TAMPA — Carnival is the latest cruise line to offer cruises to Cuba from Port Tampa Bay.
The Carnival Paradise ship will begin offering voyages from Tampa to Cuba beginning June 29, the cruise line announced Tuesday.
The overnight visits to Havana will be featured on 12 different four- and five-day cruises from Tampa.
Four-day cruises will depart June 29, July 13, Aug. 24, Sept. 7 and 21, and Oct. 5 and 19, as well as May 3, 2018, and include a daytime and overnight visit to Havana. Five-day voyages will depart Aug. 14 and 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 9, and include a daytime and overnight visit to Havana as well as a stop in either Cozumel or Key West.
"Cuba is an island jewel unique from anywhere else in the Caribbean and we are thrilled to have this rare opportunity to take our guests to this fascinating destination," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, in a statement. "The opportunity to visit Havana, combined with the fun, relaxed ambiance and wide variety of amenities and features offered on Carnival Paradise, will make for a truly one-of-a-kind vacation experience."
The ship features a 12,000-square foot spa and wellness facility and an exclusive adults-only retreat. An on-board swimming pool has a 115-foot-long water slide. In April, the Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas will port in Tampa for the 2017 summer season and also offer a series of four- and five-night sailings to ports in Cuba.
The Cuban government has extended permission for many new cruise arrivals the year, which signals to those in the travel industry that Cuba tourism is expected to be an ongoing business. But the future of travel to Cuba remains unclear under the Trump administration. President Trump has not reversed the loosening restrictions on travel to Cuba forged by Obama, but Trump has yet to talk about the future of ongoing relations between the two countries.