MIAMI – Carnival Corporation announced Monday that “all travelers” can book its cruises to Cuba including people born on the island, a concession brought about by a lawsuit against discrimination filed by Cubans in America.
Carnival noted in a statement that “it is accepting bookings... from all travelers to Cuba, regardless of their country of origin, and is looking forward to its historic inaugural voyage to Cuba on May 1, 2016.”
The cruise corporation added that it remains “optimistic” and “continues active discussions with Cuba” so the authorities there will permit its cruise ships to operate as freely as charter flights to the island, and that anyone wishing to travel to the Caribbean country can do so, including those born on the island.
Carnival’s Fathom line will begin voyages to Cuba with the luxury ship Adonia, capable of carrying 704 passengers, and will sail every other week from the date of the inaugural cruise.
Cuba bans its nationals from traveling to the country by sea, the reason why the cruise ship company has not accepted Cuban passengers on its cruises to Cuba until now.
Last week two Cuban travelers filed suit against the cruise company for discrimination at a federal court in Florida, and Cuban exile organizations and even Secretary of State John Kerry urged Carnival not to abide by Cuba’s discriminatory regulation.
The exiles argued that Carnival should allow Cubans to embark and leave it up to Cuban authorities to decide whether to let them enter the country.
“We want everyone to be able to go to Cuba with us,” Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, said in a statement. “We remain excited about this historic opportunity to give our guests an extraordinary vacation experience in Cuba.”