Royal Caribbean Cruises approved to begin Cuba service
MIAMI - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) has been granted approval by the Cuban government for the company to begin cruises to Cuba. The company said it plans to announce its first Florida-Cuba itineraries in the near future.
"Our guests have expressed real interest in having the opportunity to experience Cuba, and we look forward to bringing them there," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean. "Our discussions with our travel partners indicate that Cuba is a destination that appeals to a new generation of travelers."
Two RCL lines, Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises, will provide guests with travel directly to Cuba for the purpose of providing people-to-people exchanges between guests and Cuban citizens and other travel permitted by current US regulations.
The cruise itineraries will comply with US Department of Treasury rules that permit travel companies to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in people-to-people activities as defined by the US Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
RCL is a global cruise vacation company that owns and operates three global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises; a 50 percent joint venture interest in the German brand TUI Cruises and a 49 percent interest in the Spanish brand Pullmantur and a minority interest in smaller regional brands.
Together, these brands operate a combined total of 49 ships with an additional 13 on firm order. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 490 destinations on all seven continents.