Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced that Cuba has granted approval for the company to begin travel to Cuba starting on May 1, 2016.
Following US authorisation granted in July 2015, Carnival Corporation 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 Corporation today signed agreements enabling cruising by Carnival Corporation to Cuba.
"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 said. "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."
"We are excited about Cuban approval and are ready to take travellers there through an extraordinary guest experience on the beautiful MV Adonia," Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said. "This is a historic opportunity, and we know there is pent-up demand amongst Americans who want to experience Cuba. We believe there is no better way to experience so much of Cuba in seven days. Everyone who sails with us with Fathom to Cuba will have a very special, rewarding and enriching experience with our Fathom brand."
Fathom Cuban itineraries feature three ports of call. During each sailing, Carnival Corporation through its Fathom brand initially will visit Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, three ports of call for which Carnival Corporation has obtained berthing approval.
As part of this historic sailing in this inaugural year, travellers will enjoy an exciting Cuban experience and will sail aboard the 704-passenger MV Adonia, where they can choose to partake in onboard experiences, including Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired music and film options, as well as Cuban-inspired menu options.
Special onboard programming will include a wide variety of activities covering an array of interests, 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.
"We are humbled and honoured to offer a one-of-a-kind Cuban experience to our travellers," Ms Russell said.
Prices for seven-day itineraries to Cuba start at US$1800 per person, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard experiences and on-the ground activities. Prices will vary by season. For more information visit http://www.fathom.org/.