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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

What's Next for Cuban Cruises?

Heading to Cuba will soon be just a cruise away.

Currently, Carnival Corporation’s Fathom is the only mainstream cruise line sailing from the U.S. – Miami, Florida, to be precise – to Cuba, but that exclusivity is likely to change very soon as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited are seeking their own permission.

Let’s take a look at what cruise lines and ships are next in line.

To be sure, MSC Cruises is another major cruise company that already sails to Cuba, but without U.S. citizens at this time, and several other boutique cruise operators like Celestyal Cruises, Group IST and International Expeditions take those from the U.S. However, they do not sail directly from American shores nor is it known if Ponant will either when it plans to deploy there in 2017.

Ones that do intend to sail from the U.S. to Cuba come fall 2016, that are still awaiting approval from the Cuban government, are Pearl Seas Cruises and presumably Victory Cruise Lines, set to operate former Haimark Line’s Saint Laurent as Victory I. Also needing final approval before its planned 2017 arrival will be Viking Ocean Cruises. Having spoke to its chairman and chief executive officer Torstein Hagen, he doesn’t expect any problems in receiving it as the line’s program is already heavily cultural and people-to-people in focus.

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