Carnival Corporation said today that it was resuming talks with Cuba to allow cruise ships to operate in the same manner as current air charter operations, which transport Cuba-born individuals to and from Cuba.
Carnival added that it was accepting bookings on Fathom, from all travelers to Cuba, regardless of their country of origin. While optimistic that Cuba will treat travelers with Fathom the same as air charters today, should that decision by Cuba be delayed past May 1, Carnival said it would delay the start of its voyages to Cuba accordingly.
Fathom, Carnival’s newest brand, is scheduled to begin sailing its 704-passenger Adonia luxury cruise ship to Cuba every other week starting on May 1, marking the first time in over 50 years that a cruise ship has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba.
“Carnival Corporation continues active discussions with Cuba, asking that travel on Fathom be on a level playing field with air charter travel to Cuba and remains confident its discussions with Cuba will result in a positive outcome for everyone who wants to travel to Cuba, including those who are Cuba-born,” the company said.
“We want everyone to be able to go to Cuba with us,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We remain excited about this historic opportunity to give our guests an extraordinary vacation experience in Cuba.”
“We have already seen tremendous consumer interest in the incredible Cuba journey we have put together,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom.
During each sailing, Fathom will visit Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, three ports of call for which Carnival Corporation has obtained berthing approval.
The move comes following filing of a class-action lawsuit for allowing “discriminatory practices” regarding the cruises to Cuba.
Namely, two Cuban-Americans filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the company with the Miami federal court claiming their civil rights were violated as they were banned from purchasing tickets for a cruise from Miami to Cuba based solely on their place of birth, as the Cuban government prohibits Cuban-born Americans to visit the island by sea in accordance with provisions of a law dating back to the Cold War Era.