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An old American car passes in front of a cruise docked at Havana's Harbour, on June 5, 2019. -ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images

Trump’s Cuba ban on cruise lines creating chaos for travellers

PortandTerminal.com, June 6, 2019

Cruise companies scrambled Tuesday, June 5, to reroute their Cuba-bound ships after learning they were no longer allowed to sail to the Caribbean island with less than 24 hours notice from the Trump administration

The Trump administration’s new restrictions on travel to Cuba will hit hardest at the cruise industry, taking away a new and increasingly popular destination at the start of the critical summer vacation season.

The tightening of the decades-old U.S. embargo on Cuba will further wound its crippled economy, as well as hurt U.S. travel companies that had built up Cuban business during the brief 2014-2016 detente between the old Cold War foes. Not to mention leave thousands of American travellers in the lurch as they scramble to figure out derailed vacation plans.

The State Department said the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, as well as private and corporate aircraft.

Norweigan Cruise lines and other cruise lines announced that ships sailing this week would no longer stop in Cuba and that it would provide updates on future cruise destinations.

“This is another hard blow,” said Miguel Ángel Morales, owner of La Moneda Cubana, a restaurant in Old Havana. “Around 50% of our business comes from the cruise ships.”

Reactions from travellers

Official figures show that 257,000 Americans visited Cuba in the first four months of 2019, a 93% increase over the same period last year. Any Americans who have already booked trips to visit Cuba starting this week though are out of luck.

“Yesterday my mom thought she was on her way to Cuba little did she know she was headed for the Bahamas”

“Americans can’t travel to Cuba anymore, but you can still spend two refreshing weeks vacationing in lovely Saudi Arabia”

As a US citizen I’ve been to Cuba several times even before restrictions were lifted. So it’s really just all the bluff on Trump’s part. it’s easy flight from Mexico or elsewhere. Ask for your passport not to be stamped Cubans are happy to oblige.

“Hope that translates into anti trump votes….”

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