The cruise line was forced to reconfigure their travel destinations and itineraries following Trump’s travel ban on the island nation, as the inaugural sailing and many subsequent voyages were scheduled to have a “Havana After Dark” component.
New itineraries will include Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, Key West, Florida, Bimini in the Bahamas, as well as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
“Virgin Voyages will now offer voyages to Riviera Maya sailings to Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico; Fire and Sunset Soirées including a sunset departure from Key West and a midnight departure from Bimini; and special seven-night sailings for the 2020 holiday season including the all-new Holidaze and Nights and New Year’s Ahoy voyages, which fall over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays respectively, and feature stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and late-night sail aways in both Bimini, Bahamas and San Juan, Puerto Rico,” the cruise line released in a statement Tuesday.
President Trump’s travel ban on Cuba went into effect last Wednesday, making it so the United States will no longer allow educational and cultural trips there, unless those trips were booked prior to June 5, according to a statement released by the Treasury Department.
Also included in the Cuba travel ban are cruises, fishing ships and private yachts, forcing Virgin Voyages to reroute their cruise line itineraries elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Cruise lines have only been stopping in Cuba since 2016, when former President Obama removed travel restrictions to the island. Now, just three years later, Americans once again are banned from traveling to Cuba.
“Cuba continues to play a destabilizing role in the Western Hemisphere, providing a communist foothold in the region and propping up U.S. adversaries in places like Venezuela and Nicaragua by fomenting instability, undermining the rule of law, and suppressing democratic processes,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement obtained by the New York Times.
Also beginning in 2020 is Virgin Voyages newly-announced Scarlet Squad program, “an initiative dedicated to bridging the gender gap in leadership roles across the maritime industry, where women represent less than three percent of the workforce,” according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
Captain Wendy Williams will be taking the helm of the Scarlet Lady in Spring of 2020, becoming the first Canadian woman to captain a ship for a major cruise line.
Source: Yahoo News
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