US Ship Travels to Cuba

US Ship Travels to CubaUS Ship Travels to Cuba

An American cruise ship is sailing to Cuba from the US, the first such trip in more than 50 years.

The Adoni has sailed from the port of Miami carrying some 700 passengers and is due to arrive in Havana on Monday. Cuba and the US restored diplomatic relations last year. But several Cold War-era restrictions on travelling and trading are yet to be lifted. The cruise trip only went ahead after Cuba scrapped a ban on its citizens entering or leaving the island by sea, BBC reported.

The US company operating the cruise, Carnival, had been given permission by both governments to run ships between Florida and Cuba. A Cuban government rule stipulated, however, Cubans could only enter or leave by plane. The restriction meant it could not take bookings from Americans of Cuban origin.

After protests by Cuban-Americans and threats of legal action, Carnival said it would have to postpone its cruises unless the entry policy was changed.

The Cuban authorities lifted the ban just over a week ago.Before the Cuban Revolution brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959, cruise ships and ferries were a common way to cross the Florida Straits.