Carnival Cruises announce cruises from USA to Cuba (First Since 1978)…

Carnival Cruises announce cruises from USA to Cuba (First Since 1978)…

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  • Carnival’s Fathom brand cruises will be the first from the USA to Cuba since 1978 and the first from Miami since 1959.
  • The parent company of Carnival, Princess and eight other cruise brands on Monday said the Cuban government had approved its previously announced plans to begin sailings to Cuba out of Miami in May.
  • The cruises, which already are on sale, will be operated bi-weekly by the company’s new social impact-focused Fathom brand.
  • The cruises will be aboard Fathom’s 704-passenger Adonia, a former P&O Cruises vessel.
Cruise-ship ADONIA

Cruise-ship ADONIA

Cruise History – Cuba 

Andonia

ADONIA

Carras Cruise Lines – MS Daphne – 1977 Cruises to Havana…

  • Carras Cruise Lines offered cruises to Cuba in 1977 and 1978. On May 15, 1977, four hundred luxury liner passengers, including jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie and Earl “Fatha” Hines, sailed from New Orleans to Cuba aboard the MS Daphne.
MS Daphne - Carras Cruise Lines - Havana

MS Daphne – Carras Cruise Lines – Havana

  • There was a dockside demonstration by several hundred Cuban exiles, including Fidel Castro’s sister Juanita, who had flown in from Miami to protest.
  • Shortly before the ship sailed, a man called Harbor police with a bomb threat, but a search of the vessel found no bomb and the ship departed just behind schedule for the 44-hour passage.
MS Daphne sailing from New Orleans to Havana - 1957 - After bomb threat.

MS Daphne sailing from New Orleans to Havana – 1977 – After bomb threat.

MS Daphne cruise to Havana and Princess Cruises ad in 1957...

MS Daphne cruise to Havana and Princess Cruises ad in 1977…

  • It was the first tourist cruise from America since 1961 when the two countries broke diplomatic relations. After a two-day stay in Havana, the cruise continued to Nassau (the Bahamas) where passengers flew back to the United States. The ship was then to make a series of four cruises from Havana from New York. But continued political harassment and bomb threats force the line to cancel three of the cruises.

Carras Cruise Lines – MS Daphne – 1977 Cruises to Havana…

  • But in the winter of 1978, the Ms Daphne made a series of cruises round-trip from New Orleans to Cuba with other ports of call in the Caribbean.
Michael Grace aboard MS Daphne - New Orleans to Havana 1978

Michael Grace aboard MS Daphne – New Orleans to Havana 1978

Michael Grace aboard the MS Daphne in 1978 – Cruise from New Orleans to Cuba… 

  • I sailed on the January 14th cruise from New Orleans. 
  • It was Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans.  Dallas Cowboys vs. Denver Broncos.
Chicago Tribune - Travel Section - October 1977 - Announcing Winter and Springs Cruises - Carras - Havana - Winter - Spring 1978

Chicago Tribune – Travel Section – October 1977 – Announcing Winter and Springs Cruises – Carras – Havana – Winter – Spring 1978

  • It was a 7-day cruise visiting Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Havana.
  • It was very exciting, and there were no demonstrations or bomb threats.
  • Visited Hemmingway’s home, amazed by the number of pre-1960 American cars, toured Havana and saw the elaborate Tropicana stage show. Bought some cigars – which were illegal in the USA. Amazed at how clean Havana was. This was the height of subsidies from the USSR. Less than 2000 Americans would visit Cuba in 1978… mainly from the MS Daphne.
  • The cruises were successful for the 1978 season, but Carras Cruises went out of business in 1979.

SS Florida and SS Evangeline – Cruises to Cuba – Ended in 1959…

SS Florida - Havana, Cuba - 1950s...

SS Florida – Havana, Cuba – 1950s…

  • SS Florida served Cuba until 1958.
MS Evangeline sailed from Miami to Cuba... from the 1940s until 1959.

MS Evangeline sailed from Miami to Cuba…

  • SS Evangeline served Cuba from the USA until 1959. 

cce00001Passenger ships calling at Miami as late as the 1960s generally were leftover from a much earlier era. 

Such as the Florida and Evangeline. 

Though at the end of the decade Miami would become by far the world’s busiest cruise port, in the early 1960s cruising from Miami was yet to catch on with the public.

With some irony it would take a deadly fire at sea on one of the old ships to start the momentum that would soon build entire fleets of new cruise ships like never before.

Carnival first announced plans for Cuba cruises in July, when it received U.S. government approval for the trips, but noted at the time that they would be contingent on approval by the Cuban government. That approval came late Monday in the form of signed agreements between Carnival and Cuban authorities from Havanatur Celimar and various other agencies that enable the voyages, the company said.

The new Fathom sailings to Cuba will be seven-night trips and initially feature calls at three ports for which Carnival Corp. has obtained berthing approval: Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The Fathom’s ADONIA will depart from Miami on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. ET and arrive in Havana the next morning at 11 a.m. ET. Fares start at $1,800 per person, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees and port expenses. Fares include all meals on the ship, on-board experiences and several on-the ground activities. The vessel currently sails for British line P&O Cruises.

For more information on the Adonia Cuba Cruises… CONTACT FATHOM

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Carnival, Princess , Fathom, cruise, cruising, cruise history, Havana, Cuba, Adonia, Carras Cruise Lines, MS Daphne,SS Evangeline, Cienfuegos,Santiago de Cuba,P&O Cruises. history, Cunard, ss florida

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…