Cruising to Cuba is emerging as a desirable way to explore the Caribbean’s largest and fastest growing destination.
A new Miami-based cruise line is set to begin new Florida-Cuba itineraries in November – and from Montreal, Canada, to ports in Canada and on the U.S. Great Lakes in July. It will be the first cruise ever to Cuba to depart from a Central Florida port.
Victory Cruise Lines Ltd. plans to operate m/v Victory I on cruises from three to 14 days in length.
The 5,000-gross-ton, 300-foot-long Victory I — the former Saint Laurent —has been renovated and has 101 4.5-star staterooms and a maximum guest capacity of 202.
“We intend to make our product the standard of excellence for small-ship cruising to the Great Lakes and Cuba, while providing great value for our guests,” said Bruce Nierenberg, president and CEO of Victory Cruise Lines. “The senior management of Victory Cruise Lines has over 100 years of experience operating some of the most successful and loved cruise products.”
Victory Cruise Lines will feature high-quality personal service onboard. Shore excursions in port will be included in the cruise fare, along with wine and beer at lunch and dinner at no additional charge.
Victory I’s inaugural cruise to the Great Lakes is slated to depart from Montreal, Canada, July 8, 2016, and is scheduled to sail in that region through the summer and early fall of 2016 and 2017.
The line’s first planned cruise to Cuba is a seven-day, six-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, departing Oct. 28, 2016. Following the cruise from Port Canaveral a fall/winter series of cruises of three to 14 days in length are scheduled depart from the Port of Miami to Cuba through April 2017.
According to Mr. Nierenberg, the Cuba journeys will feature an authentic Cuban experience by incorporating food and entertainment from local Cubans who will be on board during the trip. Shore excursions will emphasize learning and exploration of Cuba’s fascinating architecture, art and culture.
Mr. Nierenberg further stresses the safety and security aspect of the Cuba journeys. Cuba’s isolation and focus on child care and education makes it one of the safest places in the world in terms of crime.