Cuban-Born Americans Finally Allowed To Travel Home By Sea

A class-action suit and civil suit were filed in federal court in Miami last week, by Cuban-born Americans who were denied booking tickets on Carnival’s Fathom cruise line because of Cuba’s long-standing ban on Cuban-born people returning to the island by sea.

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According to the Miami Herald, Cuba is finally changing its policy amid protest and controversy, clearing the way for Carnival Corporation to launch a Miami-to-Havana route. Carnival Corp.’s new Fathom brand last month became the first U.S. company to gain approval to sail to the island in more than 50 years.

“We made history in March, and we are a part of making history again,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp. “More importantly, we are contributing to a positive future. This is a positive outcome and we are extremely pleased.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez last week accused Carnival of violating the county’s human-rights ordinance through its original booking policy for ships sailing to Cuba. However, Gimenez has also been actively engaging with Carnival chairman Micky Arison throughout the dispute to ease tensions.

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Fathom’s Adonia, which holds approximately 704 passengers, will leave PortMiami for Havana on weeklong voyages starting May 1, with stops in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.