This Week in Cruise: Two New Ways to Travel to Cuba

santiago del compostelaFollowing the announcement earlier this month that MSC Cruises' MSC Opera would call in Cuba (not to mention plans for Carnival Corp.'s fathom to offer itineraries there), the country continues to be a red-hot cruise destination. This week saw two more companies announce plans for new itineraries in Cuba. 

Haimark Line announced its Saint Laurent will  circumnavigate Cuba on 15 nine-night voyages starting in February 2016.

Operated in conjunction with Florida-based United Caribbean Lines, the 105-cabin vessel will offer roundtrip departures from Miami to Cuba and back beginning February 20, 2016, from $4,599 per person/double occupancy (plus applicable port charges and fees). 
Upon final government approval for this People-to-People cruise product, passengers will have the opportunity to participate in Cuba 360˚; A Circumnavigation of the Cultures of Cuba aboard the Saint Laurent

Globus and Cosmos, meanwhile, have also announced six new Cuba itineraries for 2016, including an opportunity to cruise to the country.

The new People-to-People tours, which range from nine to 17 days, include a new nine-day Cosmos Cuba Discovery program priced from $2,475. In addition, for the first time, Globus is inviting travelers to discover Cuba by Land & Sea with a new 10-day program cruising the Caribbean aboard the Celestyal Crystal, featuring port stops in Havana, Maria La Gorda, Pinar del Río, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. In June, Globus also unveiled a new faith-based Spiritual Journey through Cuba program for travelers interested in the more religious side of the country and its people. 

Examples of People-to-People activities included on Globus and Cosmos’ Cuba itineraries include:

- Interacting with local fishermen and discussing their fishing practices and their community project that helps educate local children on protecting the environment.
- Walking the streets of historic Santiago de Cuba with a local architect and historian and discussing the different architecture styles, influences, and current renovation projects.  
- Enjoying a jazz performance and then meeting with the musicians to discover and share the importance of music in everyone’s lives.
- Having dinner at a family-owned paladar and over dessert, discussing with the owner and staff the free-enterprise system in Cuba and the U.S.
- Venturing through Camagüey’s Plaza del Carmen and admiring the sculptures of Martha Jimenez, the artist who lives, creates and teaches on that plaza, before visiting her home and studio to discuss the inspirations for her work, their importance to the community, and how art motivates people.

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