Cuba will triple the size of its Havana cruise terminal in response to the popularity of Cuba cruises among US travelers. The addition of four extra berths will enable the main Havana port to host six cruise ships at a time, welcoming 1-2 million passengers annually. The expansion is scheduled for completion by 2024.
Cruising best way to visit Cuba
Cruising to Cuba has become the most popular way to visit the island nation. Cruising enables US travelers to stay in compliance with US regulations regarding Cuba visits. Plus, cruise visitors can more easily follow with Cuban laws which restrict eating and shopping at government-owned businesses. Demand for cruise travel to Cuba has resulted in all major cruise line companies increasing the number of cruises they offer to the highly popular destination.
Since President Barack Obama eased the decades-long US travel ban to Cuba, the number of visitors to the island has increased exponentially. The number of cruise travelers visiting Cuba in 2017 showed a 156 percent increase compared to 2016 figures.
Istanbul-based Global Port Holdings (GPH) will manage the expansion for Cuba. The company’s CEO Emre Sayin stated in an interview with Skift that “We’ve been dreaming of getting into Havana. There’s nowhere like it in the Caribbean with the history, heritage and culture, so it’s a great starting point for us there.” GPH manages 14 ports worldwide, including Lisbon and Singapore. GPH’s 15-year management agreement for the Havana port marks the company’s first entry into the Americas.
Our Take: Exciting news! Like most LGBTQ cruise travelers, we’ve dreamed of visiting Cuba since back when it was forbidden to US citizens. We’re already practicing our mambo for next year when our MMOB cruise aboard Azamara Journey docks in Havana!
More info at: Skift