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Carnival Granted License For Cuban Travel; Projected Initial Sailing May 2016

Carnival Granted License For Cuban Travel; Projected Initial Sailing May 2016

On Tuesday, Carnival Corp (NYSE: CCL) became the first cruise liner to be granted license to operate direct cruises from U.S. to Cuba.

Arnold Donald, Carnival CEO, was on CNBC to discuss this new license and the infrastructure difficulties the company could face at Cuban ports.

Historic Moment

"[This is a] historic moment for us and a historic moment for the cruise industry," Donald said. "So, we are privileged to have received the licenses and it's the first important step to ultimately receiving Cuban approvals so we can sail. And our intention is to sail May of 2016."

Donald revealed that Carnival is still working on getting the required approvals from Cuban authorities to sail to the country and the license to sail to Cuba have currently been granted only by authorities in the U.S.

Related Link: U.S.–Cuba Formally Restore Diplomatic Relations; CUBA Fund, Related Stocks Rise

Infrastructure Concerns

Donald was asked if Carnival can face any infrastructure problems at Cuban ports. He replied, "We are sailing the P&O ship, the Adonia that's been redeployed to Fathom (Carnival's new brand)...That ship carries 700 guests. We know that that ship can easily get into a number of ports.

"We still have to work with the Cubans to have all the infrastructure so the guest have the experience that we will like them to have. But that's going to happen."

On whether Carnival will have a first mover advantage of having a monopoly over the port infrastructure in Cuba, Donald said, "No, it's not a land grab at all. What we are really interested in is building a great cruise industry over time. Once the embargo is lifted, we are looking forward to being able to have normal cruising there."

Image Credit: Public Domain


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