Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean announced plans to launch cruises from the U.S. to Cuba on Wednesday after inking a deal with the Cuban government. The two companies will be among the first to offer sailings since the U.S. first relaxed travel restrictions to the island nation in 2015.
Norwegian will make its first voyage from Miami to Havana in March 2017, continuing trips through April and May. Shore excursions will offer an “authentic Cuban experience that explores the people, art, history and culture of the island,” according to a company press release.
Royal Caribbean hasn’t announced a start date for its cruises, but promises “people-to-people exchanges between guests and Cuban citizens” on voyages “in the near future.”
“People-to-people” exchanges are one of the categories of activities that U.S. travelers must adhere to in order to comply with government rules regarding travel to the island.
Last spring, Carnival Corp. launched a Cuba cruise of its own under a new “voluntourism” brand called Fathom. But Fathom didn’t catch on, and will stop making exclusive Cuba trips in May, USA Today reports, though Carnival is reportedly exploring other means of cruising to Cuba in the future.
Norwegian, meanwhile, will debut sale dates for its Cuba cruises starting Thursday.
We can’t wait.