2 years ago, on June 5, 2019, the “Empress of the seas”, a Bahamian-flagged ship owned by the US Royal Caribbean, abruptly left the port of Havana, following the decisions made by the Trump administration to prohibit US cruise ships from touching Cuban ports.
Cruise companies: “We are obliged to cancel our visits to Havana”
As the ship sailed through the channel of the bay towards the high seas, its passengers went out to the terraces to say goodbye, waving their arms and waving Cuban flags. The decision had surprised them as untimely and festive.
Cruise passengers say goodbye to Havana: It was a total surprise for us
Since then, no American cruise ship has returned to Cuban ports. The ban remains in effect after four and a half months of management by the Biden administration.
Beyond the impact on the Cuban tourism industry, the measure greatly affected numerous owners and employees of private restaurants and cafeterias, rental cars, coachmen, artisans and other self-employed workers who had benefited from the arrival of thousands of cruise passengers for 3 years.
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On May 2, 2016, the ship Adonia Fathom, a subsidiary of the American company Carnival, became the first cruise ship to cover the route between the United States and Cuba.
According to official data, in 2018 some 850,000 visitors arrived in Cuba through cruise ships – almost 40% from the US – through the Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean shipping companies.
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