Carnival adds five more Cuba cruises for 2018

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Carnival Cruise Line has tacked on five more voyages featuring extended calls in Havana in 2018.

Like the previously scheduled ones, the cruises are on the Carnival Paradise sailing from Tampa.

They include three five-day cruises to Havana and Cozumel or Key West departing Feb. 17, July 2 and Sept. 5, 2018; a six-day sailing featuring Havana and Grand Cayman departing Aug. 26, 2018; and an eight-day voyage with stops at Havana, Grand Cayman and Cozumel departing Aug. 18, 2018.

All of the cruises include a day-long call and overnight in Havana and the eight-day cruise offers two full days at the Cuban capital.

Majesty of the Seas to sail Cuba cruise in 2019

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Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International’s Majesty of the Seas will become its second ship to visit Cuba in 2019.

The line plans a four-day voyage from Port Canaveral departing March 25, 2019. The cruise will include a full day in Havana. Prices will start at $549 plus taxes and port fees, Royal Caribbean said.

Thus far, Royal Caribbean has only offered Havana on Empress of the Seas itineraries from Tampa, Miami and Port Everglades.

Norwegian Cruise Line arrives in Havana

Photo credit Dave Jones; Norwegian Sky leaving the Port of Miami.

Norwegian Cruise Line made the first call in Cuba in its 50-year history, as the 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky arrived in Havana Harbor shortly after 7 a.m.

The ship docked at the Sierra Maestra Terminal in Old Havana alongside the Adonia, the Fathom ship making one of its final calls in Cuba. Also at anchor in the harbor was the Celestyal ship Crystal.

Sailing roundtrip from Miami on a four-day itinerary, Norwegian Sky will overnight in Havana, allowing two full days of tours before sailing to Great Stirrup Cay on Thursday and returning to Miami on Friday.

The Norwegian Sky docked at the Sierra Maestra Terminal in Old Havana. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst
The Norwegian Sky docked at the Sierra Maestra Terminal in Old Havana. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

In remarks to a group aboard, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings chairman Frank Del Rio said it is appropriate that Norwegian travel again to Cuba after cruise lines have been out of the market for 50 years, because Norwegian is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Del Rio noted that he left Cuba when he was 7 years old, “and then 55 years later I popped in to say hello,” when a ship from NCLH’s Oceania brand made its first call to Cuba in March. NCLH’s Regent Seven Seas Cruises line has also been to Cuba.

“Now this is our third ship, our third brand, our biggest brand, our most important brand. You guys are going to love Havana,” Del Rio said.

The Norwegian Sky will sail weekly to Havana on the four-day itinerary through November.