American Airlines may be slowing up on its departures to Cuba, but a long list of cruise lines just got approval to sail to the Caribbean country full steam ahead. Carnival Corporation was first to begin voyages there from the U.S. with its fledgling Fathom brand, and the remainder of the big three – Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited – have now also received approval from the Cuban government to begin operations as well.
Norwegian is ready to go with all three of its brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, while Royal Caribbean plans to only send its Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises lines. Meanwhile, Fathom will continue to deploy its Adonia on behalf of Carnival until May 2017, when its license to operate in Cuba expires.
As far as it is currently known, Carnival Corp. has not yet received permission to stay on in Cuba beyond its initial license, but based on the broad approval issued to the other two companies, it is likely to come for its other lines as well. Carnival will need it because it plans to redeploy the Adonia back to P&O Cruises afterwards, leaving brands like Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises as likely candidates to take over the route. Princess’ own former Renaissance Cruises vessel and original sister-ship to the Adonia, Pacific Princess, would be a perfect replacement.
In fact, it was anticipated that Oceania would send one of its other original Renaissance sisters like the Regatta to Cuba once approval was grante