Major Cruise Lines Release New Itineraries for Scheduled Cruises to Cuba

   July 19, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

RCI-Royal Caribbean announced new plans for two cruise liners that had been sailing on Cuba itineraries after the USA restricted cruise travel to Cuba in June 2019. RCI previously announced it was working on securing alternative itineraries but didn't disclose their ports of call.

Prior to the US travel ban, Majesty of the Seas was sailing from Florida to Key West FL and Havana. Beginning in 2020, the vessel will sail year-round weekly voyages from homeport NOLA New Orleans, doing roundtrips to Bahamas, including company's CocoCay Island

RCI's oldest ship - Empress of the Seas - used to visit 3 Cuban ports - Cienfuegos, Santiago, and Havana. The vessel will remain homeported in PortMiami FL with itineraries replacing Cuban seaports, mainly with Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island and Key West FL. Cruise lengths vary 4 to 8 days.

More than a week-long itineraries feature visit St Thomas USVI and Tortola BVI in addition to San Juan Puerto Rico and CocoCay Bahamas. There will be 5 voyages in early 2020 that are due to group Labadee, St Thomas, Virgin Gorda, and San Juan.

RCI joins other major cruise lines revising their previously scheduled USA to Cuba itineraries. NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line, which operates the only Cuba-bound liner from Port Canaveral FL, announced it would auto-cancel all departures beyond September 2 with planned visits to Cuba. Itineraries prior September 2 will be modified to visit other call ports. The former Cuban itineraries of Norwegian Sky (from Miami) and Norwegian Sun (from Port Canaveral) will include Great Stirrup Cay, Freeport, Key West, and Nassau, instead of Havana.

Carnival Cruise Line's visits to Cuba were replaced with Bermuda, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Key West, Half Moon Cay Island, Ocho Rios Jamaica, and Princess Cays Bahamas. Depending on the itinerary, these call ports serve as either a Cuban port replacement or as part of a new itinerary.