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Cuba Joining Ports of Call For US Cruise Lines

In 2015, the United States government finally lifted its decades-old ban on travel by US citizens to Cuba. While restrictions remain, it is finally possible to travel to one of our geographically closest neighbors.

The resulting travel rush has been unsurprising. As the unreachable home nation of many prominent Americans and their ancestors, Cuba carries a special mystique. The opportunity to break through that veil and see what the country is all about carries great appeal for American travelers.

As soon as the ban was lifted, airlines were able to start planning flights into and out of Cuba. But with such close proximity to Miami and the Keys, Cuba is an obvious choice for taking a cruise.

The process of setting up oceangoing routes for these trips is underway, and it won’t be long until American citizens can board a ship headed to Cuba. As you consider options for family friendly vacations, you will find Cuba to be a great option.

It Will Be Educational!

Photo CC Schwarzkaefer

Because travel restrictions do not allow for actual tourism, your trip will be educational. You’ll have the opportunity to see some amazing sights.

The Presidential Palace is a perfect example. As a central location in the Communist revolution, it symbolizes the Castro regime’s rise to power. Now it’s a museum of the Cuban revolution. What could be more fitting? There’s also El Malecon, a miles-long beachfront walk through the city that’s a favorite of the locals.

And getting around the city can be an experience in itself! Grabbing a ride on a taxi particular is essentially a Cuban Uber: Privately owned, these cars traverse the city and will pick up your party and potentially others who may be going the same way. It’s a great way to mingle! And as an added bonus, it’s likely to be a vintage American car, thousands of which still run the roads in Cuba.

You’ll Be Part Of History

Photo CC Artur Staszewski

Even a couple years after the ban, the number of Americans making landfall in Cuba remains fairly small. With a visit in the coming months or years, you’ll be among the very earliest of our citizens to see the country after a span of decades. And getting there via cruise ship will put you on an even shorter list.

The other point worth making here is that change is inevitable. No matter what the regime tries to do to maintain the status quo, the fact is that the influx of American visitors and their dollars will undoubtedly ramp up pressure for change. There’s just too much at stake.

So your visit to Cuba will be a rare snapshot that will document the country as it stood for the last 50-plus years before American influence really begins an economic revolution and the country experiences the beginnings of a capitalist surge.

You’ll Still Be A Tourist

Photo CC by Allan Hopkins

Although you’ll be learning a lot and living history, the fact is you won’t be able to help being a tourist. Cuba is a beautiful country, populated with fascinating people and filled with wonderful food, lodging, and shopping. To think that you won’t have a tourist experience is wrong, no matter how educational your trip is.

So if you make a trip to Cuba, you’ll still want to document your travels. The countryside, the city streets, and the historical buildings that fill the island will make it a unique and amazing trip. That’s to say nothing of being an official tourist on the cruise ship as you make your way through the beautiful Gulf waters.

The opening of Cuba’s doors to American citizens is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The chance to see a place so few Americans have seen is hard to pass up, but make sure you allow enough time for it to be a trip you make via cruise ship. Simply bouncing in and out via airplane will sap some of the flavor from your trip, and you won’t want to miss a thing.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. A cruise would be a wonderful way to explore different ports of call in Cuba and still be very comfortable and have local food served on the ship. I would love to visit this way but explore on day trips

    • Absolutely :) Hope you have the chance to experience a cruise through Cuba soon!

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