Carnival Gets The Official Go-Ahead For Cruises From Miami To Cuba

After scoring its license last July, Carnival Cruise Line says it’s gotten official approval for cruises from the United States to Cuba starting in May.

Cuban authorities said they’d granted permission to Carnival for the 740-passenger Adonia’s inaugural voyage from Miami to Havana departing May 1, reports the Miami Herald. This will be the first time in more than 50 years that a cruise ship has traveled from the U.S. to the island nation.

“Today we’ve made history,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp., in a call from Havana. “This is a historic opportunity, and we know there is pent-up demand amongst Americans who want to experience Cuba.”

Travelers will set sail on seven-day cruises with Carnival’s Fathom brand, which offers cultural exchange programs. That’s one of the approved categories of travel to the island nation under new rules which allow for “people-to-people educational travel.”

Until recently, Americans could travel to Cuba, but usually only if they were part of a large educational group or if they were working as a journalist. Now, as long as you have a “full-time schedule of educational exchange activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities,” you can travel to Cuba under the amended regulations.

Carnival gets approval to start cruising from Miami to Cuba in May [Miami Herald]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.