Cruising to Cuba Q&A

Can I sail to Cuba?

Yes, in fact, this may be the only way that you can travel to Cuba! Only group tours are permitted after recent changes in travel permissions by the United States.

For the last couple of months, Cubans have been renting out their houses “Airbnb-style” as “Paladars.” However, since Americans staying in these accommodations aren’t travelling with a certified group- this style of travel will no longer be permitted.

Cruises, on the other hand, provide people-to-people guided group tours that will still be permitted under the new rules. This means that as long as you book your group tour through the cruise line your tour will be in accordance with the law and you will be able to visit. This is very similar to the status of people cruising to Russia.

Which cruise lines are sailing to Cuba?

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland, Carnival, Oceania, and Azamara

What ports do the Cuba cruises sail from?

Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale

Where do I find out what forms I need, and the answers to other FAQ?

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland, Carnival, Oceania, and Azamara

How does the visa work? Do I need to get the visa ahead of time?

The Cuban visa costs $75 and will be obtained and paid for onboard your cruise. You do not need to obtain this document ahead of time, however, you do need to fill out any pertinent forms, such as the affidavit, for your cruise ahead of time.

Will a passport be required as well?

Yes, a passport will be required for all guests sailing to Cuba. Guest passports must be valid for six months after their travel date to Cuba.

Why small ships?

Only small ships fit under the Sunshine Skyway bridge and into the port of Havana. Larger ships will not fit.

How does the president’s new travel decree affect cruises to Cuba?

Per statements from the cruise lines, cruises to Cuba will still proceed with no itinerary changes.

How does the money work?

Do not count on your credit card working in Cuba. You will need cash when visiting. There are two forms of currency, the CUC and CUP. Your dollars will be converted into CUCs which is the governmental currency used by foreigners. Luckily there is an exchange at the Havana terminal! A 13% transaction fee will be charged for American dollars being converted. If you bring Euros instead, the exchange rate is lower.

Can I buy Cigars and Rum in Cuba?

Yes! You can bring some home as souvenirs and gifts for friends as well!

What should I bring with me on my tour?

While the answer varies depending on your tour, I would recommend toilet paper, walking shoes, and sunscreen. The toilets may not have toilet paper and sunscreen is ALWAYS a good idea.

Do people speak English?

Your tour guide will!

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