The Tampa to Havana Route – AidaNova’s Virtual Keel Laying In Hamburg – Irma Plays Havoc With Cruise Ship Schedules

The Cruise Examiner for 11th September 2017

Empress of the Seas arriving Havana for the first time April 23, 2017 - Caribbean News

Empress of the Seas arrives in Havana in 2017 on a route that was first opened in 1885 from Tampa and Key West to Havana

Governor Cobb with Havana Special at Key West

Governor Cobb with Havana Special at Key West in the 1920s

This year saw two ships come back after sixty years to revive a long-standing route that had first been opened 132 years earlier – that between Tampa, Key West and Havana. The 1,600-berth Empress of the Seas and 2,052-berth Carnival Paradise succeed to a route that had been started by Henry Plant with his Mascotte of 1885 and Olivette of 1887. The latter was the ship that took Churchill to Cuba in 1895 and the route was operated uniquely by one predecessor for more than seventy years befre being abandoned for sixty more. Meanwhile, last week in Hamburg saw the virtual keel-laying for AIDA Cruises’ 183,000-ton 5,200-berth AidaNova. On the other side of the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma has led to the cancellation of seventeen cruises counting for 40,000 lower berths from Florida ports.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                     (See previous columns)

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Cruise Lines Escape US-Cuba Travel Ban – The Flying Clipper Is Launched – Ex-Russian Ship Converted To Expedition Vessel

The Cruise Examiner for 19th June 2017

EmpressOfTheSeasInHavana

Royal Caribbean International’s Empress of the Seas arriving in Havana for the first time, on April 23, 2017

On Friday, in the “Little Havana” neighbourhood of Miami, surrounded by Cuban Americans, President Donald Trump’s words for Cuba were “we will enforce the ban on tourism.” However, his edict will have very little effect on the cruise lines that have been able to return to Cuba in the last year thanks to a loosening of regulations by former president Barack Obama. In Croatia, meanwhile, the world’s largest sailing ship, the 300-passenger Flying Clipper, was launched for Star Clippers. Finally, Sunstone Ships’ 230-berth Ocean Atlantic has recently re-entered service as an expedtion ship.

.FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                           (See previous columns)