This Week in Cruise: New in Cuba

Havana Cuba
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It’s been another busy week for cruises to Cuba, with both Oceania Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line announcing new itineraries calling at the once-forbidden island. 

This week Oceania Cruises announced a new series of itineraries calling at Havana and, in a first for the line, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The new itineraries will take place this November and December onboard the Insignia, with shore excursions and onboard activities emphasizing the local culture. Departures will range in length from six days to 13 days and sail from Miami

Also this week, Carnival Cruise Line became the second Carnival Corp. brand to receive approval to sail to Cuba. The line will add Havana calls to select Carnival Paradise itineraries from Tampa beginning this June. The overnight visits will take place on 12 four- and five-day cruises, each of which will also include a stop in either Cozumel or Key West

The news comes as travel to Cuba is projected to continue growing, according to a new survey by Travel Leaders Group. 22 percent of Travel Leaders agents say they’ve already booked clients for travel to Cuba this year, with 59 percent reporting that clients have expressed interest in the country for this year. 

“While there is some uncertainty about the views of the current U.S. administration on the future of Cuba relations, the momentum of public opinion among the American traveling public for unfettered access to Cuba continues,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko in a statement announcing the findings. “Our travel agent experts are continuing to assist clients who have a desire to visit Cuba this year while observing the existing law.” 

Other cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, also announced more itineraries to the country earlier this month. On the land side, Kempinski Hotels just announced a big luxury hotel project set to debut in Havana — look for that in the second quarter of this year. 

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