Havana, Jun 8 (Prensa Latina) The cruise ship travel modality is booming in Cuban tourism today, judging by the most recent reports on the subject, and the strategy of diversifying forms of vacationing on this island.
A report by the Cuban News Agency (ACN) reflects this Friday the growing trend of cruise ship travel to Cuba.
The report points out that more and more cruise companies are incorporating Cuba into their itineraries, even with luxury ships, and large passenger capacity, showing the growing favorable image of this country as a safe destination.
There are currently 17 companies operating in Cuba with 25 vessels, which generated the arrival of more than 500,000 passengers during the end of the high season (November-April), an increase over the previous season of 67 percent.
The report mentions the announcements of the Cuban Minister of Tourism, Manuel Marrero, with new cruise ships to begin operations this year, when it is estimated that there will be more than 700,000 passengers by this route.
Last February the company Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the only luxury North American shipping company with guaranteed permits to offer trips to Cuba, announced the addition of more visits to this Caribbean destination for 2019 and 2020.
The North American Carnival Cruise Line also expanded its routes to Cuba, with the addition of 23 trips to the Caribbean, with stops in Havana for the period 2019-2020.
This company was the first to arrive in Cuba in 2016, event which occurred after 50 years of isolation and thanks to the exceptional permits granted by the Treasury Department under the administration of President Barack Obama.
Until then, the island had been excluded from cruise ship routes in the Caribbean, the world’s leading market for this activity, with a supply of seven thousand itineraries, covering 26 states and territories.
The main ports of Cuba are in Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and Cayo Largo del Sur, with international entrances and exits, while the points of Casilda, Antilles, Puerto Frances and Maria La Gorda also stand out.
At the opening of the last International Tourism Fair (May, Cayo Santa Maria), Marrero commented that actions are being taken to satisfy the high demand for cruise operations and guarantee the quality of services in an environment of environmental preservation.
A major investment program was recently announced that will increase Havana’s two existing cruise terminals to six by 2024.
It was also learned that the management of this port will fall back into the hands of the new joint venture between the Cuban firm Aries and the Turkish corporation Global Ports Holding, the largest cruise ship port operator in the world.