Carnival wins approval to sail to Cuba


Carnival Corporation announced yesterday that it has won federal approval to carry cruise passengers to Cuba.

The cruise line said it plans to beginning sailing to Cuba in May 2016. Trips will be offered on Carnival’s newly-launched Fathom brand, which provides “purpose-oriented, social impact experiences.”

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First step toward taking travelers to Cuba

Carnival said it plans to “operate Fathom travel itineraries directly to Cuba for the purpose of providing cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens.”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce approved the cruises under current U.S.-to-Cuba travel guidelines. Carnival said the new Cuban itineraries on Fathom will “strictly comply with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that allow licensed travel companies to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities that support the Cuban people.”

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“We are excited about receiving U.S. approval as the very important first step to ultimately take travelers to Cuba under the existing 12 criteria for authorized travel. We look forward to working with the Cuban authorities for their approval to help make the social, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between U.S. citizens and the people of Cuba a reality,” said Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We know there is strong demand from travelers who want to immerse themselves in Cuban culture, so this is a historic opportunity for us to enable more people to experience Cuban society. It is also an important opportunity for our new Fathom brand to expand its positive influence in the world with this potential to add full-week immersion sailings to Cuba to its already planned full-week social-impact itineraries to the Dominican Republic beginning in the spring of 2016.”

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