Trump Administration Bans Cuba Cruise Ship Port Calls

Cruise ships in portIllustration. Source: Pxhere under CC0 Creative Commons license

The Trump administration has unveiled new restrictions for U.S. travel to Cuba, including banning group tours and cruise ship stops to the island nation.

Under the newly announced changes, meant to tighten the economic pressure on the Cuban government, the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, and private and corporate aircraft.

“Veiled tourism has served to line the pockets of the Cuban military, the very same people supporting Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and repressing the Cuban people on the island,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of State.

Additionally, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending non-family travel to Cuba regulations to remove the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel.

The OFAC amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) on June 4 to further implement the President’s foreign policy on Cuba.

These changes complement the ones to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These were announced on April 17, 2019, and include restrictions on non-family travel to Cuba.

While Norwegian Cruise Line said it is “closely monitoring these recent developments and any resulting impact to cruise travel to Cuba,” Royal Caribbean Cruises already canceled two port calls to Cuba for June 5 and June 6 sailings. The company added that further impacts to the cruise itineraries would be evaluated.

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