Holland America to Visit Cuba on Caribbean Cruises from Fort Lauderdale
Cruise News – May 24, 2017
Holland America Line has announced its approval to begin sailing to Cuba from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starting with the December 22, 2017, 12-day holiday cruise aboard the 1,350-guest ms Veendam.
The series of 7-, 11-, and 12-day Caribbean itineraries through April 2018 will feature combinations of Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Key West, Florida; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
“For many, travel is about seeking new places to explore and discovering meaningful new cultural opportunities,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Cuba is one of the most sought-after new destinations for many of our guests.”
As leaders in destination immersion and experiential travel, Holland America Line adds Cuba to its itineraries to provide guests with a thoughtful cultural exchange experience. Most itineraries include an extended call at Havana, allowing time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and immerse in a wide array of historical and cultural adventures. Additionally, a stop at Cienfuegos presents the opportunity for a special visit to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cuba’s province of Sancti Spíritus.
On board, the Cuba experience will be enhanced through the line’s Explorations Central, or EXC program, featuring EXC Guides who will bring the destination to life through presentations and EXC Talks that will enable guests to deepen their understanding of the Caribbean’s largest island. Also enriching the Cuba experience for guests are EXC Port Maps created for the Cuban calls, EXC Encounters that will showcase the culture and history of Cuba to guests before they visit the ports, and more. In addition, educational and cultural EXC Tours are being developed in and near Havana and Cienfuegos with a highlight being Trinidad, one of the best-preserved historic towns in the Caribbean.
The visits to Havana and Cienfuegos comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Holland America becomes Carnival Corporation’s third cruise line to be approved to sail to Cuba following the company’s historic inaugural sailings to the island last year aboard Fathom’s Adonia, and, more recently, Carnival Cruise Line.
Bookings for Holland America’s cruises to Cuba will open May 26, 2017. Guests booked on Veendam’s previous deployment will be given a full refund and opportunity to book on another Holland America Line voyage.
Photos: Holland America Line