Cruise to Cuba Aboard the Norwegian Sun!
Head south to gay-friendly Key West for a world of intriguing architecture and fascinating people. Take a Key Lime bike tour and see the sights, like the Hemingway Home and Museum. We’ll stay to enjoy one of the world’s most famous sunsets.
The door to Cuba's soul, Havana captivates the imagination with its tropical jazz, classic 1950s American cars, and pastel buildings lining cobblestone streets. Sip a daiquiri at Hemingway's favorite haunt, El Floridita, or chat with locals at an intimate paladar. We will overnight there so you can sample true authentic Cuban cuisine for dinner or enjoy the music and dancing at the Buena Vista Social Club.
On board the newly refurbished Norwegian Sun, you can enjoy one of the many specialty-dining options. And, the entire ship is “open bar”!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal for U.S. citizens to travle to Cuba?
Yes. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulates travel to Cuba in accordance with the Helms-Burton Act and other pertinent regulations. Currently, there are 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba.
People-to-people travel is one of the ways for Americans to visit Cuba and gives you an opportunity to discover Cuba through its people and from a local perspective. All guests will be required to self-certify and maintain records showing that they have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba. These activities must be retained for a period of 5 years, regardless if they were offered through Norwegian.
The following link to the FAQ from the U.S. Department of the Treasury covers many of the questions directly related to regulations regarding travel to Cuba.
Do I need a passport to travel to Cuba?
Yes. A valid passport is required for all guests to travel to Cuba. We recommend guests review the passport requirements of travel to Cuba from their home country and that the expiration of your passport be greater than six months from the date of your voyage.
How do I certify that I am travelling under one of the OFAC-approved categories of travel?
All guests must complete a certification form which sets forth and confirms that they will be participating in OFAC-compliant activities. A completed certification form for each guest must be received by Norwegian no later than 30 days prior to the departure date and may be sent by email to NCLVISA@ncl.com.
All guests will be self-certifying which means that they are solely responsible for arranging a full-time schedule of OFAC-compliant activities, as explained above. These activities may include excursions provided by Norwegian or activities arranged by guests themselves.
Will non-U.S. guests be allowed to travel on these sailings?
Yes. As with travelers from the United States, non-U.S. guests will need to certify that they are traveling under one of the approved OFAC categories, keep records of their activities and sign affidavits confirming they are doing so.
Do I need a visa to travel to Cuba?
The Cuban government requires anyone traveling to Cuba on a passport other than a valid Cuban passport to obtain a visa prior to their arrival into Cuba. For all visitors who were not born in Cuba and not traveling for business, you will need a "tourist card” or “rosada” which must have a pink and blue background irrespective of your country of residency. The Cuban visa is valid for a single entry and allows the holder to stay in Cuba for 30 days. You may obtain this visa through Norwegian for a separate processing and procurement fee of $75 or on your own. Please note that you will not be allowed to board the vessel without proof of acquiring this visa.
The Cuban visa is a two-part card. Cuban immigration officials will take one half upon arrival in Cuba, and guests will surrender the other half to Cuban immigration officials upon departure. Guests should be sure to keep the Cuban visa in a safe place during the trip so they have it at the time of departure from Cuba.
For information on requirements for persons born in Cuba, please refer to FAQ “Requirements for Travelers Born in Cuba” below.
Requirements for Travelers Born in Cuba
Guests born in Cuba who emigrated before January 1, 1971 and reside in a country outside of Cuba are required to carry either (i) a valid Cuban passport or (ii) a valid passport from your country of citizenship along with an HE-11 visa obtained from the Cuban embassy or consulate in your country of residency (except in those cases where such country has entered into a visa exemption agreement with Cuba) for entry to and departure from Cuba. The estimated processing time for an HE-11 visa is up to 60 days.
Guests born in Cuba who emigrated after January 1, 1971 and reside in a country outside of Cuba are required to carry a valid Cuban passport for entry to and departure from Cuba. These guests do not need a Cuban visa. The estimated processing time for a Cuban passport is up to 6 months.
