Tourism & Cruises

7 price tags for cruising to Cuba (Hint: Carnival’s Fathom and Norwegian are the cheapest)

In this May 2, 2016 file photo, Carnival's Fathom cruise line ship Adonia arrives from Miami in Havana, Cuba. The Cuban itinerary, with its educational and cultural experiences, is not a typical cruise vacation, and feedback from passengers and travel agents about the Fathom's first few trips has been slightly mixed.
In this May 2, 2016 file photo, Carnival's Fathom cruise line ship Adonia arrives from Miami in Havana, Cuba. The Cuban itinerary, with its educational and cultural experiences, is not a typical cruise vacation, and feedback from passengers and travel agents about the Fathom's first few trips has been slightly mixed. AP

By early next year, Americans will have seven cruise lines to choose from to book a trip to Cuba — and at every price point.

The cheapest offering will be from Fathom, Carnival Corp.’s social impact brand, which was the first to sail to the island in May. The line announced Thursday it is adding a stop in Santiago de Cuba, located in southeast Cuba, on six upcoming sailings that also spend a full day and two partial days at Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Trips start at $599.

Fathom’s trips, however, are centered around social impact. In the Dominican Republic, travelers will participate in volunteering opportunities, such as teaching English, and in Cuba they will be part of cultural exchange tours — much like the other cruise lines.

$599 Starting price for Fathom’s seven-night trips to Santiago de Cuba and Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic

Earlier this week, Norwegian Cruise Line also announced its Cuba voyages aboard the largest ship sailing from the U.S. to the island. Trips on the 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky for a series of five, four-day cruises to the island in May will start at $699 per person.

The voyages, which include an overnight stay in Havana and a stop at Norwegian’s private Bahamian island Great Stirrup Cay, will leave PortMiami on May 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.

Guests on the Norwegian Sky will also enjoy one of the ship’s major perks: unlimited complimentary beverages.

The cost is slightly less than competitor Royal Caribbean International, which has longer five-night trips but only one voyage from Miami. That sailing, leaving on April 19, includes a day stop in Havana and another at Puerto Costa Maya in Mexico.

Miami-based Royal has three more Tampa-Cuba sailings planned from late April to late May beginning at $788. All trips will be on the 1,602-passenger Empress of the Seas.

Premium and luxury lines, too, are setting a course for Cuba.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ premium brand, Oceania Cruises, is offering voyages that range from 10 days to 58 days on the 1,250-passenger Marina beginning March 7. Those trips, which include stops in Havana, will start at $1,999 for a 10-day voyage from PortMiami. (The inaugural March 7 voyage starts at $2,999.)

Norwegian’s luxury brand Regent Seven Seas is adding two seven-night Cuba trips to its line up, with sailings on April 11 and 18 from PortMiami. Both overnight in Havana, stop at Norwegian’s new private island in Belize, Harvest Caye and Puerto Costa Maya, and begin at $2,999.

Regent has some perks, too: Trips to Cuba on the 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner include airfare, unlimited shore excursions, Wi-Fi, drinks and other amenities.

Seven American cruise lines will be sailing to Cuba early next year — and at every price point.

To circumnavigate Cuba on Carnival’s Fathom, the price rises seven-fold. For weeklong trips that stop at four Cuban parts voyages on the 704-passenger Adonia can run you about $4,000. Fathom announced earlier this year that it will stop sailing to Cuba altogether in June. Carnival plans to gain approval to send other cruise lines to the island next summer.

The big splurgers have two options: Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Azamara Club Cruises and Connecticut-based Pearl Seas Cruises.

Interior cabins are already sold out on Azamara’s 12-night trip from PortMiami to Key West, Tampa, New Orleans, Havana (where it overnights) and Cozumel, Mexico. Prices start at $7,691 for an ocean-view cabin, the cheapest available, on the line’s March 21 trip aboard the 690-passenger Azamara Quest.

Pearl Seas offers an intimate, 10-night voyage that circumnavigates the island on its 210-passenger Pearl Mist. To secure a spot on its Cuba sailings from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, passengers will have to drop at least $7,810. Sailings begin Jan. 17.

All Cuba cruises will be people-to-people cultural exchanges, one of the 12 categories of travel under which Americans can visit Cuba.

This story has been updated from its original version.

Chabeli Herrera: 305-376-3730, @ChabeliH

The cost of Cuba

Fathom:

Starts at $599 for seven-night trips to Santiago de Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Voyages to only Cuba start at about $4,000 for seven nights.

Norwegian Cruise Line:

Starts at $699 for four nights.

Royal Caribbean International:

Starts at $799 for five nights.

Oceania Cruises:

Starts at $1,999 for 10 nights.

Regent Seven Seas:

Starts at $2,999 for seven nights.

Azamara Club Cruises:

Starts at $7,691 for 12 nights

Pearl Seas Cruises:

Starts at $7,810 for 10 nights.

  Comments