Largest U.S. cruise ship looking to cash-in on post-Castro Cuba hype
Norwegian Cruise Line is looking to cash-in on post-Castro Cuban hype offering weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba.
Norwegian Cruise Line is looking to cash in on the renewed interest in Cuba after the death of Fidel Castro and the open doors policy promoted by former President Obama.
The company is offering weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba on board the largest U.S. cruise ship, the Norwegian Sky which, at the beginning of May made its maiden voyage, docking in the port of Havana.
The trip was considered another milestone for the U.S.-Cuba touristic relationship.
“Is a momentous day for Norwegian Cruise Line, our guests and our travel agent partners, as we open our doors to Cuba’s natural beauty, warm people and historical treasures,” said Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President & CEO. “Sailing into the Havana Harbor today, we were welcomed by the Cuban people with open arms and excitement to share their incredible culture with our guests.”
The company’s chiefs were on board as the Norwegian Sky made its way into Havana, sailing overnight from Miami, whit other over 2,000 passengers.
“Our cruises to Cuba offer our guests a unique opportunity to engage in true cultural immersion with the freedom and flexibility to explore this destination on their own timetable and as they choose,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO. “We look forward to our guests experiencing the wonderful hospitality of the Cuban people aboard each of our many sailings to Cuba to come.”
— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) May 5, 2017
The ship will sail a total of 53 four-day voyages to Cuba, with 52 including an overnight stay in the historical and culturally-rich capital of Havana. Norwegian Sky will bring guests to the very heart of Havana, offering guests the opportunity to visit historical sites such as Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Americans looking to learn more about the Cuban culture can book trips which include farm-to-table experiences, exploring the flora and fauna of Soroa, and visiting modern Havana in an American classic car.
Norwegian Sky is the largest of nearly half a dozen cruise ships that have sailed from the USA to Cuba for the first time in the last two months.
Travel companies are heavily promoting Cuba especially as there is an increased interest and also, a shift in policy. On the other hand, tourism operators are worried that this new opportunity will be lost as president Donald Trump has criticised Obama’s policy towards Cuba and has signalled that his administration could turn the tide of change.
Meanwhile, cruise operators and airline companies are establishing new routes from America to Cuba, and are trying to shift the focus from Havana towards other parts of the island, to avoid overcrowding.
— Cruise Norwegian (@CruiseNorwegian) May 2, 2017
The Cuban government also expects a rise in tourism, an industry that has just recently begun to flourish and that could provide the financial footing for modernising the country.