New rule sending shock waves through travel industry
By Patti Pietschmann Travel Diva
The Trump administration just stripped Americans of rights to travel by ship, tour or private vessels to Cuba. Not the news people who planned to visit the island by ship or tour want to hear. And definitely not what cruise lines bargained for. Chaos has already erupted in the industry as companies scramble to figure out what to do next with bookings and schedules.
Silversea replied to an email about the situation. “We are aware of the Cuba announcement by the US government and are analyzing the details to understand the impact on our itineraries. In the meantime, we are adjusting our future itineraries, which will no longer stop in Cuba. We are communicating with our guests about those changes. We will provide other updates as needed”.
The statement sums up what each of the cruise lines with upcoming Cuba itineraries echo. A spokesperson for elite Regent Seven Seas also replied by email that said, “We are closely monitoring these recent developments and any resulting impact to cruise travel to Cuba. We will communicate to our guests and travel partners as additional information becomes available.
This just in. A spokesman for Carnival Cruises wrote in an email to us, “Carnival Corporation confirmed today that due to changes in U.S. policy, the company will no longer be permitted to sail to Cuba effective immediately. Currently, Carnival Corporation is sailing to Cuba on Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line. Seabourn has been scheduled to begin sailing in November to Cuba. Additional details will be provided for currently booked cruises by the cruise lines.”
Cruise lines monitoring situation
For cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas and the upstart Virgin Voyages (debuting next year)– allow which offer stops in Cuba–this abrupt halt to tourism there means refunds, rescheduling and loss of revenue. For the sake of passengers and cruise lines the hope is that previously scheduled itineraries will not be impacted. But this is an unknown right now.
Commercial flights from the US will continue to be permitted as they “broadly support family travel and other lawful forms of travel,” according to the spokesperson.
President Trump’s travel embargo will have a major impact that could result in great costs for the travel industry.
Stayed tuned for more updates on this.
Contact a Pavlus Travel Agent for more information on a Cuba cruise you may have booked for the future.