Tourism & Cruises

Holland America launching Cuba cruises from Fort Lauderdale

Holland America Line’s ms Veendam arrives in Fort Lauderdale in May 2007. The ship will sail to Cuba from December to April.
Holland America Line’s ms Veendam arrives in Fort Lauderdale in May 2007. The ship will sail to Cuba from December to April. Holland America Line

The Cuba cruise fever is not showing any signs of breaking. This week, Holland America Line became the latest American cruise line to get the green light to sail to the island.

Holland America, part of Doral-based parent company Carnival Corp., opened bookings Friday after receiving approval this week for sailings that include calls in Havana and Cienfuegos, a city on the island’s south-central coast.

Voyages on the 1,350-passenger ms Veendam will begin Dec. 22 and run through April 2018. Seattle-based Holland America will offer a variety of 7-, 11- and 12-day trips from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades.

The trips will include stops in a combination of other Caribbean ports, including Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Key West; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Onboard, the premium line will offer presentations and talks on Cuba’s history through its Explorations Central program.

The ms Veendam will sail on 7-, 11- and 12-day iteneraries to Havana and Cienfuegos.

Trips begin at $899 per person.

Holland America is the ninth American cruise line to be approved to sail to Cuba after Carnival Corp.’s Fathom inaugurated voyages in May 2016 — the first from the U.S. in five decades. Since, cruise lines have continued to add more voyages further in advance, including Royal Caribbean International, the most recent line to announce enhanced sailings to Cuba.

Hotels and airlines, which overshot demand for travel to the island, have adjusted their rates and frequency of flights. Cruise lines bring their own accommodations and provisions and visit Cuban ports for shorter periods, a combination that has helped bolster their success among American travelers.

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