This month saw the US Government ban cruise lines from operating sailings to Cuba.
Former US president Barack Obama initiated the move, with Trump administration officials making the announcement.
Announcing the changes, US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “Cuba continues to play a destabilising role in the western hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up US adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes. “This administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime. “These actions will help to keep US dollars out of the hands of Cuban military, intelligence, and security services.”
This has had a huge affect to most cruise lines, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, MSC, Carnival Corporation and newly launched Virgin Voyages to name a few.
Norwegian Cruise Lines tweeted “We are closely monitoring these recent developments and any resulting impact to cruise travel to Cuba.
“We will communicate to our guests and travel partners as additional information becomes available.”
Royal Caribbean had Majesty of the seas sailing to Cuba in 2020, among others, and they have yet to release a new itinerary on sale, however they have said they are still evaluating the impact of the announcement.
Some cruise lines have yet to amend and put an alternative itinerary on sale. However that can’t be said for Virgin Voyages, acting quickly they have now announced a five-night Riviera Maya sailing to Cozumel and Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Virgin Voyages will also offer a four night Fire and Sunset Soirees sailing which include a call at Key West, Florida, and a midnight departure from Bimini Island, Bahamas which is the private island own by Virgin Voyages.
Meanwhile Virgin Voyages has also announced the captain of Scarlet Lady. Wendy Williams will become the first Canadian woman to be captain of a ship for a major cruise brand.
Tom McAlpin, president and chief executive officer for Virgin Voyages said “Captain Wendy’s extensive maritime background makes her an excellent choice to lead the Scarlet Lady, but it is her spirit and drive to approach life at sea differently that makes her the perfect fit to join the Virgin Voyages family,”