Beginning June 5, 2019 non-family travel to Cuba will be restricted. While there is much uncertainty about the announcement (read official press release) including whether previously booked trips and cruise lines are impacted, what we know is that beginning June 5, 2019 Cuba vacations will be unavailable for booking.
Update: June 5, 2019
No Cruise Ships May Dock In Cuba
As a result of the recent travel restrictions to Cuba, cruise ships are no longer allowed to sail there. We will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
Here are the most recent cruise line updates:
Carnival Cruise Line – 06/05/19 – 8:00 AM (EDT)
The U.S. government has imposed a series of new sanctions on Cuba prohibiting travel via cruise ship and rescinding certain categories of authorized travel, which previously allowed U.S. citizens to visit Cuba under the People-to-People program. Effective immediately, cruise ship travel is no longer allowed and we are required to cancel our visit to Havana. We have replaced our call to Havana with a replacement port to provide our guests with the best experience ashore.
Guests currently aboard Carnival Sensation’s June 3rd sailing will be calling on Cozumel this Thursday instead of Havana. We recognize Havana is a unique destination and may have been the reason for the selection of this itinerary. Along with our apologies, guests will receive a $100 onboard credit posted to their Sail & Sign® Account.
We are in the process of notifying our other guests of their new itineraries and their options, in the order of sailing date proximity. Mailings for sailings through the end of July 2019, are now in progress. Guests will have the following options:
- Remain on the sailing and receive a US $100, per person, onboard credit (no need to call us if you are continuing with your plans to sail with us)
- Move to another itinerary and receive a US $50, per person, onboard credit
- Cancel and receive a full refund
We are working as quickly as possible to secure alternative itineraries for the remainder of our Cuba voyages and expect to have information for sailings further out in the next 2-3 days. In the meantime, please check back on our website for further updates. We sincerely apologize to our guests for this unexpected change and thank them for their understanding. We look forward to welcoming them on board a Carnival cruise in the near future.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Sun was due to call in Havana today, but instead will be rerouted to Nassau. In a letter to travel partners, NCL explained, “We are so sorry for this very last-minute change. We had no prior notice and were therefore unable to plan accordingly.” In terms of how this will affect clients upcoming cruises, NCL wrote, “Please know we are assessing that these changes mean for all of our future Cuba cruises and we kindly ask your patience. We promise to share an update on June 5 at 6 pm EST.”
Yesterday, the U.S. Administration announced changes to regulations regarding travel to Cuba. Specifically, these changes eliminate the prior authorization permitting cruise ships and their guests to travel from the U.S. to Cuba. In connection with this, effective today, June 5, 2019, cruise ships are no longer allowed to call Cuba after departing a U.S. port. As a result of these substantial changes in U.S. law and regulation, Miami-based MSC Armonia is no longer authorized to call Havana, Cuba. We will share MSC Armonia’s updated Caribbean itineraries with our guests and business partners by end of business day, tomorrow, June 6, 2019.
Virgin Voyages – 06/04/19 7:00 PM (EDT)
The U.S. government announced today that, effective tomorrow, new travel restrictions will be implemented that eliminate the ability of cruise ships to travel to Cuba. We‘re disappointed to hear of the Administration’s decision to significantly restrict travel activity to Cuba. If you have a Sailor booked on any of our sailings with a stop in Havana, we wanted to let you know we’ll be reaching out to them by email tomorrow. We’ll also send you a copy to keep you informed. The entire Virgin Voyages Crew is working hard on changes to our Voyages, and we’ll be back in touch next week with full details of Havana’s replacement. Our First Mates will be the first to know about any additional news or updates, and as always, we are here to answer any questions you have to best assist with you or your Sailor’s needs. For sure this isn’t welcome news … for us either. We’re grateful for all the confidence and you’ve been sending our way and we’re so happy to have you by our side as we redefine a holiday at sea.
Holland America Line – 06/04/19 – 7:00 PM (PDT)
We are currently evaluating the recent announcements regarding Cuba and will have additional information very soon. If any adjustments are needed to our itineraries, booked guests and their travel advisors will be notified directly. We expect to have an update by 7:00 PM PDT, June, 5, 2019. We thank our guests for their patience and understanding.
Royal Caribbean – June 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm (EST)
Royal updated its announcement to include June 6 sailings. We are aware of the new U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba and we are analyzing the details to understand the impact to future sailings. We expect to know more within the next 24 hours and will communicate any changes as soon as we are able. In the meantime, we are adjusting the itineraries of our June 5 and June 6 sailings, which will no longer stop in Cuba. We are communicating with our guests about those changes.
We are aware of the Cuba announcement by the US government and are analyzing the details to understand the impact on our itineraries. In the meantime, we are adjusting our future itineraries, which will no longer stop in Cuba. We are communicating with our guests and travel partners about those changes. We will provide other updates as needed.
End of June 5, 2019 Update
We will monitor and update this article as we receive new information but as of June 4, 2019 here is what you need to know about traveling to Cuba:
- As far as we know, if you booked your vacation to Cuba prior to June 5, 2019 it may be exempt from these restrictions.
- If you have a vacation to Cuba booked prior to June 5, 2019 and wish to cancel, normal cancelation terms will apply and travel protection will not cover this cancelation. If currently booked future trips are not excluded from the restrictions (in other words, if currently booked vacations are blocked) cruise lines and other travel vendors will establish their own policies for refunds.
- The restrictions appear to apply only to non-family people-to-people vacations. If this is the case, it applies to “leisure travel” and may also impact trips for social causes.