Fewer airplanes but more cruise ships going to Cuba after Norwegian adds
BY CHABELI HERRERA
Visiting Cuba by sea is turning into the preferred method for American
travelers — at least for now.
On Monday, Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line announced it is adding a
second ship for four-day cruises to Havana, following a barrage of
announcements from airlines about reduced or canceled service to Cuba.
Norwegian, which already sails with the 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky
from PortMiami, will now also add voyages with the 1,936-passenger
Norwegian Sun, but from Orlando’s Port Canaveral, in the summer of 2018.
The Sun, like the Sky, will also offer all-inclusive sailings, which
means unlimited drinks.
“Our all-inclusive model aboard Norwegian Sky has been very
well-received and as we evaluated the opportunity to expand upon that
concept, we felt that Port Canaveral was the ideal location to offer our
guests a value-rich onboard experience and exciting action-packed
ports-of-call, including an overnight call in Havana, Cuba,” said Andy
Stuart, president and CEO for Norwegian Cruise Line, in a statement.
The Sun’s four-day cruises will also include a stop in Key West. The
ship will also sail three-day cruises to the Bahamas from Orlando. The
trips begin in May 2018.
Norwegian, as well as other major cruise lines including Carnival Cruise
Line and Royal Caribbean International, have continued to add sailings
to Cuba as other travel sectors have struggled to gauge demand to the
island. Airlines have concentrated most of their flights to Havana,
where demand has remained strong, and eliminated flights to other parts
of the island.
But cruise lines, experts say, have experienced continued growth largely
because they bring their own accommodations and coordinate tours, making
it easier for American travelers to follow the changing restrictions for
travel to the island.
American travelers must fit within one of the 12 categories of
authorized travel to Cuba, including the popular “people-to-people”
cultural visits that include most cruise passengers. President Donald
Trump recently amended some of those restrictions, barring Americans
from taking individual people-to-people trips and doing businesses with
entities that are owned and controlled by Cuba’s military. Exactly how
the policy works will depend on regulations that have yet to be released.
Chabeli Herrera: 305-376-3730, @ChabeliH
Source: Norwegian Cruise Line adds second ship to Cuba from Orlando |
Miami Herald –