Havana, Cuba – Carnival cruise ship Adonia arrived in Havana, opening the first cruise ship travel between the United States and Cuba in more than half a century.
The ship, with 704 passengers on board including a dozen Cuban-Americans, entered the bay of Havana and docked in the cruise terminal Sierra Maestra, located in the historical city center.
Carnival, the largest cruise company in the world, promises travelers during this trip an “experience of cultural immersion” for a route that last seven days around the island. Cruise passengers on this special Cuba route enjoy their first stop in Havana with following stops in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.
Travel restrictions between the two countries were restored after presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced the resumption of diplomatic relations in December of 2014.
The arrival of Adonia is the first step toward a future where cruise ships will now be able to cross the Straits of Florida, a once-closed passage.
Today, the Cuban government considers the cruise industry an easy source of income that will attract thousands of Americans passengers without saturating already busy hotels.
On its website, Carnival Cruise reported that the Adonia will make two trips a month from Miami to Cuba. Reservations start at $1,800 per person and include various cultural and educational activities, including Spanish classes.
The seven-day trip includes stops in the cities of Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The workshops offered to passengers on-board the cruise line fall into the category of education, which is a US requirement for those traveling to Cuba since trips to the country as a tourist remain prohibited.