HAVANA, may 4th The first-ever cruise from Port Canaveral to Cuba is set to depart around 4 p.m. on Monday, as the Norwegian Sun heads for a stop in Key West and an overnight stay Havana.
The Norwegian Cruise Line ship is set to arrive around 7 a.m. It’s part of a boom in activity at the port, which recently started work on the biggest construction project in its history, an enormous high-tech cruise terminal with a $150 million price tag.
Travel to Cuba,had been allowed for individual “people-to-people” visits under the Obama Administration, but has been curtailed somewhat under President Trump. Some kind of educational or cultural activity is supposed to be planned as part of a group during the stay in Cuba.
Carnival Corp. was the first U.S.-based cruise line to visit Cuba on a regular basis in nearly 50 years when it sailed on May 1, 2016, on its Fathom brand. In 2017, the company shifted service to Carnival Cruise Line, which began sailing to Cuba last month from Tampa. Royal Caribbean also sails from Tampa, while Norwegian this year offers Cuba sailings from PortMiami.
Before its arrival, the 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun was built in 2001. After Havana, it will make more stops that include Nassau, Freeport and Norwegian’s private island Great Stirrup Cay.Coincidentally, the Norwegian Sun is departing at the same time a launch window opens for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral.