Monday, August 27, 2012

Forbidden Fruit: Sailing Cruises Around Cuba

Star Clippers to operate cruises from Cuba
By Tom Stieghorst

Star Clippers will sail a half-dozen trips from the Cuban port of Cienfuegos during February and March 2014.

The cruises are tailored to the line's passenger base, which is primarily non-American, said owner Mikael Krafft.

“Each season we try to diversify our itineraries and offer something new and exciting," Kraftt said. "The small islands that we’re calling at in Cuba are an ideal match for the Star Clippers product.”

Star Clippers' flagship, the Royal Clipper, is a five-masted sailing vessel that can carry up to 227 passengers. Its current Caribbean homeport is Barbados.

The line did not say which of its ships would be offering the five- and six-night Cuban itineraries.

U.S. citizens are generally banned from traveling to Cuba under an embargo that began in the 1960s. Star Clippers Americas, the Miami-based North American general sales agent for Star Clippers, said it will not sell or market the line’s Cuba cruises.

Americans seeking to travel to Cuba who are not part of an authorized group typically can fly through Mexico, Canada or another country that doesn't observe the embargo, but such travel remains illegal under U.S law.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.

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