NCL Holdings headed to Cuba

By ,   August 6, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

NCLH (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings), parent company of NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line), Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania, is planning Cuba cruises.

During the second quarter conference call of the company, the President and CEO of NCLH Frank Del Rio announced that the company had applied for People to People licenses from U.S. Treasury & Commerce Department, and was in talks with the government of Cuba. 

Del Rio said he didn't know the timeline for any of the 3 licenses to come through. However, he was hopeful that they would happen before the year was out. Del Rio also shared that the first sailings could be from the Oceania brand of NCLH, which had small ships working best with the Cuban port infrastructure. 

In early July, Carnival Corporation's new brand, fathom, announced it would begin offering itineraries to Cuba in May 2016. MSC Cruises also announced that its 2,120-guest MSC Opera would homeport in Havana for 2015-2016 winter season on sixteen 7-night departures. American cruisers on MSC itineraries must have either a special OFAC (U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control) license to travel, or fall within the 12 categories permitted travel to Cuba under regulations, released recently by Obama administration.