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Cruise ship tourism on the rise

cruceroCruise ship tourism is on the rise in Cuba. Last year the port of Havana received some 328,000 passengers, with 500,000 expected this 2018.

Such figures reaffirm travelers’ confidence in Cuba as a safe and attractive tourist destination which – as of May 18, and despite the impact of Hurricane Irma, the tightening of the economic blockade imposed by the United States, and media campaigns aimed at deterring U.S. citizens from traveling to the island – had received two million international visitors.

The potential to develop cruise ship tourism also exists across other ports, such as Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy El Nicho waterfalls, the botanical gardens, or hiking excursions through the area’s breathtaking landscape.

Cruise ship tourism in Cienfuegos has gradually been developing over the last 20 years, with the Olimpia Medina Terminal No.1, accustomed to receiving large-scale ships carrying some 1,300 passengers every week.

This modality not only benefits the province’s port facilities but also Cienfuegos’ historic center. For example, last year, a record 180 ships docked at the port, carrying a total 30,809 visitors. Meanwhile as of May 2018, the port had received 70 cruise ships.

As part of the development of this modality in Cuba, the port of Havana is scheduled to be expanded, with the creation on four new terminals by 2024.

A contract has been awarded to a Cuban-Turkish joint venture, responsible for administering and marketing the island’s most important port facility for a period of 15 years.


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