Contramaestre, Oct 31.- Cruise companies from Europe evade US blockade on the Republic of Cuba, and assert their decision to ignore the restrictions derived from the economic and financial siege of the United States on the Island.
The German cruise ship Hamburg arrived on Wednesday to Havana port with some 600 tourists on board, marking the beginning of the cruise season in Cuba from Europe, preceding another cruise ship that will depart in a few days from England with capacity for almost two thousand passengers.
Officials of the company Cubatur declared to the national television that the cruisers will visit Cayo Largo del Sur, María la Gorda, in Pinar del Rio and the cities of Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba.
The MSC Cruises company, from Switzerland, is another of those that ratified the will to preserve and foster relations with the largest of the Antilles, according to recent statements by its executive president, Pierfrancesco Vago.
The above reflects the position of some companies in the sector not to give up the destination Cuba, among the preferred by its customers, and showed great boom in a short time, until U.S. measures curtailed the arrival of cruise ships from that nation.
Last June’s measures prohibited the possibility of “people-to-people” educational trips as well as trips to Cuba by private and corporate ships and airplanes, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats and other similar airplanes and vessels from U.S. territory.
Taking into account the estimated growth rates for the second half of the year in cruise activity, it is estimated that at least 560,000 visitors will be affected.
Meanwhile, in repeated interviews with the Cuban News Agency, visitors from the United States and other countries have expressed that the people eager to know Cuba are the biggest losers with the decision of the U.S. Treasury Department, because they are away from a destination that everyone wants to know.
(With information from ACN in Spanish)