Tourists Treated to Rare Visit from Russian Ships during Cuba Holidays
Tourists enjoying their Cuba holidays last week had the chance to witness a piece of history as a Russian antisubmarine destroyer and two logistical warships sailed into Havana Bay as part of an extended non-military tour.
Holidaymakers witnessed a historic moment during their Cuba holidays last week as the Admiral Chabanenko destroyer, a Russian antisubmarine, and two logistical warships docked in Cuba’s capital city last week.
Tourists who were enjoying their holidays in Cuba in Havana had the chance to see the ships sail into Havana Bay, complete with Russians sailors who were dressed in white and tan dress uniforms and stood at attention on the deck.
This was the first time any Russian military ships have visited Cuba since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The ships were part of non-military tour which included stops in Venezuela and Panama and the crew took advantage of their brief holidays to Cuba with a planned tour of Havana which included a trip to a naval school.
During the ships’ mooring a ceremonial Cuban cannon fired a gun salute and a naval band played both the Russian and Cuban national anthems whilst waiting on a cruise ship dock.
Cuba’s cultural relations with Russia are strengthening after an agreement was signed last month during the 20th International Book Fair Cuba 2011 where Cuban and Russian publishing houses to support and increase bilateral exchange in this sector.
The International Book Fair Cuba was attended by thousands of local island residents and tourists who were staying in Cuba hotels across the island who came to enjoy the literary event.
Cuba has already been celebrating record number of tourists this year as January saw 296,000 international arrivals on the island; a 15.9 per cent increase on the same period last year.
Cuba tourism officials are hoping that they will meet their target of 2.7 million international visitors by the end of 2011 and it looks like it could be an easy number to reach after President Obama’s administration recently eased the restrictions on the ongoing Cuba travel embargo with the United States and now allows Americans to travel to Cuba for religious, educational, academic and cultural reasons.
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