on Oceania Cruises’ Marina on March 7, 2017, and will include multiple-day calls to Havana. 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.
Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said: “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.”
The news follows on from Carnival Corporation’s decision last month to abandon its Fathom brand social impact cruising that had been sailing to Cuba. Adonia will return to Carnival’s P&O Cruses fleet in June next year after sailing week-long voyages to the Dominican Republic and Cuba since late April. Adonia was the first cruise ship in decades to depart the U.S. for Cuba.
Carnival has asked officials in Cuba for permission to sail there with other brands starting in June.
The cruise industry could bring as much as $300 million in revenue to cruise operators, plus 100,000 visitors and $90 million to the Cuban economy, the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council said earlier this year.