First cruise from a US port in decades leaves Miami for Cuba

Passengers have set sail from Miami on the first cruise in decades to head for the communist island nation of Cuba. Carnival Corp’s 704-passenger Adonia left port just before 4.30pm local time and is expected in Havana on Monday morning. During the seven-day outing, the ship will also visit the ports of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. Re-starting cruises was an important part of US President Obama’s bid to increase tourism after the December 2014 decision to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries.

We’re going to sail directly from the United States to Havana, Cuba. How awesome is that? Tomorrow we will make history.

Ship’s captain David Box

The last cruise to Cuba, which departed from a different US port, was in 1978. The cruise comes after Cuba loosened its policy banning Cuban-born people from arriving to the country by sea, a rule that threatened to stop the cruises from happening. Carnival said the Adonia will sail every second week between Miami and Cuba with bookings starting at $1,800 (£1,230) per person and with cruises featuring cultural and education activities such as Spanish lessons.