AS australiancruisingnews.com sails into 2015, new ports are creating mighty waves on the international cruise scene.
By far the hottest is CUBA which tops many a cruise passenger’s wish list after US President Barack Obama moved to normalize relations with this large Caribbean island that sits 90 miles off Florida’s quirky city of Key West.
australiancruisingnews.com has been to Castro’s Cuba and was captivated by its lively Latin beat, grand Colonial architecture (often crumbling), classic cars circa the 1960’s, sun-kissed beaches, sprawling plantations, time-warped cigar factories, and unique blend of capitalism and communism. But, it was the people, some of the friendliest on earth, with few material possessions – who made the greatest impact.
Already cruise ships are sailing to this tropical island with the clipper ship Star Flyer now based in the nautical southern port of Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from December to March for 7-day cruises that also take in the Caribbean’s duty-free Cayman Islands, starclippers.com
Another regular is Fred Olsen’s Braemar which includes Cuba’s capital Havana on its leisurely 14-night cruises to several Caribbean islands from Bridgetown, Barbados, fredolsencruises.com
In September this year, Silversea’s luxury expedition ship Silver Explorer sails to Central America and the balmy Caribbean on a 21-day Captain’s Choice tour that includes the Bahamas, Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, with a Panama Canal transit, captainschoice.com.au
Another option is with Canadia- backed Cuba Cruise’s Louis Crystal (with 1200 passengers) which has for a few years now been showcasing the tropical island on 7-day circumnavigation cruises from Havana that include a call at nearby Montego Bay, Jamaica, yourcubacruise.com