The race to cruise to Cuba is on, and Royal Caribbean is hoping to begin sailing to the Caribbean island by late summer according to Gene Sloan at USA TODAY.
Royal Caribbean has applied for approval to cruise to Cuba with both the American and Cuban governments. The cruise line is expected to use Empress of the Seas for cruises to Cuba from Miami once Cuban authorities give Royal Caribbean the green light. Empress of the Seas has been in drydock for the past two months preparing to re-enter service as a Royal Caribbean branded ship.
Empress of the Seas would be a perfect fit for Cuba due to the ship’s size (48,563 gross tons, 2,020 passengers) and the fact that the ship only has itineraries scheduled until July 28. Once Royal Caribbean receives approval, cruises to Cuba could start in late July or early August. Empress of the Seas will sail four to five night cruises to the Caribbean until the end of July.
Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand is currently the only cruise line to have approval to sail to Cuba. The cruise line sailed their first sailing to the Caribbean island on May 1 on the 700 passenger Adonia. The voyage marked the first time in over 50 years that a cruise ship sailed from the U.S. to Cuba.