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Friday, December 15, 2017

Cuba News

Carrnival Continues Cruise Talks with Cuba

(Photo: Carnival Corporation)

Carnival Corporation & plc said it is continuing discussions with Cuba to allow cruise ships to operate in the same manner as current air charter operations, which transport Cuba-born individuals to and from Cuba. Fathom will begin sailing its 704-passenger Adonia luxury cruise ship to Cuba every other week starting on May 1, marking the first time in over 50 years that a cruise ship has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba. Carnival Corporation also announced that it is accepting bookings on its 10th and newest brand…

Cruise Ship Makes Historic Trip from US to Cuba

Adonia sails into Havana (Photo: Carnival Corporation)

Cruise ship MV Adonia sailed into Havana this morning, completing the first leg of its historic inaugural voyage to Cuba that began on May 1, 2016, from Miami, marking the first time in over 50 years that a U.S. cruise line has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba. The Bermuda-flagged ship Adonia, operated by U.S. based Fathom, the 10th and newest brand of Carnival Corporation & plc., was greeted in the Port of Havana by fanfare and a festive celebration. Havana is the first of three destinations that guests will visit as part of the Fathom’s seven-night voyages to Cuba.

Shanghai Yard Delivers 10th Bulk Carrier to Cuba

Bulker Abdala: Photo credit Acemex Cuba

Shanghai Shipyard Chairman Gu Tiquan presided at the launch of the Josefa, the last of the 35,000-ton carriers, accompanied by the Cuban ambassador in Beijing, Alberto Blanco, reports The Cuba Standard. Neither of the two sides has revealed the financial terms of the order by Cuba’s Empresa Importadora General del Transporte (EIGT), on behalf of Grupo Acemex, with Chinese state company China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CMC). The purchases are financed by China’s Eximbank. According to observers, the order for 10 35,000-ton handymax vessels is worth at least $250 million.

Carnival to Sail to Cuba with All Travelers

Adonia (Photo courtesy of Fathom)

Carnival Corporation announced it will sail as planned from the U.S. to Cuba with all travelers, including Cuba-born passengers, for the company’s week-long voyages to Cuba. Carnival worked with Cuba to allow its cruise ships to operate in a similar manner as current air charter operations to Cuba, starting with its historic inaugural voyage on May 1, 2016. Last week, in anticipation of this positive outcome, Carnival Corporation announced its new Fathom brand was accepting bookings to Cuba from all travelers, including individuals born in Cuba.

US Preparing to Weaken Cuba Embargo

The White House is drafting sweeping regulations to further weaken the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba that would ease restrictions on U.S. companies and make it safer for Americans to travel there, U.S. government sources said on Thursday. The regulations could be announced as soon as Friday. U.S. companies would be allowed to establish offices in Cuba for the first time in more than half a century, according to a draft of the new rules seen by Reuters. The regulations make it easier for airlines and cruise ships to import parts and technology to improve safety in Cuba; loosen restrictions on software exports; and allow authorized companies to establish subsidiaries with Cuba, possibly via joint ventures with Cuban firms such as state telecommunications monopoly Etecsa.

New Orleans Port Signs Mou With Cuba

Manuel Fernandez Perez Guerra, Director General of the National Port Administration of Cuba, and Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans Chief Operating Officer, sign a memorandum of understanding in Havana Oct. 4. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (standing directly behind Christian) and Michael Kearney, Chairman of the Port of New Orleans Board of Commissioners (standing front right), were among the 50-member Louisiana trade delegation that visited Cuba Oct. 3-7. Photo NOLA

Port of New Orleans Chief Operating Officer Brandy Christian joined Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in signing a memorandum of understanding with Cuba on Oct. 4 pledging to expand trade and commerce opportunities between Louisiana and the Caribbean nation. The agreement also calls for joint marketing and information sharing efforts to meet those objectives. “The proximity and historical relationship between Cuba and the Port of New Orleans has us well-positioned should the trade embargo be lifted…

Caterpillar Names Official Dealer for Cuba

Caterpillar Inc. has named privately owned Puerto Rico-based company Rimco as the official Cat dealer for Cuba. Rimco, a longtime Cat partner, currently serves as the company’s dealer for Puerto Rico and the Eastern Caribbean. The move comes in anticipation of the U.S. lifting its embargo on trade with Cuba. Upon easing of trade restrictions, customers in Cuba will be able to purchase Cat products through Rimco in accordance with U.S. and Cuba regulations. Philip Kelliher, vice president with responsibility for the Americas & Europe Distribution Services Division, said, "Cuba needs access to the types of products that Caterpillar makes and, upon easing of trade restrictions, we look forward to providing the equipment needed to contribute to the building of Cuba's infrastructure.

