Star Clippers is bringing a tall ship to Cuba in 2014 to offer a series of six- and seven-night cruises from the port city of Cienfuegos.

Mikael Krafft, owner and president of Star Clippers, said that because it is headquartered in Europe and caters to Europeans, it will not run afoul of the U.S. trade embargo.

Most cruise lines that market in the U.S. avoid Cuba to stay above the political flak that comes with doing business there.

Canadian tour operators and European lines have tried Cuban itineraries, but few have made them a permanent offering.

U.K.-based Thomson Cruises visited Havana last year with its largest ship, the Thomson Dream. But follow-up cruises scheduled for this year were scrapped in favor of shorter, seven-night itineraries from Barbados.

The embargo makes it next to impossible for U.S citizens to book one of the Cuba cruises. Star Clippers said its general sales agent for North America would not market or sell the cruises, which are planned for February and March 2014.

In a statement, Star Clippers said U.S. citizens cannot reserve or purchase these cruises "from a travel agent, a Star Clippers sales representative or reservationist, or through an affiliated website or other general sales agent."

For those who can take advantage of the cruise, Krafft called the small islands on its itinerary "the ideal match for the Star Clippers product."

The line, based in Monaco, operates a trio of sailing ships, the largest of which has five masts, 42 sails and can carry up to 227 passengers.

Because they are relatively small, Star Clippers ships visit less-traveled islands in the Caribbean, such as St. Lucia and Grenada, and small ports in the Mediterranean such as the island of Elba, where Napoleon was briefly exiled.

Only the Cuban voyages are off limits to U.S. travelers.

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