A new U.S. cruise ship docked on Thursday, December 28, in Port Havana in a bid to promote Cuba as one of the most important destinations in the Caribbean despite the setback in bilateral ties.
The ship continued sailing to the southern Cuban city of Cienfuegos. There passengers will engage in educational and cultural activities.
During the inaugural ceremony, Holland America President Orlando Ashford shared that the ocean united the two peoples and Carnival Corporation would continue to bet on the island as one of the major destinations worldwide.
After 37 years, he added, Carnival brand returned to Cuba, a place that offered warmth and hospitality to cruise guests.
According to official figures, a total of 579,288 Americans visited the country between January-November 2017, registering a 248.7% increase compared with 2016.
However, there has been a reduction in American travelers in recent weeks due to prohibitions by the U.S. and a travel warning issued in September by the State Department recommending Americans not visit the island.