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Virgin Voyages has signed its first contract to sail to Cuba.
The deal was formalised by Virgin Voyages president, Tom McAlpin, and Diana Block-Garcia, vice president of destination, itinerary and revenue at the cruise line, following a meeting with La Habana Cruise Port officials earlier.
Virgin Voyages is now expected to sail to the Caribbean destination in 2020.
The contract formalisation ceremony piggy-backed off a development visit to Cuba as the company continues to build its shore excursion program, which it refers to as ‘Shore Things’.
“Our sailors are eager to sail to Cuba and we are incredibly proud to celebrate our plans to visit Havana, which is without a doubt, one of the Caribbean’s most authentic and enriching destinations,” said Tom McAlpin.
“This fantastic place offers the chance for our sailors to experience a vibrant city and artistic haven, where they can meet locals and discover the heritage and culture of this beautiful destination.”
When Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, sets sail in 2020 she will be the largest and newest ship to ever sail into Havana Harbour.
Virgin Voyages will begin sailing to Havana on four and five night ‘Havana After Dark’ itineraries beginning April 1st, 2020, featuring an overnight stay in Cuba’s magnificent capital and a visit to Bimini, Bahamas.
“We are excited to take part in Virgin Voyages’ Shore Things program, and we look forward to welcoming Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, and its Sailors to Havana,” said La Habana Cruise Port general manager, Jorge Mandiola.
“La Habana Cruise Port is operated by Global Ports Holding and plays a role in developing the cruise port and the wider visitor experience in Havana.
“We wish Virgin Voyages smooth sailing as they ready their ship over the next year, Havana is awaiting your arrival,” Mandiola added.
The ceremony follows a letter of agreement for berthing in Havana, which the company put in place in October of last year.