Norwegian Cruise Line finally got the call it has been seeking from the Cuban government – allowing cruises to Cuba sailing from Miami, beginning in May 2017! That includes Norwegian’s sister lines, too – Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“We are tremendously excited to have all three of our award-winning brands receive approval from authorities in Cuba to offer cruises to Cuba from the United States,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio, who was born in Cuba.

“This is truly a dream come true for me, and I cannot wait for our loyal guests to experience the sights and sounds of my hometown of Havana and get to know its rich culture and its warm and welcoming residents,” he said.

Havana’ good time…

This is the first time a cruise company has won an approval for multiple brands in a strategic move into the Cuban market. Cruisers will set sail on the 1,928-passenger NCL Norwegian Sky, the 1,250-passenger Oceania Marina and the 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner.

Cruise tourism to Cuba remains bound by the people-to-people framework in place since 1982, which requires shore excursions to be structured to promote exchange activities, such as cultural and humanitarian visits.

Royal Caribbean® were also among the cruise companies whose applications were accepted, with Empress of the Seas® planned to undergo the bucket-list Florida to Cuba route.

Time to set sail?

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