November 30, 2017.
If anyone thought travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens had been severely curtailed recently, fear not. Royal Caribbean International will double down on Cuba next summer, with two ships – Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas – and two new destinations added to itineraries.
The added sailings and the new ports of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the southeast coast give cruisers even more ways to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the island. Cuba’s historic cities of Havana, Santiago and Cienfuegos will be among the destinations on an array of 4- to 8-night Caribbean adventures on Empress of the Seas that open for sale today.
Departing from Miami year-round, Empress cruise vacations will include 7-night Best of Cuba itineraries to Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau, Bahamas; 5-night sailings visiting Key West, Florida and spending the night in Havana; and an immersive 8-night journey to Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, and Labadee, Haiti. Majesty of the Seas will continue the 4- and 5-night offerings to Havana that include day and overnight stays, departing from Tampa from April to October 2018, and Ft. Lauderdale from November 2018 to March 2019. All sailings to Cuba will offer shore excursions designed for guests to experience the destination and to comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement as set forth in the U.S. regulations.
Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 1819 with a wide array of visually-stunning attractions, including acclaimed Botanical Gardens with more than 2,000 plant species on display, impressive neoclassical architecture, a 950-seat opera house and the bustling Santa Isabel Boulevard.
Santiago de Cuba is a gateway to Cuba’s revolutionary and religious history, with adventures such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Castillo del Morroto, the Sierra Maestra foothills, El Cobre – one of the most significant religious destinations in Cuba – and historic sites like Revolution Square.