Cruise lines must immediately remove Cuba from all itineraries

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The Empress of the Seas in Havana.
The Empress of the Seas in Havana.

Cruise line trade group CLIA said the U.S. government's stricter rules for Cuba travel have forced cruise lines to eliminate Cuba destinations from all itineraries, effective immediately.

CLIA said this affects nearly 800,000 passenger bookings that are scheduled or already underway. 

"All these bookings had been made under a general license previously issued by the United States government that authorized 'people to people' travel to Cuba," CLIA stated. "The new rules effectively make it illegal to cruise to Cuba from the United States. While this situation is completely beyond our control, we are genuinely sorry for all cruise line guests who were looking forward to their previously booked itineraries to Cuba."

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said it scrubbed Havana from the itinerary of cruises leaving the U.S. on June 5 and 6.

Royal Caribbean uses the Empress of the Seas and the Majesty of the Seas on cruises that include Cuba in the itinerary.

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