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Carnival says Trump’s new Cuba policy won’t block cruises

Tourists in Old Havana (Photo: Anne Kalosh)

Carnival Corp.,plc said the policy changes planned by the Trump administration will allow its ships to continue to sail to Cuba.

‘We will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago,’ the company said in a statement.

According to Reuters, a draft memo of President Trump’s remarks planned for Friday in Miami will include tighter enforcement to make sure Americans legally fit the 12 authorized categories they claim to be traveling under.

US-based cruise operators like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and others advertise group excursions in Cuba that they say comply with the people-to-people requirements under US law.

What’s expected to be curbed now is the individual, self-certifying people-to-people travel, the category that has been ‘the source for most abuse,’ according to a US-Cuba trade expert.

In a note to investors, Wells Fargo Securities said, in essence, the Trump plan will require travelers to keep detailed records, subject to audit by the Treasury for five years, of all financial transactions while in Cuba to ensure they are avoiding benefit to Grupo de Administración Empresarial (Cuban military) entities.

‘Our experience in Cuba this past year has been extremely positive,’ Carnival said. ‘We look forward to the new cruises being planned for Cuba with Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line. We also have requested approval for our other brands to travel to Cuba.

‘Travel brings people and cultures together,’ the Carnival statement added, ‘so we are excited about the upcoming cruises to Cuba for our guests.’

Posted 15 June 2017

© Copyright 2017 Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd.

Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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