First US Cruise Departed to Cuba for the First Time in Decades
May 04, 2016 02:35 AM EDT
For the first time in more than 50 years, an American cruise will depart to Cuba. It was the first cruise from the U.S. to Cuba since the two countries cut off diplomatic relations.
According to ABC News, the cruise left from a U.S. seaport on Sunday for Havana, Cuba. The cruise, operating under its Fathom brand, will also visit other ports such as the ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. In total, the passengers will experience a seven-day outing.
The ship carried about 700 passengers abroad. The Carnival Corp.'s Adonia also carried several Cuba-born passengers among others. While others consider the journey political, others don't want politics to interfere with the historic occasion.
The cruise ship left the U.S. with a backdrop of celebration and protests at the same time. While many people were happy about the move, there were also protesters gathered outside the port that day. CNN reported that the demonstrators held a blue sign that said, "Castro why do you ask Cubans for a Visa to visit their own country?"
This occasion will not be the first and last journey between U.S. and Cuba. Carnival Corp. said that U.S.-Cuba will be a new route of their cruise. The Adonia will cruise every other week from Miami to Cuba, and passengers can book tickets starting at $1,800 per person.
Not only carrying passengers, the cruise ship will also feature cultural and educational activities for people on board. The Carnival Corp. listed that the Adonia will arrange Spanish lessons while on the trip. Spanish is the official language of Cuba.
The BBC reported that originally, the cruise was only available to Americans while Cuba-born passengers are banned from taking the ship. A rule applied by Cuban government stated that Cubans could only enter or leave the country by plane. However, after some legal action by Cuban-Americans, the Cuban authorities lifted the ban just over a week ago.
The journey was possible because president Barack Obama and Raul Castro had agreed to mend diplomatic relations in December 2014. Since then, reports show that tourism in Cuba has spurred to record numbers.
A cruise ship has left a U.S. seaport for Cuba for the first time in decades. Both governments had given permission to U.S. company Carnival Corp. to run the Adonia cruise back and forth across the two countries every other week. The cruise ship is also allowed to carry Cuban-born passengers from the U.S.