The French-flagged luxury cruise line Ponant will open its Cuba cruises to vacationers from the United States starting 2017. Ponant is the second cruise line during the last month to get permission from the government of Cuba to do so. Carnival's Fathom brand received permission on March 21.
The "People-to-People Cultural Exchange" cruises of Ponant will run 7 or 8 nights onboard the Le Ponant. The sailings will operate from early Jan 2017 through Apr 2017 (and again in 2018) roundtrip out of Miami. The ship will be making calls at Santiago de Cuba and Havana.
"Ponant has been introducing Europeans to Cuba in the past and we are now delighted to offer Americans this enriching opportunity," said CEO of the Americas for Ponant, Navin Sawhney.
Pearl Seas Cruises is also selling voyages to Cuba sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, but hasn't yet announced approval from the government and had to cancel the first two planned cruises. Americans can now book sailings on Cuba Cruise, a Canadian company that offers voyages from Montego Bay and Havana. The American-owned company International Expeditions also runs people-to-people sailings for Americans from Havana.
MSC had a ship homeported in Havana. In late 2016 the company will add another. However, those sailings are not open to Americans.