Pearl Seas cancels first Cuba cruises

If approved, the Pearl Mist will sail to the north and south coasts of Cuba.
If approved, the Pearl Mist will sail to the north and south coasts of Cuba.

Pearl Seas Cruises has cancelled two planned 10-night cruises between Florida and Cuba, citing a lack of permission from the Cuban government.

The March 6 departure date for its first scheduled cruise has already passed and Pearl Seas has notified passengers that a second voyage, set for March 16, will be cancelled as well.

"Pearl Seas Cruises received notice on March 10th that the meeting with the Cuban government, where we expected to receive final approval, had been postponed until after President Obama's visit," said Pearl Seas Vice President Timothy Beebe in an e-mailed statement. "Therefore we had to cancel the March 16, 2016 Cuba Cultural Voyage cruise."

Beebe said most passengers have transferred their reservations to later cruise dates, but some have cancelled and received full refunds.

Pearl Seas has four more Cuba cruises scheduled in March and April, and has seven more scheduled in the fall starting Oct. 26.

Pearl Seas is one of several companies to announce and market cruises between Florida and Cuba, pending approval of the government in Havana.

Its coastal ship, the 200-passenger Pearl Mist, had planned to do 10-night trips that included an overnight in Havana and stops throughout the island including Maria la Gorda, Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Holguin.


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