Cruise giant Carnival is expanding its schedule of cruises to Cuba with its first round-trip sailings to the destination from Miami.
Carnival on Tuesday announced its Miami-based Carnival Sensation would operate 17 voyages to the island nation starting in 2019. Until now, Carnival only has offered round-trip sailings to Cuba from Tampa. The trips take place on the Tampa-based Carnival Paradise.
Carnival is one of more than a dozen cruise lines that have begun Cuba sailings over the past year. The newly announced Cuba sailings on Sensation will be five-day trips. They'll feature a day-long call in Havana as well as stops at other Caribbean and Bahamian ports.
“Our inaugural cruises to Cuba aboard Carnival Paradise from Tampa were met with exceptional guest response,” Carnival president Christine Duffy said in a statement explaining the expansion.
Four of the new Cuba sailings from Miami will feature a call at Grand Turk Island in addition to Havana. Seven of the sailings will offer Grand Cayman as a secondary call. The rest of the trips will feature a stop at Nassau in the Bahamas and a private Bahamian island in addition to a visit to Havana.
Sensation recently emerged from a major makeover that brought new eateries and bars.
Carnival is just the latest cruise line to expand its Cuba offerings. Earlier this month, rival Norwegian Cruise Line announced it would add seven-, nine- and 13-night Cuba sailings to its schedule. Until now, Norwegian only has offered four-night Cuba sailings.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
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