Cruise Lines to Wait and See on New Cuba Travel Restrictions

Carnival Paradise docked in Havana Cuba
Carnival is one of the cruise lines offering Cuba itineraries. // Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Following this week’s announcement by the Trump administration regarding additional restrictions on nonfamily travel to Cuba, cruise lines Travel Agent has spoken with have adopted a wait-and-see approach on how the new rules could affect their itineraries that call in the country. 

Spokespeople for Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. have all told Travel Agent that they are monitoring the situation following this week’s announcement, but that they have not made any changes to their Cuba itineraries at this time. 

“We’re reviewing the recent statements to evaluate their impact on our guests and our company,” a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which owns the Cuba-sailing Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises brands, tells Travel Agent. “For now, we are sailing our Cuba itineraries as scheduled and will keep our guests updated if anything changes.”

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“We are closely monitoring recent developments with respect to US-Cuba travel,” says an NCLH spokesperson. “At this time no new regulations have been issued and accordingly, the Company’s itineraries which include Cuba as a destination will continue as scheduled.” All three NCLH brands -- Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises -- offer Cuba itineraries.

“We are still evaluating this announcement, but we have not made any changes to our itineraries,” says a spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line. “Booked guests will receive a communication if their itinerary is impacted.”

The Trump administration announced Wednesday new restrictions on nonfamily travel to Cuba, as well as additional limits on the amount of money Cuban-Americans can sent to their relatives on the island. The details of the restrictions, however, have not yet been announced, and it is at this time unclear as to which of the 12 categories of nonfamily travel the restrictions could affect. 

The Trump administration tightened restrictions on travel to Cuba shortly after taking office, causing a number of airlines, including Alaska Airlines, to either scale back on flights to the country or cut them entirely. At the same time, a number of cruise lines have continued to call at the destination. 

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