Tourism & Cruises

Royal Caribbean adds more Cuba sailings through November — from Tampa

Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of the Seas, the ship the line is using for its trips to Cuba.
Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of the Seas, the ship the line is using for its trips to Cuba. Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International plans to be in Cuba for most of 2017.

The Miami-based line added eight sailings on Friday for voyages from Tampa through Nov. 4, the latest dates of any U.S. cruise line. The other cruise companies traveling to Cuba — Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ three cruise lines and Connecticut-based Pearl Seas Cruises — have announced voyages only through the spring.

The announcement brings Royal Caribbean’s Cuba voyage count to 11, inaugurated by a five-night sailing from PortMiami on April 19 that includes a stop in Havana and Puerto Costa Maya in Mexico. The rest of the trips, which are four-, five-, six- and seven-night sailings, are from Tampa. Several voyages will include an overnight stay in Havana.

Trips will be on the line’s renovated 1,602-passenger Empress of the Seas. Excursions include walking tours during the day and a visit to the Tropicana cabaret at night.

Previously, Royal Caribbean had announced only three trips, two from Tampa and one from Miami, from April to May.

Royal Caribbean (including luxury line Azamara Club Cruises), Norwegian and Pearl announced in December that they’d be sending cruise ships to Cuba during the first months of 2017. Doral-based Carnival Corp., the first American cruise company to travel to the island in half a century aboard its Fathom line, is expected to announce Cuba voyages on another of its cruise lines starting in the summer.

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