While Virgin Voyages scrambles to find an alternative destination for its inaugural itineraries, other cruise lines say their profits are taking a hit after Donald Trump banned travel to Cuba.

The US President and his administration issued a travel ban against Cuba earlier this month, saying that the strong action was designed to prevent the enrichment of Cuba’s “military, security and intelligence services”.

A US Department of State statement explained that the ban prohibits US travellers from going to Cuba as ‘people-to-people educational’ and it forbids visitors to travel there by either private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships or yachts.


Image: St├ęphan Valentin/Unsplash

Cruise lines that include the Caribbean island on itineraries out of Florida were told to remove the destination immediately, which affected the travel plans of nearly 800,000 passengers who were either scheduled or already en-route to the destination.

Now, less than one month later, cruise lines say they’re feeling the effects of Trump’s latest travel ban as their profits are on a quick decline.

Carnival Corporation – the mother company for Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and more – attributed a 19.6 percent drop in profits during the second quarter of 2019 to the administration’s ban along with uncertainty in Europe.

Overall, the company’s profits fell a huge US$561 million compared to the same period last year, to sit at around $451 million.

Chief Executive of Carnival Corporation, Arnold Donald, said the ban on travel to Cuba was “disruptive” and obstacles for the cruise brands and uncertainty among cruisers.


Image: Simon Matzinger/Unsplash

“We were able to adjust our itineraries to provide our guests with attractive alternative vacation experiences utilizing the six destination ports that we own and operate in the Caribbean,” Donald explained.

“However the suddenness of the regulatory change is disruptive.”

Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation Chief Executive

Donald continued, saying that Cuba “experienced strong demand” for the company’s brands and delivered “significant yield premiums”.

He described the travel ban as “disappointing”.

Meanwhile, over at Richard Branson’s cruise start-up Virgin Voyages, executives have been hard at work looking for alternatives to make up the line’s inaugural itineraries. Click here for more information.


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