The U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce have granted it approval to travel to Cuba for the purpose of providing "cultural, artistic, faith-based, and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens," Carnival Corp. announced
Made possible by new regulations announced
in December by President Barack Obama, who promised to ease travel restrictions between the United States and Cuba, the company's Cuban itineraries will commence in May 2016 aboard Carnival's new "Fathom" cruise brand
, which debuts next April with "social impact" cruises to the Dominican Republic.
Pending approval from Cuban authorities, the new cruises will last seven days, will cost $2,990 per person, and will be offered "on a systematic and regular basis."
"We are excited about receiving U.S. approval as the very important first step to ultimately take travelers to Cuba under the existing 12 criteria for authorized travel. We look forward to working with the Cuban authorities for their approval to help make the social, cultural, and humanitarian exchanges between U.S. citizens and the people of Cuba a reality," Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement. "We know there is strong demand from travelers who want to immerse themselves in Cuban culture, so this is a historic opportunity for us to enable more people to experience Cuban society. It is also an important opportunity for our new Fathom brand to expand its positive influence in the world with this potential to add full-week immersion sailings to Cuba to its already planned full-week social-impact itineraries to the Dominican Republic beginning in the spring of 2016."Check out the all-new MeetingNews Minute, featuring exclusive research on industry trends!