When the first cruise line announced that they would sail from Florida to Havana, it was huge news. After being off limits to cruisers for decades, the “forbidden island” that dominates the Caribbean was now open to American passengers.
Quickly, one ship turned into several, to where every major cruise line now makes trips to Havana. The rise in trips to Cuba is one of the great stories in cruising… and it’s getting better.
Royal Caribbean recently announced it will now have two ships sailing to the country — Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas — on trips lasting from four to eight days.
But what’s most interesting is that Royal Caribbean’s new trips will also take it to other parts of the island in addition to Havana. Specifically, the cruise line will start sailing to Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, both on the southern coast of the island.
According to the cruise line:
“Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 1819 with a wide array of visually-stunning attractions, including acclaimed Botanical Gardens with more than 2,000 plant species on display, impressive neoclassical architecture, a 950-seat opera house and the bustling Santa Isabel Boulevard.
“Santiago de Cuba is a gateway to Cuba’s revolutionary and religious history, with adventures such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castillo del Morroto, the Sierra Maestra foothills, El Cobre – one of the most significant religious destinations in Cuba – and historic sites like Revolution Square.”
The new ports will be available on cruises aboard the Empress of the Seas, which sails from Miami. Stops in Havana (including overnight stays) are available aboard Majesty of the Seas, sailing from Tampa. Trips aboard both ships are already available for booking.
Keep in mind that to go on trips to Cuba legally, you need to qualify under one of 12 reasons for travel. The most common for cruisers is “people-to-people educational exchange” and Royal Caribbean offers shore excursions that meet this requirement.
For more on the trips, check out the video below: