Cuba is among the hottest new destinations on the cruise map and offers a cacophony of colour just waiting to be explored.

Now emerged from political and social purgatory, Cuba has rejoining the global community and is working closely with cruise lines to present itself as the enticing and colourful destination that has remained largely hidden for a good half-century or so.

Following recent approvals given by the Caribbean nation to many different cruise line, one such line – Royal Caribbean – has moved quickly to expand its offerings to the country by offering a full overnight stay in the capital Havana as part of its four and five-night cruises departing from Tampa, Florida onboard Empress of the Seas. This extended stay in town will allow guests to immerse themselves in the exciting nightlife offered by Havana, left to their own devices to make what they will of their visit while retaining a safe retreat on the ship.

These cruises will generally not stray too far from the US mainland, making stops also in Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico.

Empress of the Seas has recently been renovated from bow to stern and is cruising regularly to Cuba.
Empress of the Seas has recently been renovated from bow to stern and is cruising regularly to Cuba.

Not all voyages stay in Havana overnight, so be careful to note the arrival and departure times for your particular cruise. Some will only visit for the day and guests will be able to engage in shore excursions with typical Cuban flavour such as a city tour in a classic 1950’s American car reminiscent of the time prior to the Cuban Revolution & subsequent embargo.

Alternatives include a walking tour to the old quarter and the Havana Club Museum and another option taking literary enthusiasts to some of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite haunts and sites of inspiration including where he lived, dined, drank and fished.

If you’re planning a visit to the USA anytime through to 04 November 2017, you can take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s extended stay in Cuba as voyages setting sail right up to this date are now on sale.