Inside a Big Week for Cuba Travel

Havana Cuba
Photo by YinYang/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

A host of cruise lines and companies offering independent packages have rolled out new options for travel to Cuba this week. 

In cruise news, fresh off the approval of parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ (NLCH) by the Cuban government for travel to the countryRegent Seven Seas Cruises has added Havana to two Caribbean voyages aboard Seven Seas Mariner in April 2017. The two voyages, April 11 and 18, will both overnight in Havana, giving guests time to experience the rich culture and history of the city. 

The two voyages on Seven Seas Mariner featuring Havana are identical. Along with a visit to Cuba’s capital, they will both call on the new resort-style destination in Belize called Harvest Caye. Below is the detailed itinerary for the voyages on April 11 and 18, 2017.

Seven Seas Mariner Caribbean Cruises Featuring Havana, Cuba
April 11 / April 18 Miami (Embarkation Port)
April 12 / April 19 Havana, Cuba
April 13 / April 20 Havana, Cuba
April 14 / April 21 At Sea
April 15 / April 22 Harvest Caye, Belize
April 16 / April 23 Costa Maya, Mexico
April 17 / April 24 At Sea
April 18 / April 25 Miami (Disembarkation)

For these voyages, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will provide a selection of shore excursions as part of its free unlimited shore excursion program. All tours will offer guests chance to explore the people, music, art, history and culture of the island and are in compliance with the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC)regulations. Additionally, guest scholars and expert lecturers will deliver presentations about Cuba’s past, present and future.  

The seven-night Caribbean cruises aboard Seven Seas Mariner featuring Havana, Cuba start at $2,999 per person and include airfare, unlimited shore excursions, Wi-Fi, fine wine and spirits, along with other amenities.  

Oceania Cruises will be the first of the NLCH brands to begin Cuba cruises, kicking things off with one 14-day and two 10-day Caribbean cruises from Miami aboard Marina. Each of these voyages will call at Havanawith two of the voyages staying overnight and offering guests two full days in the destination. All three are available for booking. 

Further itinerary details will be available later this month for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and on December 20 for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean International has opened bookings for its Cuba cruises, which will begin with a five-night itinerary onboard the newly renovated Empress of the Seas before the ship repositions to Tampa, where it will offer two itineraries with calls to Havana on April 30 (seven-night sailing) and May 20 (five-night sailing). 

Bookings are available for one Azamara Club Cruises itinerary that will call in Havana, a voyage that sails roundtrip from Miami onboard the Azamara Quest on March 21, 2017. The 13-night Azaleas, Bourbon Street and Havana itinerary will include visits to Key West, Florida, Tampa, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana (2 overnights), Cozumel, Mexico and an overnight stay in Havana. Azamara said that it looks to add additional ports of call in Cuba to several of its itineraries in time. 

Also this week Pearl Seas Cruises received approval for cruises to Cuba. Pearl Seas will launch its Cuba itineraries from Florida starting in January 2017 with a 10-night cruise scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale on January 17. The trip will circumnavigate the island, visiting Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and Santiago de Cuba on the 210 passenger Pearl Mist. In all, the company has 11 cruises planned during January through May next year, each of which will be 10 nights in length and will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. 

Finally, Celestyal Cruises announced its fourth year of cruise operations in Cuba. This season the line will sail year-round to the country, offering a people-to-people itinerary for U.S. passengers. The cruises include two days in Havana, with calls also at Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. 

In tour operator news, Delta Vacations is now selling packages for Cuba travel targeting independent-minded vacationers. With travel dates available starting as early as January 5, 2017, Delta recommends that travelers become familiar with OFAC rules regarding their trip before considering travel options. Daily flights are available to Havana from New York/JFK, Atlanta and Miami