Cuba Cruise announces partners
CUBA STANDARD — Cuba Cruise Inc., a Calgary-based startup company that
offers around-Cuba cruises next winter season, announced partnerships
with major tour operators around the globe.
The company, which plans to launch its first cruise Dec. 16, said it has
formed partnerships with Canadian tour operators Transat Holidays, Hola
Sun and Caribe Sol. In Germany, Cuba Cruises was picked up by FTI and
DER, in the UK by The Holiday Place, in Denmark by Albatros, in
Australia by Cruise Abroad, Worldwide Cruise Centres and Seven Oceans
Cruising, in Japan by Amphitryon Japan Co, Ltd., in Brazil by Uneworld
Viagens, and in Israel by Eshet Incoming.
The tour operators, according to Cuba Cruise, will be providing air,
land and sea packages with flights departing from major international
airports. Cuba Cruise grants travel agents a 12-percent commission, and
even pays an 8-percent commission on land excursions and beverage
packages, an offer rarely seen in the cruise industry.
The company bowed at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin in early March,
followed by participation in the Scandivian TUR fair, and Brazil's
WTM/Braztoa. Prices start at CAD$586.
Cuba Cruise, started by Toronto entrepreneur Dugald Wells, will use the
960-passenger Louis Cristal. The ship, owned by Cyprus-based Louis
Cruises, will be home-ported in Havana during 15 weekly runs this coming
season from December through March. Other stops of the seven-day cruise
include Punta Francés on the Isle of Youth, Cienfuegos, Montego Bay in
Jamaica, Santiago de Cuba, and Holguín.
Cuba Cruise joins Britain's Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Tropicana
Cruises, a London-based startup with links to Russia, in offering
cruises in Cuba. The cruise industry in Cuba has been hampered by the
fact that the world's largest cruise lines are U.S.-based and subject to
the embargo. At least two European companies that started offering Cuba
cruises were eventually bought by one of the U.S. cruise giants and
pulled out of Cuba. Other small Canadian and European operators have
come and gone, beset by startup woes.
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