French luxury cruise line gets approval to take Americans to Cuba
Ponant will start sailing Americans around Cuba to various ports in 2017
Second line to gain approval; Carnival’s Fathom brand was the first
The cruises will only be available for non-Cuban-born Americans
BY CHABELI HERRERA
The port of Havana is about to get more crowded.
French luxury line Ponant earned approval from the Cuban government
Thursday to start taking Americans to the island in 2017, making it the
second cruise line to gain the opportunity to take U.S. travelers to Cuba.
Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand obtained Cuban approval on March 21
to carry U.S. passengers to Cuba beginning May 1, marking the first time
a U.S. cruise line will sail to the island nation in more than 50 years.
While Fathom will begin sailing from Miami, Ponant will fly guests from
Miami to Havana, where they will board the ship.
The cruise line, which has previously taken Europeans to the island,
will operate seven- and eight-night itineraries aboard its 64-passenger
sailing yacht, Le Ponant, with trips that include airfare to and from
Miami and the voyage around Cuba to various ports.
“Ponant has been introducing Europeans to Cuba in the past and we are
now delighted to offer Americans this enriching opportunity from a most
comfortable setting aboard a cruise on Le Ponant,” said Navin Sawhney,
Ponant’s CEO for the Americas.
Non-Cuban-born Americans will be able to participate in people-to-people
trips, one of the 12 visa categories authorized for American travel to
Cuba. Travelers who were born in Cuba and later became U.S. citizens
cannot go on the cultural exchange trips.
Sailings on Le Ponant will run from January to April of 2017 and 2018. A
sample eight-day itinerary includes stops in Havana, Isla de la
Juventud, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba before
flying back to Havana and then Miami. The trip starts at $8,190 per
person, including airfare.
Fathom’s seven-day trips will leave from Miami and include a two-day
stop in Havana and one-day stops in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The
704-passenger Adonia will take passengers on cultural immersion trips
every other week beginning in May.
Source: French luxury cruise line gets approval to take Americans to
Cuba | Miami Herald –