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Travel industry news

06 Jun 2019

BY Rob Gill


Virgin Voyages to choose new destination after Cuba ban

Virgin Voyages is to announce a new port of call next week to replace planned visits to Cuba.

Virgin Voyages

The new cruise line, which is scheduled to start cruises from Miami in April 2020, will have to change its itineraries following the US government’s decision to ban all cruises to Cuba.


Virgin’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, had been due to operate four and five-night Havana After Dark itineraries, including an overnight stay in the Cuban capital.


“The US government has implemented new travel restrictions that eliminate the ability of cruise ships to travel to Cuba,” said Virgin Voyages. “While we are disappointed, the beauty of sea travel means that we have the flexibility to take our ships to many wonderful destinations.


“The Virgin Voyages crew is hard at work making necessary adjustments to any affected sailings that feature a stop in Cuba next year.


“Virgin Voyages will be announcing and opening sales on adjusted voyages featuring a new destination early next week.”

As well as trips to Cuba, Virgin Voyages is offering itineraries to Mexico and the Dominican Republic as part of its inaugural season from Miami in 2020.


Virgin said customers with bookings on Cuba itineraries would be given “the flexibility to move to another voyage date without penalty”.


“When we announce a new port of call next week, we will implement a special policy for affected Cuba bookings,” added the line. “Virgin Voyages’ existing five-night Mayan Sol and Dominican Daze sailings remain available for purchase.”


Other US-based lines with imminent calls to Cuba have been busy changing their itineraries – around 800,000 passengers are expected to be affected by the ban.


Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement: "We have ceased all calls to the country and are modifying previously scheduled sailings as appropriate.


"We thank our guests and travel partners for their patience as we navigate this unexpected, last-minute change, and we will of course continue to share information with them as soon as additional details become available."


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