The first U.S. cruise ship in more than 50 years docks in Havana on May 2, restarting commercial travel on waters that serve as a stage for the thaw of a half-century hostility arising from the Cold War.
(Soundbite) Arnold Donald, President of Carnival Cruise Line
“Everybody is so excited that we are here. We are so humbled and proud as a corporation to be the first to come from America. It is a tremendous experience.”
Carnival Cruise Line’s Adonia arrives in Havana destined for people-to-people exchange, as Americans are still banned from doing tourism in this Caribbean nation.
(Soundbite) Maritza Poveda, Cuban-American Passenger
“It means the beginning of something very big for Cuba and the Cubans, for those who stayed and those who left. We hope that this will bring many changes for the Cuban people.”
Cubans gathered to watch the arrival, as the 704-passenger vessel operated by Carnival’s Fathom brand pulled into the terminal.
(Soundbite) Joice Warner, American Passenger
“This is such a great opportunity for us to have this exchange between America and Cuba. We can’t be more thrilled for the Cubans and American people, so that we now have the ability to exchange education, business and so forth. We are very happy to be here.”
The Adonia will cruise twice a month from Miami to Havana, at a cost 1,800 U.S. dollars per person for a seven-day circuit of Cuba with stops in the cities of Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.