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Cruise Ship From Miami Makes Historic First Trip to Cuba

Big-Cruise-ShipMonday, May 2, 2106, marked an important day for the United States, Cuba, and the cruise line industry, when a U.S. Cruise Ship arrived in Havana, Cuba, for the first time in over 50 years.  Passengers were excited to be the first in decades to witness the Havana skyline appear as the cruise ship Fathom Adonia arrived at port in Havana from Miami, Florida.  The week-long voyage will circumnavigate the island of Cuba, with stops along the way in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.  Passengers will have ample opportunity to experience Cuban culture and interact with the people of Cuba during the trip.

Beginning in December of 2014 the United States and Cuba have been liberalizing travel restrictions as part of rapprochement efforts to normalize relations between the neighboring countries.  Since then, the countries’ have reestablished embassies in Havana and Washington, resumed direct flights, President Obama has visited Cuba, and many U.S. businesses have begun operating on the Cuban mainland.  However, until very recently a Cuban policy from the Cold War era barred those born in Cuba from entering or leaving the island by sea, effectively prohibiting Cuban-Americans from taking a cruise from the U.S. to Cuba.  The Cuban government’s policy of denying cruise passage to Cuban-born citizens of the U.S. was widely denounced, and hindered the operation of cruises set to visit Cuba.  However, on April 22, 2016, the Cuban government announced that cruise liners and merchant ships would no longer be subject to the policy.

Following the policy change the Fathom Adonia embarked on its maiden voyage to Cuba, and 16 Cuban-American’s were among the first group of passengers to make the journey to their homeland by sea. Cruise Ships from the U.S. are now expected to bring thousands of visitors to Cuba in the coming months. Read more here.

By: TDG

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