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Cuba prepares for the first of 200 cruise ship arrivals this winter season

The winter season in Cuba officially starts on 21st November 2014 and the island is gearing up to welcome the arrival of more than 200 cruise ships over this period, which is also the island's peak tourism season. According to the Caribbean nation's tourism authorities, the ports with the most passenger arrivals will be Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba.

Cuba prepares for the first of 200 cruise ship arrivals this winter season

As the winter season arrives in the Caribbean, the island of Cuba is getting ready to welcome more than 200 cruise ships over the next few months.

According to the tourism sector authorities in Cuba last week, the winter season will officially begin on 21st November, 2014 and it will last until April 2015.

The state-run Cubatur travel agency said that the port of Havana will welcome the arrival of approximately 2,000 cruise ship passengers on 21st November, most of them originating from Europe.

The ports with the most passenger entries are Havana, Cienfuegos in the central part of Cuba, and Santiago de Cuba on the eastern side of the island.

Cruise tourism in Cuba has significantly declined over recent years since the Spanish firm Pullmantur shut down its operations in the country in 2006. Tourism officials are now looking to increase cruise arrivals to the Caribbean nation with the help of international companies.

The city of Cienfuegos, which is located 250 kilometres southeast of Havana, is expecting to receive 53 cruise ships at its port during this winter high season. Other cruise arrivals expected in Cuba over the next few months include the Panorama, the Star Clippers, and Canadian Cuba Cruise, which will take tourists on a seven-day tour around the island.

In 2013, the country received approximately 2.85 million foreign tourists, with the majority of travellers arriving from Canada, the UK and Germany. This year, the country is expecting to receive more than three million visitors.

Tourism is Cuba’s second-biggest economic activity, after the export of technical and professional services, and tourism authorities are seeking new ways to diversify its offerings through cultural, nature, health, coastal and golf tours.

Cuba is located south of the Bahamas and east of Mexico and the island is rich in breathtaking landscapes, culture, heritage and history. The country is home to pristine white and golden sand beaches, azure ocean waters, luxury beachfront hotels, historic cities, the world’s second largest barrier reef, 14 thriving national parks, six world biosphere reserves, and 236 protected areas.

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