Guests born in Cuba who require a visa or passport should contact the Cuban embassy or consulate in their country of residency. Those residing in the United States may contact the Cuban Embassy in Washington, DC:
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba 2630 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20009 Website: http:// http://www.cubadiplomatica.cu/sicw/EN/ConsularServices.aspx Email: email@example.com Phone: (202) 797-8518 extension 600
In addition, there are several companies that offer visa/passport processing services to guests to assist in obtaining a visa and/or a Cuban passport, including:
On Cuba Travel (oncubatravel.com). Air Line Brokers (305-642-5002 // https://www.airlinebrokers.net/ ). The website of the US Embassy in Cuba http://havana.usembassy.gov/service.html states that U.S. citizens who are Cuban-born will be treated in Cuba solely as Cuban citizens and the Cuban government may require these individuals to enter and depart Cuba using a Cuban passport. Using a Cuban passport for this purpose does not jeopardize one's U.S. citizenship; however, such persons must use their U.S. passports to enter and depart the United States. Citizens of countries other than the United States should check with their embassies in Cuba for regulations pertaining to their citizenship and use of passports.
Are there restrictions on what I can bring into Cuba?
There are both U.S. and Cuba import regulations that travelers must comply with when traveling and bringing items into Cuba.
For information on U.S. import regulations, please review the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security’s Export Administration Regulations.
For information on Cuba import regulations, please review the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba.
Cuba operates as a dual currency system. Cuban convertible peso (CUC$) is the currency which you will exchange and use in Cuba. CUC$ come in the following denominations: 1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Please note that CUC$ 1 comes in both a coin and paper money configuration. There is a second currency, the Cuban peso, also called moneda nacional or CUP which is used only by Cuban citizens.
Can I exchange money in Cuba?
Yes. Once in Cuba, the port, tourist hotels, banks, and CADECA bureaus (Cuban government exchange bureaus) can exchange currency (U.S. and Canadian dollars, Euros, British pounds, etc.) for a fee. Non-U.S. currencies such as Euros and Canadian dollars usually have a more favorable exchange rate than the U.S. dollar. Be sure to have proper ID (passport) on hand. Do not accept offers to exchange currency with anyone who approaches you on the street. This is particularly applicable due to the dual currency system used in Cuba.
The U.S. State Department advises that the export of CUCs is strictly prohibited, regardless of the amount.
Can I use my credit cards in Cuba?
While U.S. citizens are allowed to use debit and credit cards in Cuba, the vast majority of U.S. banks are still considering whether to allow for these transactions to take place. Thus, it is advisable to assume that all transactions in Cuba will be done using cash.
What am I allowed to bring back from Cuba? Can I bring back cigars, rum and other items from Cuba?
U.S. persons are allowed to return with certain Cuban-origin items, including cigars and rum, for personal use only and pursuant to OFAC regulations. These items remain subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions for merchandise imported as accompanied baggage and for personal use. We refer you to the link in the FAQ “Is it legal for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba?” above which provides guidance on items that can be imported from Cuba.
How much free time is there?
OFAC requires that individuals traveling under a people-to-people license participate in a full-time schedule of people-to-people exchange activities that result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. As all guests will be self-certifying that their travel complies with the people-to-people license (or one of the other eleven travel categories authorized under general licenses), guests are free to create their own itinerary and to determine what full time constitutes, which may or may not include excursions offered by Norwegian Cruise Line. After completion of people-to- people activities, guests are free to explore as they wish.
Will I be able to move about Cuba freely?
Norwegian Cruise Line will offer a variety of shore excursions at each of our ports of call. Guests are not required to participate in these excursions and are free to move about Cuba as long as their activities comply with the general license they are travelling under. Entry to some government buildings may be restricted; it's best to ask your guide about the building’s specific entry protocol before trying to enter on your own.
Is medical insurance required?
All travelers to Cuba must show proof of Cuba approved medical insurance. This medical insurance will be included in the price of your cruise fare.
Does my insurance cover medical expenses while in Cuba?
The provision of health insurance, life insurance and travel insurance related services to authorized U.S. travelers, as well as the receipt of emergency medical services and the making of payments related thereto are authorized by OFAC. However, insurance providers may decide whether or not to participate and provide such coverage in connection with Cuba. It is advisable to check with your insurance provider prior to departure to ensure that you are covered while traveling in Cuba.
Is there additional medical and/or travel insurance that I can buy through Norwegian Cruise Line?
Yes. Norwegian Cruise Line will offer additional medical and/or travel insurance to guests at an additional fee.
Is it safe to travel in Cuba?
Cuba is a safe country where violent crime is rare. As when traveling in any urban area, keep your valuables in sight at all times and be aware of the possibility of petty crime.