Havana Harbor will truly get crowded in 2017. On Thursday, December 9, Connecticut-based line Pearl Seas Cruises announced it gained approval to sail to Cuba from Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale on 10-night trips to island’s capital city and several other cities on the sourthern border of Cuba.
The line is scheduled to depart for its first voyage on Jan. 17 aboard the 210-passenger Pearl Mist. The full trip will circumnavigate the island, staying overnight in Havana, and stopping in Isla de la Juventud, Trinidad, El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba and Parque Baconao. Eleven Cuba voyages are planned between January and May.
Pearl’s announcement brings the number of American cruise lines that gained Cuban approval this week to six. The others — Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s NCL-Norwegian, Oceania and RSSC-Regent Seven Seas, and Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises — were approved within minutes of each other on Wednesday.
The three cruise companies — Pearl, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean — were among several that were rushing to seal deals with Cuba before the start of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, which has promised to roll back engagement with Cuba.
All three cruise lines will be participating in “cultural” voyages, as Pearl calls its Cuba trips, which fall under the people-to-people social exchange visa category of approved travel to Cuba from the U.S.
Trips on the Pearl Mist start at USD 7,810.