WASHINGTON.– The culture, security and natural beauty of Cuba continue to attract the cruise industry, despite the measures of the current U.S. administration that reinforce the blockade.
U.S. company Carnival Cruise Line announced that in 2019 it will offer 17 new trips to Cuba on board the Carnival Sensation, with five-day trips departing from South Florida.
According to a statement from the firm, cited by Prensa Latina, the trips will include a day in Havana, as well as stops at popular ports in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, including Grand Turk Island, Grand Cayman, Nassau and the private destinations of Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays.
According to surveys conducted with visitors, Cuba stands among their favorite destinations of the Caribbean, a region with high international standards for this industry.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, noted that Cuba is a sought after destination and the firm is delighted to offer its customers even more opportunities to experience and explore this “fascinating island.”
All cruise trips organized from the United States to Cuba must comply with strict U.S. Treasury Department regulations.
The Republican administration headed by President Donald Trump announced last June a series of measures that restrict travel between the two countries and reinforce the economic blockade applied against Cuba for more than half a century.
U.S. cruise companies have had to adapt their itineraries to the travel categories approved by Washington, as Cuba remains the only destination to which U.S. visitors are forbidden by law to travel as tourists.
In the same way and using excuses without any scientific basis, the State Department issued a level 3 (of 4) travel warning on Cuba with the recommendation to “reconsider travel” to the island.
These attacks contrast with the international recognition of Cuba’s safety as a tourist destination and the level of satisfaction shown by more than four million visitors to the country last year.
Despite Washington’s new regulations, Cuba received almost 620,000 U.S. visitors in 2017, more than twice as many as in the previous year.
The interest in visiting Cuba does not seem to be subsiding. The announcement by Carnival Cruise Line appeared just a few days after the U.S. companies Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line also announced an increase in trips to the Caribbean island.
Despite the restrictions imposed by the U.S. blockade to advance bilateral relations and especially maritime-port activity, and the new measures announced by the Trump administration, Cuban authorities have stated that the country plans to implement a broad program of port infrastructure development, aimed at boosting cruise tourism in the different ports of the country, taking into account that the arrival of cruise passengers is increasing year on year.