Last updated: 03:34 PM ET, Fri April 08 2016

Ponant to Begin Cuban Cruises for Americans in 2017

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Ponant | Jason Leppert | April 07, 2016

Ponant to Begin Cuban Cruises for Americans in 2017

Photo courtesy of Ponant

Following U.S.-based Fathom’s Cuban governmental approval to sail to the Caribbean country, French-flagged Ponant has announced it too will offer U.S. citizens cruises to Cuba.

Under U.S. government provisions, Ponant will cruise on seven- and eigh-night “People-to-People Cultural Exchange” voyages beginning in 2017 aboard Le Ponant, the line’s 64-guest sailing yacht. Itineraries will highlight Cuba’s rich history and culture, engaging with Cuban experts and local citizens, artists, professionals and civic leaders.

READ MORE: Starwood Becomes First US Hospitality Company to Enter Cuba

“Enjoying thoughtfully curated programs and engaging with locals have always been the essence of the PONANT cultural experience," noted Navin Sawhney, chief executive officer, Americas. “PONANT has been introducing Europeans to Cuba in the past and we are now delighted to offer Americans this enriching opportunity from a most comfortable setting aboard a cruise on Le Ponant.”

Ponant also joins Celestyal Cruises as another foreign carrier taking American guests to Cuba. That leaves Pearl Seas Cruises still waiting on final government approval, Haimark Line, whose Cuban cruises are uncertain amid the company’s bankruptcy struggles, International Expeditions sailing there currently and Fathom, which officially begins cruising on its impact travel journeys to Cuba on May 1, 2016. Also, U.S.-based Group IST has offered its "Havana to Cienfuegos" cruise since 2014 and has a third ship set to come online in November. At this time, exact dates and prices for Ponant’s Cuban cruises are unknown.

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