Carnival Corporation has announced that Cuba has granted approval for the company to begin travel to Cuba starting on May 1, 2016.
Following U.S. authorization granted in July 2015, Carnival Corp. is now cleared to operate the 704-passenger MV Adonia to Cuba through its newest brand, Fathom.
This marks the first time in over 50 years a cruise ship is approved to sail from the United States to Cuba. Cuban authorities from Havanatur Celimar, various other agencies and Carnival Corp. Monday signed agreements enabling cruising by Carnival Corporation to Cuba.
The announcement came on the same day President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro met in Havana, a historic gathering that marked a new era in relations between the two countries. President Obama and President Castro tussled over differences on human rights and democracy but pledged to keep working on a new path forward between their two countries.
"Our Carnival Corporation and Fathom brand teams have worked closely with Cuba throughout this process and we are thrilled to begin regular sailings to Cuba from Miami starting on May 1, 2016," said Tara Russell, president of Carnival Corporation's new Fathom brand. "We have been told that we will be the first cruise line to sail from the U.S. to Cuba with our historic inaugural sailing."
During each sailing, Carnival Corp. through its Fathom brand initially will visit Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, three ports of call for which Carnival Corp. has obtained berthing approval.
Onboard programming will include a wide variety of activities, ranging from an orientation to Cuba's history, customs and culture, to geographic-inspired entertainment, to casual and fun personal enrichment activities, to conversational Spanish lessons, to guided sessions with the Fathom team.
The first Fathom cruise ship will leave Port of Miami at 4:30 p.m. on May 1 and will arrive in Havana at 11 a.m. the following day. Regular weekend sailing will take place every other week.
Prices start at $1,800 excluding the cost of a Cuban visa, fees, taxes and port charges. Meals, cultural exchange activities and ground transportation are included.
For more information on the cruises, click here.