Big Brand Cruise Lines Are Headed to Cuba


You’ll soon be able to sail from Miami to Cuba with a major cruise line.

The parent companies of cruise giants Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line today announced they had received Cuban government approval for the brands to operate voyages to the country from Florida.  

These will be the first from established cruise brands to sail from the USA to Cuba in decades. In a research note to investors issued Wednesday, Wells Fargo analyst Tim Conder suggested the approvals would be a boon for the cruise business. Net yields for the entire industry are likely to get a boost in the Caribbean as a result of the demand for the trips. “It further enhances guest access to a highly desirable cruise destination,” Conder noted.

While the Obama administration has loosened restrictions on travel to Cuba over the past year, U.S. visitors still are limited in the activities they are allowed to do in the country by the terms of the USA’s five-decade-old embargo. The embargo specifies that activities fall within one of 12 approved categories. The categories include educational pursuits such as people-to-people exchanges.

Today’s announcement comes as President-elect Donald Trump threatens to undo the nascent U.S.-Cuba relationship if certain conditions are not met. Trump recently wrote in a Tweet that “if Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate the deal.”


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