Royal Caribbean Moves to Cuba Cruise Market

By ,   May 22, 2016 ,   Cruise Industry

During a press conference on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas inaugural cruise on May 21, Saturday, President and CEO Michael Bayley indicated the cruise line could move into Cuban cruise market as early as late July.

Empress of the Seas

Image: royalcaribbeanblog.com

"We are looking forward to being able to sail to Cuba, and we are in the process of talking to the various authorities to get the various permissions that are required. Once we get them, we will announce deployment of one of our ships, and there is a very strong likelihood it will be Empress of the Seas.

"The ship is currently going through a refit, coming out May 28. As it's currently on sale until the end of July, we wouldn't be going until the end of July / beginning of August, assuming we get the correct permission from the Cuban Government."

Empress of the Seas recently re-joined Royal Caribbean fleet and entered into dry dock refurbishment in February. The vessel was scheduled to sail under Royal Caribbean from March 30, but the refurbishment turned out to be much more complicated than anticipated. A total of 13 cruises, scheduled between March 30-May 23, were cancelled as a result by the line.