If you’re planning a holiday with a US cruise line and hoping to visit the Caribbean island of Cuba, you’d better think twice because American cruise ships aren’t allowed to call at Cuban ports.
Following the White House’s move towards normalising relations with Cuba, speculation has been triggered among American cruise passengers who wish to travel to the exotic destination. However, they could have to wait several years before US cruise ships can to the Caribbean island.
But although US-based vessels won’t be visiting Cuba for the foreseeable future, cruise ships from Europe and Canada will call to the island, with around 200 expected visits during winter 2014-15.
UK cruise lines that regularly stop at Cuba include Noble Caledonia, Thomson Cruises and Fred. Olsen, while Canadian company Cuba Cruises made its first round of trips to the island last year.
However, if European and Canadian cruise lines choose to visit the Caribbean, they’ll have to face up to the consequences from the US by not being allowed to call at any American ports for a period of six months.
But this rule won’t affect lines that mainly attract non-US passengers and don’t call to the US, including Cuba Cruise and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.
In a recent report that was released shortly after President Obama’s speech, Robin Farley – analyst of UBS Investment Research – noted that cruise lines would certainly benefit if Cuba opens for tourism.
“Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and only 230 miles from Miami, allowing it to be part of a variety of itineraries.
“Cuba could prompt many cruise passengers who’ve already been to many Caribbean ports to return to a Carib itinerary to see a unique and novel port,” she wrote.
Speaking about the news regarding the US and Cuba, Dugald Wells – president and chief executive of Cuba Cruise Lines – said: “We absolutely foresee an increase in bookings from international travelers who are drawn to Cuba’s incredibly preserved culture, its mix of old and new world charm, and who want to experience the iconic country before it opens its doors any further.”
Do you hope the laws change, so more cruise lines visit Cuba?
- See more at: http://www.cruise.co.uk/news/cuba-is-a-no-go-for-us-cruise-ships/?affref=BETSYD#sthash.2uoHplrk.dpuf