Royal Caribbean deploys second ship to Cuba, adds ports

Majesty of the Seas will sail four- and five-night cruises to Havana, pictured, while Empress of the Seas will offer varied cruises including the new ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba Majesty of the Seas will sail four- and five-night cruises to Havana, pictured, while Empress of the Seas will offer varied cruises including the new ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba

Next summer Royal Caribbean International's Majesty of the Seas will join Empress of the Seas in sailing to Cuba, and the company added two ports on the island to its itineraries.

Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the southeast coast join the lineup. Together with Havana, they'll be among the destinations on an array of four- to eight-night cruises operated by Empress of the Seas that open for sale today.

Offered year-round from Miami, Empress itineraries include seven-night 'Best of Cuba' programs to Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau, Bahamas; five-night sailings visiting Key West and spending the night in Havana; and an immersive eight-night journey to Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman and Labadee, Haiti.

Majesty of the Seas will continue the four- and five-night offerings to Havana that include day and overnight stays, departing from Tampa from April to October 2018, and Port Everglades from November 2018 to March 2019. (Last summer Royal Caribbean had said Majesty would sail one cruise to Cuba from Port Canaveral in March 2019.)

All the Cuba sailings offer shore excursions designed to comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement set forth in US regulations.

'Cruising remains the easiest way to visit Cuba, and with both Empress and Majesty sailing there in 2018 and 2019, we hope to make it that much easier for adventure seekers to experience the legendary island,' RCI president and CEO Michael Bayley said.

The news immediately follows meetings this week in Havana between leaders of US-based cruise companies that have agreements to sail to Cuba and government officials.

Posted 30 November 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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