Norwegian Cruise Line is adding four-day cruises to Cuba from Port Canaveral next May. The trips also visit Key West and offer an overnight in Havana (from $599 a person).
Especially when venturing beyond Havana, which is relatively well-equipped for tourism, cruise ships provide accommodations in places where they are scarce and offer comfortable conveyance getting there.
Touting a more immersive experience, the small ship operator Victory Cruise Lines will venture to Cuba next year on two-week sailings that circumnavigate the island. Trips will depart from Miami and call at Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Havana, offering overnight stays in most. The all-inclusive trip aboard the 202-passenger Victory 1 starts at $8,957 a person, with a $3,000 discount per cabin if booked before Oct. 13.
SeaDream Yacht Club recently announced its new Cuba-only cruises operating between Havana and Cienfuegos and set to begin in 2019. Seven-day trips aboard its 112-passenger ship SeaDream II will call at Trinidad and visit a series of Cuban islands including Cayo Largo, Isla de Juventud and Maria La Gorda. Trips start at $4,599 a person.
SeaDream will offer water sports from a special deck off the back of the ship, but the trips focus on cultural exploration through shore excursions.
“People selecting Cuba are really looking at the culture, history and background and doing what others have not done which is to explore Cuba while it’s still relatively new and very, very interesting,” said Bob Lepisto, the president of SeaDream Yacht Club.