By the Cuba Journal staff
The current cruise season is set to be the best of the last decade in Santiago de Cuba, with 24 berths planned by the end of this month.
Large cruise vessels like Silver Explorer, Celestyal Crystal, Amadea, Serenissima and Sea Cloud have anchored in Santiago Bay, mainly through travel agencies such as Viajes Cubanacan and Cubatur.
According to Paula Vazquez, commercial specialist of the Delegation of Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism, about 70 percent of total passenger ships bought trips to tour landmarks in Santiago de Cuba.
Vazquez highlighted the beginning-of-the-year improvements to the cruise terminal located in the port Guillermón Moncada.
She also pointed to new services such as Cadeca for monetary exchange, as well as the increased presence of artisans for the rise in travel to Cuba.
Carnival Cruise Line’s fathom brand recently announced that it will make its maiden voyage from Miami to Havana in May, with stops in Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, which Vazquez predicts will provide continuity to the city’s success in cruise tourism.
Santiago de Cuba is home to architectural sites dating back several centuries such as the Holy Metropolitan Basilica Cathedral Church, the Museum of Natural History and the Castillo del Morro San Pedro de la Roca.
The city is also features two UNESCO-recognized sites: the archaeological landscape of the first coffee plantations in southeastern Cuba, and La Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente.