Carnival's Fathom brand makes last voyage to Cuba
It’s an end of an era for one cruise line which made history in Cuba. Fathom was the first cruise line to offer regular sailings between the U.S and Cuba following relaxed travel restrictions, but the cruise line made its final call on the Caribbean island last week after owners Carnival Corporation decided not to renew the licence. The move comes just as the U.S-Cuba travel industry awaits its fate, after it was announced that U.S President Trump would reveal new changes.
The U.S-Cuba travel and trade industry could suffer a major setback this week, after it was announced that President Trump would be revealing his new policy on travel to Cuba. The existing Obama-era policy opened up new travel and trade opportunities for both nations after more than five years of diplomatic hostilities, but it could soon be scrapped.
The Fathom cruise line brand made its final voyage to the island last week, after its owners Carnival Corporation decided not to renew its licence. The brand’s Adonia returned to Miami in Florida after visiting Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba for the final time, and the vessel will rejoin the P&O cruises fleet. The line’s newest brand could not sustain as a ship operator, and it will now continue only with “impact travel” experience opportunities.
After relaxed restrictions for U.S companies operating cruises to Cuba, Fathom was the first cruise brand to re-open the route between Miami and Havana since the travel embargo was put into place more than five decades ago. As a result, several more cruise lines followed suit, and it has opened up many new opportunities for U.S residents visiting Cuba for family visits and cultural, educational, religious and people to people programmes. Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Pearl Seas Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have all launched sailings to Cuba from the States over the past 12 months, and both Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line are planning to pick up where Fathom left off for the Carnival Corporation company.
However, the cruise industry in Cuba could soon come to an end if President Trump’s new policy reveals a cancellation of the existing one. On Friday 16th June, the president will announce a new law which could see the travel and trade policy that was carefully negotiated by former U.S President Obama and the Cuban government, cancelled. This will not only set back the travel industry for both nations significantly, but it is likely to cost the U.S billions of dollars in loss or revenue and jobs.
Over the past year, diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba have been resumed and U.S airlines launched scheduled commercial flights between the two countries for the first time in decades. The Caribbean island nation has been improving its infrastructure to accommodate the influx of tourists, and many global hotel chains are investing in the country. If enforced, the cancellation of the existing travel and trade policy will be a major setback for both countries
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