Published on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Americans can now take Cuban cruises for the first time

Americans can now legally book around island Cuba cruises that departs Havana or Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The announcement came from Cuba Cruise and comes after further loosening of travel restrictions to Cuba.

The cruise can be booked through a US travel agent, and travelers then register directly with non-profit organization Fund for Reconciliation for the people-to-people program.

"Participants in our educational program have a unique opportunity to move comfortably and efficiently between four distinct regions of Cuba aboard the Louis Cristal cruise vessel," said John McAuliff, the nonprofit's executive director and coordinator.

"We're proud to provide Americans with a new way to visit Cuba during an exciting time of opening between our nations."

The 1,200-passeger Louis Cristal cruise ship has 480 staterooms and suites, restaurants and bars, a disco, casino, fitness center and beauty salon.

US travelers can book the 'cruise only' program but must then book airfares via a registered air charter company.

 Cruise-only rates for seven-night sailings start at $660 per person for double occupancy, plus a $75 registration fee, the company said.

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