DECEMBER 21, 2016 1:11 PM
Want to cruise to Cuba? Norwegian has the cheapest prices
The largest ship sailing from the U.S. to Cuba is now taking bookings — and it’s offering the cheapest price.
Trips on Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,004-passenger Norwegian Sky for a series of five, four-day cruises to the island in May will start at $699 per person, the cruise line said Tuesday.
The voyages, which include an overnight stay in Havana and a stop at Norwegian’s private Bahamian island Great Stirrup Cay, will leave PortMiami on May 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.
Guests on the Norwegian Sky will also enjoy one of the ship’s major perks: unlimited complimentary beverages.
The cost is slightly less than competitor Royal Caribbean International — which has a longer five-night trip — and a fraction of what another five higher-end American lines offer.
Miami-based Royal Caribbean will sail to Cuba on its 1,602-passenger Empress of the Seas, but most of its voyages will be from Tampa.
$699Starting price for Norwegian Cruise Line’s four-night Cuba sailings in May
Only one, five-night Miami sailing is on Royal Caribbean’s itinerary, leaving April 19 with a day stop in Havana and another at Puerto Costa Maya in Mexico. This week, that trip listed a starting price of $799. Royal has three more Tampa-Cuba sailings planned from late April to late May beginning at $788.
After a sea of approvals earlier this month, trips from the U.S. to Cuba are available at every price point.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ premium brand, Oceania Cruises, is offering voyages that range from 10 days to 58 days on the 1,250-passenger Marina beginning March 7. Those trips, which include stops in Havana, will start at $1,999 for a 10-day voyage from PortMiami. (The inaugural March 7 voyage starts at $2,999.)
Norwegian’s luxury brand Regent Seven Seas is adding two seven-night Cuba trips to its line up, with sailings on April 11 and 18 from PortMiami. Both overnight in Havana, stop at Norwegian’s new private island in Belize, Harvest Caye, and Puerto Costa Maya, and begin at $2,999.
Regent has some perks, too: Trips to Cuba on the 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner include airfare, unlimited shore excursions, WiFi, drinks and other amenities.
SEVEN AMERICAN CRUISE LINES WILL BE SAILING TO CUBA EARLY NEXT YEAR — AND AT EVERY PRICE POINT.
The only American cruise line currently sailing to Cuba, Carnival Corp.’s social impact Fathom brand, is offering week-long Cuba trips that circumnavigate the island with stops in four Cuban ports. But for trips departing the same time as Norwegian and Royal, voyages on the 704-passenger Adonia can run you about $4,000. Fathom announced earlier this year that it will stop sailing to Cuba altogether in June. Carnival plans to gain approval to send other cruise lines to the island next summer.
The big splurgers have two options: Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Azamara Club Cruises and Connecticut-based Pearl Seas Cruises.
Interior cabins are already sold out on Azamara’s 12-night trip from PortMiami to Key West, Tampa, New Orleans, Havana (where it overnights) and Cozumel, Mexico. Prices start at $7,691 for an ocean view cabin, the cheapest available, on the line’s March 21 trip aboard the 690-passenger Azamara Quest.
Pearl Seas offers an intimate, 10-night voyage that circumnavigates the island on its 210-passenger Pearl Mist. To secure a spot on its Cuba sailings from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, passengers will have to drop at least $7,810. Sailings begin Jan. 17.
All Cuba cruises will be people-to-people cultural exchanges, one of the 12 categories of travel under which Americans can visit Cuba.
Chabeli Herrera: 305-376-3730, @ChabeliH
THE COST OF CUBA
Norwegian Cruise Line:
Starts at $699 for four nights.
Royal Caribbean International:
Starts at $799 for five nights.
Starts at $1,999 for 10 nights.
Regent Seven Seas:
Starts at $2,999 for seven nights.
Starts at about $4,000 for seven nights
Azamara Club Cruises:
Starts at $7,691 for 12 nights
Pearl Seas Cruises:
Starts at $7,810 for 10 nights.
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