Florida-based cruise lines to pay $400M for use of Havana Port (Cuba)

   January 1, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Beth Bloom (Miami District Judge) ruled on Friday, December 30th, that 4 Florida-based cruise shipping companies must pay US$400+ million in damages for use of a Cuban seaport.

The damages need to be paid to the American company which had the concession to some of the port piers in Havana (Cuba) that had been unlawfully expropriated by Fidel Castro in 1960.

It is the first ruling under a law punishing "trafficking in stolen property" in Cuba.

In March 2022, Judge Bloom ruled that a number of companies, with South Florida ties, traveled to Cuba taking part in "prohibited tourism" by carrying cruise tourists to the island nation/profiting from the use of Port Havana's facilities.

Court documents read that CCL-Carnival, NCL-Norwegian, RCI-Royal Caribbean, and MSC SA had earned at least US$1 billion in doing so.

Judge Bloom sided with Havana Docks company which held a concession to operate the Port. She ruled that by using the cruise terminal, or one of its piers, the lines had "committed trafficking acts."

Havana Docks filed lawsuits against the 4 companies for their use of Port Havana between 2015-2019, when cruise travel to Cuba was authorized.

Port of Havana (Cuba)

This ruling is expected to be appealed by the cruise companies.