Carnival Corp., NCL jockey for more Cuba access

Carnival Corp., NCL jockey for more Cuba access

MIAMI — Carnival Corp. wants more of its cruise lines to have access to Cuban ports of call, and Norwegian Cruise Line is making a bid for sailings to the island as well.

Reports from Travel Weekly say Carnival Corp. is eyeing Cuba for more of its brands following successful negotiations with the Cuban government allowing Cuban-born people to disembark on the island. Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said he’s requesting permission for the as-yet unnamed brands to sail to the island starting in the fall.

The first cruise in over 50 years between the U.S. and Cuba will go forward May 1 from Miami on the 704-passenger Adonia, sailing for Carnival’s Fathom brand. Donald said Carnival negotiated a change in Cuban policy, which previously prohibited Cuban-born people from departing from or arriving on the island by sea.

Meanwhile Norwegian Cruise Line is hoping to gain access to the island with sailings on Oceania Cruises. Sailings with NCL and Regent Seven Seas Cruises could follow, said Cuban-born NCL President and Chief Executive Frank Del Rio, in a report from Travel Weekly UK.