Cuba, The Caribbean's Largest & Most Enigmatic Island, Is Now Welcoming Cruise Ships
The Hidden/Exclusive Values, The Essential Expertise: Contact Our Experts Before You BookThe "Cuban thaw" - the process of normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations, first set in motion by Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro back in 2014 (with a little help from Pope Francis and the Government of Canada) - has appreciably loosened business and travel restrictions between the two countries. As a result, Cuba is now open to cruise ships like never before, and it's fast becoming cruising's hottest destination.
The Caribbean's largest island, so long off-limits, remains shrouded in mystery and - for better and for worse, depending on your perspective - remarkably frozen in time. Visit and you'll almost certainly be wowed by Cuba's colorful, colonial-era architecture and its genuinely warm and friendly people, but you may also find yourself befuddled by an almost complete absence of anything resembling private enterprise (e.g. you'll encounter no American-made products or franchises here; all television and radio is state-run; antique automobiles and horse-drawn buggies are still the island's primary modes of transportation, etc.).
Cuba is home to multiple cruise ports, but your Cuba cruise will almost certainly dock in the legendary capital city of Havana. And if you've sailed the Caribbean before, you'll notice several key differences just as soon as you arrive. For starters, your vessel just might be the only cruise ship in port (meaning fewer crowds and a faster disembarkation, two enviable benefits); there are also few, if any, of the hagglers and hawkers you'd normally bump up against in any large Caribbean cruise port.
Key Havana attractions include picturesque Plaza Vieja (i.e. The Old Square), Playas del Este (more than five miles' worth of beautiful beaches), and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (home to what is almost certainly the Caribbean's best and broadest collection of fine art). Additional highlights may include Cienfuegos' Castillo de Jagua (erected in 1742 by King Philip V of Spain to protect the seaport from pirates) and its magnificent Palacio de Valle.
Cuba Cruise DealsA Cuba cruise is both incredibly convenient (less than 100 miles separate Cuba's Havana from Florida's Key West) and an incredible value (nearly every Cuban itinerary will call upon at least one additional port of call; examples include Cozumel, George Town, Nassau, and the aforementioned Key West).
Several of your favorite cruise lines - Carnival, Holland America, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and others - are currently offering cruises to Cuba, with more soon to follow. CruisesOnly has the biggest and most current selection of cruises to Cuba - at the absolute lowest prices, guaranteed - and we're constantly adding new itineraries as they become available.
But what really sets us apart is our expertise. Although it's recently become much easier to cruise to Cuba, there are still a handful of special procedures that you'll need to follow both before, during, and after your visit, and our experts are standing by to guide you every step of the way (we're also keeping abreast of any changes in governmental policy that might further ease - or further complicate - cruising between the U.S. and Cuba).
Cruising To Cuba: What U.S. (And Other) Citizens Need To Know Before They GoThere are, at time of writing, twelve separate categories that allow for U.S. travel to Cuba. The broadest category - the "People-To-People" exchange, or general license - presumes, per the U.S. Department of Treasury, that American visitors will "maintain a full-time schedule of educational activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba".
That's a mouthful, for sure, but don't worry: the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) may issue the licenses, but ultimately it's up to Cuba to decide which cruise lines can or cannot enter the country, and all of the cruise lines that have been granted access have taken great pains to arrange their itineraries/excursions so that they comply with all "People-To-People" regulations (in some cases, you'll need to self-certify with OFAC directly, but in most cases it'll be the cruise line that handles the paperwork).
You will need a visa to enter and exit Cuba, however - and that's in addition to a valid U.S. passport (every U.S. citizen, regardless of age, will need to present a passport in order to visit the island; driver's-license/birth-certificate combos are not permitted). Visa seekers can apply to their consulate/embassy in person or by post (please allow at least four weeks for processing; processing fees will apply) and any resulting visa will be valid for a single entry into Cuba (with a maximum stay of up to 30 days).
Are you an international traveler? You'll also need a valid passport (and if it's a guest passport, it'll need to remain valid for at least six months beyond the dates on which you've traveled). Were you born in Cuba? Cuban-born guests will need to request a special visa from their Cuban embassy, and/or use their Cuban passport, in order to gain entry into their country of birth (if you need one or both documents, you'll want to get started ASAP; applications can take months to process).
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If you book a cruise that departs soon (within 36 days), your gift card code will be sent to you after you return home. Use your gift card to prepare for your adventure or to enhance your next vacation experience!
Total Price (minus port charges & taxes)Gift Card Value$0 - $1,250$25$1,251 - $2,250$50$2,251 - $3,000$75$3,001 - $3,500$100$3,501 - $4,000$125$4,001 - $4,500$150$4,501 - $5,000$200$5,001 - $7,500$300$7,501 - $10,000$400$10,000+$750
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Total Price (minus taxes, fees, port expenses, & port charges)Cash Back$0 - $750$25$751 - $1,500$50$1,501 - $2,250$75$2,251 - $3,000$100$3,001 - $3,500$125$3,501 - $4,000$150$4,001 - $4,500$200$4,501 - $5,000$300$5,001 - $7,500$400$7,501 - $10,000$600$10,000+$1,000
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Total Price (minus taxes, fees, port expenses, & port charges)Onboard Spending$0 - $1,250$25$1,251 - $2,250$50$2,251 - $3,000$75$3,001 - $3,500$100$3,501 - $4,000$125$4,001 - $4,500$150$4,501 - $5,000$200$5,001 - $7,500$300$7,501 - $10,000$400$10,000+$750
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Advanced Deposit offer is valid for new individual cruise reservations for sailings departing by 12/31/20. Offer is limited to sailings of 3 nights or longer booked at least 110 days prior to departure (or 140 days for Disney, 7-night or longer Norwegian sailings, and 15 night or longer MSC sailings); maximum $500 value and not valid on bookings requiring non-refundable deposits. Deposit must be paid 10 days prior to final payment due date; if changes are made benefit will become void and the cruise lines full deposit is required; changes resulting in a new cruise line booking are considered a cancellation, subject to cruise line’s cancellation policy, our $24.99 processing fee, and $100 cancel fee. Credit card used at time of booking will automatically be charged when the deposit remainder is due. Offer limited to 5 deposited cabins max. for 1 sailing. Offer is not applicable for redemption bookings. Additional restrictions apply.
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Book an eligible stateroom on any qualifying sailing and receive a free upgrade! In some cases, you'll be upgraded to a more desirable location aboard your ship. In other instances, you'll be upgraded to a stateroom with extra space and/or a better view. It's also possible that you might receive all of these benefits. Select your sailing date to see which upgrades are available.