Virgin Voyages president and CEO Tom McAlpin and Diana Block-Garcia, Vice President of destination, itinerary and revenue, were joined by La Habana Cruise Port officials yesterday for a ceremonial celebration of the formalization of Virgin Voyages’ contract to sail to Cuba in 2020.
The contract formalization ceremony piggy-backed off a development visit to Cuba as the company continues to build its shore excursion program, which it affectionately refers to as Shore Things.
“Our Sailors are eager to sail to Cuba and we are incredibly proud to celebrate our plans to visit Havana, which is without a doubt, one of the Caribbean’s most authentic and enriching destinations,” said Virgin Voyages President and CEO Tom McAlpin. “This fantastic place offers the chance for our Sailors to experience a vibrant city and artistic haven, where they can meet locals and discover the heritage and culture of this beautiful destination.”
“We are excited to take part in Virgin Voyages’ Shore Things program, and we look forward to welcoming Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, and its Sailors to Havana,” said La Habana Cruise Port general manager Jorge Mandiola. La Habana Cruise Port is operated by Global Ports Holding and plays a role in developing the cruise port and the wider visitor experience in Havana. “We wish Virgin Voyages smooth sailing as they ready their ship over the next year, Havana is awaiting your arrival,” Mandiola added.
When Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, sets sail in 2020 she will be the largest and newest ship to ever sail into Havana Harbor. Virgin Voyages will begin sailing to Havana on four and five night Havana After Dark itineraries beginning April 1, 2020, featuring an overnight stay in Cuba’s magnificent capital and a visit to Bimini, Bahamas, where Sailors can experience the perfect beach day at The Beach Club at Bimini, Virgin Voyages’ private club while on-island.
All sailings to Cuba from Miami feature an overnight stay, meaning sailors have time to really explore and experience the capital city’s vibrant nightlife and cultural heritage. While in port, sailors can visit Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; experience the rich diversity of Cuban music and nightclubs, visit Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges, or simply wander the streets alongside pastel-washed colonial architecture.
Yesterday’s contract formalization ceremony follows a letter of agreement for berthing in Havana, which the company put in place in October of last year.
Future sailors and First Mates, travel partners, are invited to check out Virgin Voyages by visiting www.virginvoyages.com.