Carnival: First US Cruise Ship to Cuba in 50 Years

MV Adonia Photo by Carnival Corp

The world's largest cruise line Carnival Corp. will be the first cruise company in more than five decades to sail a U.S. cruise ship to Cuba. Cuba has granted Carnival approval to travel there beginning May 1. Carnival, which is led by St. Louisan Arnold Donald, is cleared to operate the 704-passenger MV Adonia through its newest brand, Fathom. It is the first time in more than 50 years that a cruise ship has been approved to sail from the U.S. to Cuba. CEO Donald said, "Today, we made history. I want to thank the U.S.

SC Line Begins Service to Cuba from Port Everglades

Image: SC Line

Shipping company SC Line has started up service between Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades and Cuba, reports Sun Sentinel. The cargo and cruise vessels no longer require a special license to ply between US and Cuba. SC Line can serve the Cuban seaports of Mariel and Santiago every two weeks on a route that circles between Florida, Cuba, Panama and Colombia. On 20 September the SC Line vessel Caroline Russ berthed at Mariel in Cuba. It can carry shipping containers. It was the first call on a new service every 14 days linking Port Everglades, Florida with Mariel and Santiago de Cuba.

Florida Ports Drop Plans to Ink Pacts with Cuba

The news comes as Cuba watchers are looking closely for signs of how the United States' fragile detente with Cuba will fare under President Donald Trump. "Disappointed some (Florida ports) would enter into any agreement with Cuban dictatorship," Scott wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "I will recommend restricting state funds for ports that work with Cuba in my budget. Port authorities along the U.S. Southern coast are strong proponents of increased trade and travel with Cuba, and some have expressed interest in using Mariel, located on the northwest coast of the Caribbean island, as a transshipment hub. The Ports of Everglades and Palm Beach had been planning to sign agreements with Cuba during the visit of a Cuban trade delegation this week but said they decided to withdraw the deals.

US Revises Cuba Sanctions Regulations

The U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has publish revised Cuba sanctions regulations opening trade with Cuba for the first time in decades. Those changes, issued January 16, 2015, are the first step in moving toward normal relations with Cuba. The revised regulations ease certain limitations on travel to Cuba and certain associated services (e.g., insurance services), broaden exports and imports, and make financial transactions related to authorized transactions easier. The biggest impacts appear to be in travel, telecommunications, financial services and exports to the Cuban private sector. A pre-release of the revised regulations from the U.S.

Legislation Introduced to Lift Cuba Embargo

A new piece of legislation, the Cuba Trade Act of 2015, was introduced in Congress Tuesday that aims to lift the Cuba embargo and allow for U.S. businesses in the private sector to trade freely with Cuba, while prohibiting taxpayer funds to be used on promotion or development of this new market. The legislation was introduced by Congressman Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), along with Congressmen Abraham, Amash, Boustany, Ribble and Sanford. “Today marks a new and exciting chapter for the U.S. - Cuba relationship,” Emmer said. “The American people overwhelmingly support lifting the Cuba embargo. Along with the Cuban people…

Carnival’s Fathom Approved for US-Cuba Sailings

MV Adonia (Photo: Fathom)

Carnival Corporation & plc has received Cuban approval to begin travel to Cuba starting on May 1, 2016. This, following U.S. authorization granted in July 2015, clears Carnival Corporation to operate the 704-passenger MV Adonia to Cuba through its newest brand Fathom, marking the first time in over 50 years a cruise ship is approved to sail from the United States to Cuba. Cuban authorities from Havanatur Celimar, various other agencies and Carnival Corporation today signed agreements enabling cruising by Carnival Corporation to Cuba.

Cuba Opens Up for Carnival Corp. Brand

MV Adonia (Photo: Carnival Corporation)

Carnival Corp. granted U.S. Carnival Corporation & plc said that the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce granted approval for the company to begin travel to Cuba. Carnival Corporation intends to take travelers to Cuba beginning in May 2016 via its newly launched fathom brand – a new social impact travel brand providing purpose-oriented, social impact experiences, initially in the Dominican Republic. Carnival Corporation intends to operate fathom travel itineraries directly to Cuba for the purpose of providing cultural…

Crowley is First U.S. Carrier to Transport Commercial Cargo To Cuba in Nearly 40 Years

After many months of trying to gain entrance to the Cuba market, Crowley Liner Services succeeded in a big way Sunday, making the first commercial cargo delivery directly from the United States to Havana, Cuba in nearly 40 years. Crowley's Express departed Gulfport, Miss., about 6 p.m. December 14 with 500 tons of containerized frozen chicken and arrived dockside in Cuba about 12:30 p.m. December 16, approximately three-and-a-half hours ahead of a bulk ship that had departed New Orleans December 14 with corn. This was the first shipment by Crowley for Alimport, the Cuban agency involved with purchasing food products for its country. Alimport contracted with Crowley to transport containerized frozen poultry and dry food products from the United States to Cuba in late November.

