First major U.S. cruise company sails into Cuba

By on March 10, 2017


Oceania Cruises on Thursday became the first major U.S. cruise company to make a port call in Cuba, after years of being barred from the Caribbean destination by U.S. sanctions. (Photo: Roderick Eime/Flickr)
Oceania Cruises on Thursday became the first major U.S. cruise company to make a port call in Cuba, after years of being barred from the Caribbean destination by U.S. sanctions. (Photo: Roderick Eime/Flickr)

HAVANA—Oceania Cruises on Thursday became the first major U.S. cruise company to make a port call in Cuba, after years of being barred from the Caribbean destination by U.S. sanctions.

“Oceania Cruises made history this morning when its ship, Marina, pulled into Sierra Maestra cruise terminal in Havana, Cuba, carrying 1,250 guests,” the company said in a statement.

On board for this historic occasion were Bob Binder, the co-founder and CEO of Oceania Cruises, and Frank Del Rio, the company’s Cuban-born founder and CEO of Oceania’s parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Accompanied by Cuban tourism officials, the two men took part in a ceremony marking the event.

The U.S.-led trade embargo against Cuba remains in place. However, since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties in 2016, certain travel restrictions have been relaxed, allowing for the restoration of regular flights and cruises.