HAVANA, December 29. Havana is revived in these final days of the year with the arrival of a British cruise ship loaded with almost half a thousand tourists,
on the second of four planned visits to the island by that ship.
The vacationers arrived on the Marella Explorer 2 ship, belonging to Marella Cruises Restricted, of the TUI Group, and immediately spread out through the streets of the city, which turned 504 years old last November.
“The old part of the city is very beautiful and very well preserved,” British John Garling, who set foot on the streets of the Cuban capital for the first time, told Xinhua.
Garling and his wife Marie toured a good part of Havana’s emblematic boardwalk aboard an old convertible Oldsmobile, a classic car that looks like it just left the factory in Michigan, United States.
“It is a good end to the year after so many hardships,” said Mario Arteche, the owner of the brand-new rental car.
Arteche pointed out that the slow recovery of tourism on the island, after the devastating blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, has hit the family economy of many people who depend on that sector.
“When there is little tourism, everything suffers at home,” he said. That criterion was shared by Luis Fernández, a man who for 12 years has been driving a picturesque horse-drawn carriage on a circuit that covers the main historical areas of old Havana.