Pearl Seas Cruises Adds Voyages to Cuba

Pearl Mist (Photo: Pearl Seas Cruises)

Pearl Seas Cruises plans to launch a series of “cultural voyages” from the United States to Cuba beginning in the spring of 2016, the cruise line announced today. Offering 7- to 10-night voyages aboard the line’s newest vessel, the 210-passenger luxury ship Pearl Mist, the round trip voyage from South Florida will visit several Cuban ports including Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. Pearl Seas Cruises plans itineraries on both the Southern and Northern coasts of Cuba, featuring people-to-people cultural exchanges authorized under U.S. law to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Maersk Line Adds Direct Service to Cuba

Alongside in the Port of Mariel, Cuba – view from the bridge of the 2,556 TEU E.R. Cape Town (Photo: Maersk Line)

Container shipper Maersk Line has introduced its first direct service from Northern Europe to Cuba, beginning on Friday April 22 with the arrival of the 2,556 TEU containership E.R. Cape Town in the Port of Mariel, located 50 kilometers from Havana. The Cuba call is part of Maersk Line’s CRX – Southbound service from Northern Europe to Manzanillo, Panama, providing customers fast transits from North European ports of Bremerhaven, Tilbury, Rotterdam and Cork. A weekly feeder service further connects to Santiago in the southeastern area of Cuba.

Crowley Freighter Fails To Make Appearance in Havana

A U.S. freighter, due to become the first American cargo ship to dock in Cuba for decades because of a trade embargo, failed to show up in Havana harbor as scheduled in the early hours of Saturday. Crowley Liner Service, based in Jacksonville, Fla., confirmed, but gave no explanation for, a last-minute decision to take Cuba off the route of its container ship M/V Orso. "A decision was made last night, Friday, to bypass Cuba and proceed on to Mexico," a Crowley spokesman said. There was speculation in Cuba on Saturday that the ship's entry permission might have been denied by President Fidel Castro's government, perhaps because of a disagreement over its cargo, or because Havana was seeking to avoid an impression that U.S. ships were now in a position to serve Cuba normally.

Crowley Loads and Transports Frozen Poultry

Crowley Liner Services is loading containers of frozen poultry aboard Crowley's ship Express at the Port of Gulfport, Miss., for transport to Havana, Cuba. The vessel is expected to arrive in Cuba at mid-day on Sunday. This is the first shipment by Crowley for Alimport, the Cuban agency involved with purchasing food products for its country. Alimport contracted with Crowley to transport containerized frozen poultry and dry food products from the United States to Cuba in late November. The poultry being handled was purchased by Alimport and was supplied by Louis Dreyfus Corporation. Alimport, also known as Empresa Cubana Importadora de Alimentos, purchased the food from U.S.

Santiago Shipyard Launches Vessel

According to a report from the Cuba Standard, the Damex Shipbuilding & Engineering shipyard in Santiago — one of the few fully foreign-owned operations in Cuba — finished assembling a 600-ton multi-purpose cargo vessel that will be used by the Venezuelan navy, Prensa Latina reported. The Damen Stan Lander 5612 is the first of four.   (Source: Cuba Standard)  

US Senate Panel Ends Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

U.S. Senate panel passes amendment to end restrictions on travel to Cuba   The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted 18-12 on Thursday to end restrictions on Americans travel to Cuba, a committee spokesman said.   Four committee Republicans joined 14 Democrats to back the amendment.   It became the first legislation to make it through any congressional committee to facilitate President Barack Obama's push to normalize relations with Cuba.     (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)

CMA CGM in Cuba Deal

Image: CMA CGM LOG

CMA CGM Group will work with Cuban company Almacenes Universales SA to run a logistics complex serving the Port of Mariel, giving a boost to the island’s effort to make itself a transshipment hub. CMA CGM, the world’s No. 3 container ship operator by capacity, said it had entered an agreement with the government of Cuba to build a logistics hub at the Cuban port of Mariel as part of the largest infrastructure investment the island nation has seen in decades. The signing of the…

Crowley Delivers for London's Royal Ballet

Beginning this week hundreds and possibly even thousands of Cubans will have the opportunity to see world-class dancers from The Royal Ballet, Great Britain's largest and most prestigious ballet company, as they perform in Cuba's two most iconic theaters, the Gran Teatro de la Habana, Sala Garcia Lorca and the Karl Marx Teatro. The historic cultural exchange for the ballet company began weeks ago, as Crowley personnel put the transportation details together to get the eight 40-foot containers from Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center to Port Everglades, Fla.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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